The By Lawyers Family Law guide will be updated where applicable to reflect these amended fees.
By Lawyers has expanded our comprehensive Companies, Trusts and Partnerships guide to include commentary and precedents covering special disability trusts.
A special disability trust can be established to provide for the care and accommodation of a disabled family member and if compliant will allow the disabled beneficiary of the trust to retain their full entitlement to a Centrelink pension. There are also generous concessions for contributions to a compliant special disability trust.
The commentary covers everything a practitioner needs to know about establishing a special disability trust for their clients, including:
- beneficiary eligibility requirements;
- contribution and concession guidelines; and
- the permitted use of special disability trust funds.
The By Lawyers Special Disability Trust Deed is provided and includes all of the mandatory clauses from the model trust deed for special disability trusts published by the Department of Social Services, as required to comply with the Social Security Act 1991 and the Social Security (Special Disability Trust) Guidelines 2011.
Our reference guide — 101 Policy and Procedures has been enhanced.
This guide forms part of our Practice Management publication and provides a ready reference for all team members in a law firm about all aspects of the practice. A few excerpts:
Client service and communication standards
The firm strives to deliver the highest level of service and value to its clients. This means that team members are expected to be well mannered, engaged and responsive to phone calls, emails and other correspondence….
Cost disclosure and billing practices
In all matters, use the Retainer Instructions provided in the matter plan under Getting the Matter Underway and disclose costs in writing. Costs disclosure must be by way of a formal Costs Agreement where costs are likely to exceed $3000, or otherwise disclosed in the initial correspondence, as done for example in the precedent letters in the matter plan for conveyancing matters….
Supervision of practice and staff
The system adopted by the practice, if followed, will ensure that the practice is run efficiently and safely to the satisfaction of all participants. This simply involves adherence to all policies and procedures. …
Other topics covered include Asset register, Closing files, Email policy, Petty cash, Sexual harassment and Trust accounting.
Additions have been made to the 101 Family Law Answers reference manual.
The following commentary was added to Admissibility of settlement negotiations:
A without prejudice offer to settle parenting matters was admitted in the Western Australia case S and K  FCWA 17. In this case the court said:
There is no doubt that it is important to preserve confidentiality and to foster an environment that allows parties to negotiate without fear they will be compromised in an endeavour to settle matters. However, offers can be made for a number of reasons and the overarching principle is always the best interests of the child. It is not the sole consideration but it is the paramount one.
The Court should not be precluded from obtaining information to ensure that the principle is met…
Note: This is a single judge decision and hasn’t been followed in subsequent cases since it was handed down in 2007.
The following useful case references were added to Relocation:
Carne & Feldt  FCCA 1851: the court permitted an interim relocation 100 km (1 hour) away. The child was 6 years old and the mother was relocating to live with her new partner, the father of her unborn child.
Cavanagh & Kennedy  FCCA 345: the mother unilaterally relocated with the parties’ 7 year old daughter to a place an ‘hour and a half away’ despite an earlier final order providing for equal shared parental responsibility and that each ‘parent is restrained from relocating outside the … district unless agreed in writing between the parties’. The court ordered she return.
Morgan & Miles  FamCA 1230: dealt with a move of 144 km and whether this constitutes ‘a relocation’.
The recent High Court decision in Burns v Corbett  HCA 15 confirms that state tribunals do not have jurisdiction in interstate disputes, unless the tribunal is constituted as a state court. The decision only concerned the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal and confirms the NCAT does not have jurisdiction in interstate disputes. This may affect the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal as there is doubt over whether or not QCAT is constituted as a state court.
Where claims involve interstate disputes, careful consideration of the appropriate forum is required.
By Lawyers is Australia’s leading provider of practical Legal Guides, with over 140 Matter Plans, 7000 Precedents and detailed Reference Manuals in various areas of law. Our legal guides are designed to help you find answers quickly enabling you to work faster and smarter.
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The Legal Guides tab shows the relevant guide for the matter type associated with your matter and defaults to your last viewed folder in the guide. Each guide contains a Matter Plan which follows the typical flow of a matter, with precedents and commentary ordered sequentially, and less commonly used content appearing in ‘If required’ folders.
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By Lawyers Reference Manual – 101 Employment Answers has been enhanced with the addition of commentary regarding Unfair dismissal – period of continuous employment and Casual Employment.
An employee’s period of employment with an employer at a particular time is the period of continuous service the employee has completed with the employer at that time as an employee: see s 384(1).
Under s 384(2), a ‘period of service’ as a casual employee does not count towards the employee’s period of employment unless:
- the casual employee was employed on a regular and systematic basis; and
- the casual employee had a reasonable expectation of continuing employment on a regular and systematic basis.
The Full Bench decision of the Fair Work Commission in Shortland v Smiths Snackfood Co Ltd (2010) 198 IR 237 (particularly paragraphs 10 to 13) provides guidance as to the approach to take for calculating a ‘period of service’ as a casual employee.
A summary of the proposed amendments to the Bail Act 1977 has been added to the Commentary in the Criminal Magistrates’ Court (VIC) Guide.
The cumulative effect of these amendments is a significant overhaul of bail procedure in Victoria. They may or may not achieve their objectives, but regardless the impact is potentially significant.
The commentary will be updated when the legislation commences.
The first stage of these amendments is expected to commence 1 July 2018 with the second stage likely to commence later in the year.
Seven helpful new precedents have been added to our Immigration Guide to make common communications quicker and easier:
– Cover letter – Skilled visa (BLFL:FED:IMM:045)
– Cover letter – Visitor visa (BLFL:FED:IMM:051)
– Letter of advice – Employer Nomination Scheme visa (BLFL:FED:IMM:049)
– Letter of advice – Prospective marriage (BLFL:FED:IMM:050)
– Letter of advice – Temporary skill shortage visa (BLFL:FED:IMM:047)
– Letter to client – Request for further information (BLFL:FED:IMM:048)
– Response to request for further information (BLFL:FED:IMM:046)
By Lawyers precedents can be customised by duplicating the original precedent and saving the duplicated precedent after the desired changes have been made. It is important however that if a precedent letter is being customised, changes are made only within the ‘body bookmark’.
Identifying which precedents have been customised is easy, as they will be coloured purple under the ‘Browse’ tab in the ‘Guides and Precedents’ window. While we encourage all users to access our content from the ‘Legal Guides’ tab, customised precedents are only shown in the Browse tab, so the use of this tab is necessary to view your customised precedents.
It is also important to remember that duplicated precedents will no longer automatically receive the usual updates from By Lawyers. It is therefore a good idea to routinely compare all duplicated precedents to the original By Lawyers version, to ensure that they remain up to date and correct.