find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Top barrister gets $220 Myki fine dropped

Top barrister gets $220 Myki fine dropped

myki

The mere sight of human rights barrister Julian Burnside QC on the defence was enough to send Victoria's transport department scuttling from court last week.

The department abandoned its pursuit of a petty fine owed by a commuter after learning that the prominent barrister was taking a personal interest in the case.

Mr Burnside, whose fees normally exceed $10,000 a day, took the case pro bono to make a stand against what he described as "bullying" behaviour by the transport authority.

His client, corporate lawyer Lindy Muto, was fined $220 after failing to pay a public transport fare last year.

She wrote to the department explaining that she had mistakenly tapped her Myki card to a balance reading machine instead of the adjacent card reader.

She took photos of the two machines at Burnley Station in Melbourne to demonstrate they were almost identical.

"There was no signage and a year later I've gone back there and they've put a clear sign, which is almost as though they're admitting fault," she said.

She decided to take the department to court to shed light on its unfair “revenue-generating activity”.

This is the second time the department has backed out of a fare evasion case. The department also turned tail and ran after Mr Burnside decided to act for a different client in April.

Mr Burnside said the department’s easy surrender was evidence that it had little faith in its own technology.

"If they had confidence that the system operates properly then they wouldn't be withdrawing the charges in circumstances such as this," he said. 

"I just don't like seeing people taken advantage of, especially people who can't afford to take a half day off work. They are forced to pay up because they're in a position of weakness – that's my idea of bullying."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Top barrister gets $220 Myki fine dropped
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Oct 19 2017
‘Ego status’ compelled ex-lawyer to defraud $2.97m, court told
Debarred lawyer John Gordon Bradfield told an NSW District Court that he was driven by “ego status...
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legislation,
Oct 19 2017
ALA welcomes ‘tough’ Qld manslaughter laws
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legisl...
Legal podcasts, tune in, microphone
Oct 19 2017
Legal podcasts you have to tune in to right now
The rise of the internet has hailed in a new dawn for storytelling. Here’s our top pick of podcast...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...