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
Folklaw 25 November

Folklaw 25 November

Time stops for no manObviously lacking confidence in the ability of his subject matter to hold the attention of his audience at the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association’s national…

Time stops for no man

Obviously lacking confidence in the ability of his subject matter to hold the attention of his audience at the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association’s national conference in Melbourne, Justice Neville Owen provided a pop quiz within his presentation. Speaking on corporate governance and why it matters, Owen interspersed his points with pictures of clocks from around the world, and asked his audience to name the city in which it was located.

Starting with the obvious Big Ben in London, he moved on to examples from Bern and Vancouver among others. His aim was to disprove the theory that lawyers earn too much money and spend too much time jet-setting and sight seeing. He failed dismally, with every city promptly identified. To capitalise on his discovery, Owen also provided an intermission of sorts, presenting a virtual tour of the town where he went to school, New Norcia in Western Australia, recommending it for its wildflowers and claim to fame as Australia’s only monastic town. If New Norcia suddenly has an influx of cashed up tourists, it will have one Justice Neville Owen to thank.

Not that I would recommend this

At the same conference, at a workshop about the legal requirements for retention of documents, e-law’s Rebecca Grant and Warren Dunn, who worked on the HIH Royal Commission, delegates were not only told what should be kept and what could be thrown away, but were advised of methods of disposal that do not work. Obviously speaking from experience, they ruled out smashing the hard drive with a hammer, or otherwise hefty object, or submerging it in a pool. The only fail-safe method was shredding — not of documents, but of the hard drive itself. But that method would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to obtain the industrial machinery required to do the job. They didn’t mention burying the hard-drive in a top-secret spot that only your Uncle Bob knows how to get to … could work.


Avid readers of Folklaw no doubt recall the story of Dorothy Densmore, an 86-year-old from North Carolina who was arrested after she dialled the emergency number 20 times in 38 minutes because the local pizza shop would not deliver to her home.

Well, she has been joined in the Folklaw annals by 30-year-old Sharita Williams of Houma, Louisiana. Williams called 911 from the restaurant where she was dining because she had been served cold onion rings. She told police the food was cold when she received it, but the waiter refused to replace it. Police promptly arrived at the scene, but only to arrest Williams for wasting their time … which seems like a bit of a waste of time too, doesn’t it? Williams is to appear in court next month.

Fair play

We all know exactly how this man felt. A Swiss man driving at almost 80 kilometres per hour in a 50 kilometre zone noticed the tell-tale flash of a speed camera and knew he had been snapped. But the indecency and unfairness of the game plan was all too much for him. He attacked the camera with a pick axe, smashed it from its mountings, drove its remains up a mountain and threw it off a cliff.

His tactics worked to a degree and the film and camera were destroyed, but the man was spotted again — this time by real police as he hurled the device off the cliff — and was consequently arrested. He now faces a fine of up to $30,500 for destruction of public property. He should have copped the speeding fine, it would have been cheaper.

Dont discriminate (just because I cant do my job)

Armour Star meat packing plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, US of A, thought it was doing the right thing by its employees when it introduced a strength test. In the course of their work, employees were required to repetitively lift a 16-pound rod of sausages to a height of 165 centimetres. Due to its concern about the high rate of worker injuries, the company introduced the test for prospective employees which involved repeated lifting of a 16-kilogram weight to a height of 165 centimetres. Makes sense one would think — unless of course you are the American Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It has sued the plant for devising a test that prevents people who clearly can’t do the task for which they have been hired from getting a job. The plant is now coughing up $3 million because the Commission claimed the test had a “disparate impact” on women — 97 per cent of men passed, while less than 40 per cent of women passed. So, perhaps there would have been no point in hiring those women in the first place.

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

Folklaw 25 November
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
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'...
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...
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 & ...