Banking on infamy

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

Banking on infamyOne simply must hand it to the Law Institute of Victoria for its promotional vision and willingness to delve outside the square.Earlier this month President Bill O’Shea and a…

Banking on infamy

One simply must hand it to the Law Institute of Victoria for its promotional vision and willingness to delve outside the square.

Earlier this month President Bill O’Shea and a number of fellow Institute big wigs chowed down with one of Australia’s formerly most wanted men.


We’re not talking about Craig McLachan or Yahoo Serious, but rather someone with a touch more bravado and, dare we say, machismo — serial bank robber and prison escapee Gregory Roberts.

A few years after being sentenced to 19 years in the big house in 1978, Roberts famously escaped from Pentridge Prison and spent the next decade as the Victorian Police’s white whale.

Now the author of internationally best-selling autobiography Shantaram, Roberts was still hot property at the LIV luncheon, with lawyers keen to hear how those on the other side of the witness box — or exorbitant solicitor’s fee for that matter — feel about the justice system.

And for those who are curious, no reports of missing items from the RACV’s lavish Roof Top Restaurant have surfaced as yet.

Openly secret life

Lawyers Weekly Discover

“Sometimes in life you get thinking about all the little elements and people that surround you and just how damn small you are. We all go on from day to day wrapped up in our own little worlds, hardly noticing the bigger picture. Why are we so ambivalent? Why are we here at all?”

No need to cry at the profundity — it’s only Folklaws guess at what might have went through the head — at audible volume — of Secret Life of Us protagonist Evan Wilde upon noticing the Victoria Law Foundation launch its latest book at 14 Acland Street, St Kilda — his cherished pad.

As followers of the hit Channel Ten Aussie drama would be well aware, Evan is an author and a purveyor of fine sentences. We therefore reckon he would’ve been mighty chuffed by the addition of another chapter, entitled ‘The Complete Guide To The Law and Managing Bodies Corporate’, to great literature’s hallowed tome at his very place of inspiration. What greater recognition could a struggling writer ask for?

And to make things that much better for Evan, who is known to go through the odd financial crisis while admirably finding the ways and means to get hammered every night, last week’s little shindig provided morning tea at no charge whatsoever.

Reality check

An embarrassing gaff for South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson, who recently allowed himself to be outsmarted by the vacuous types associated with reality TV.

Perhaps he was keen to go on the attack after being returned to the front bench following a police enquiry, but it appears Atkinson well and truly jumped the gun when he sent out a warning to the public about applying for a new program of drivel.

Wearing his hat as SA Minister for Consumer Affairs, Atkinson dumped heavily on promoters, who sought hundreds of people to appear on the show, said to be set on an exotic island. Would-be contestants were asked to register their interest via an expensive 1900 hotline, despite no Australian Business Number (ABN) of the company behind the concept being provided.

Smelling thousands of voting damsels in distress, Atkinson arrived to save the day on his winged chariot of fairness and truth by proclaiming: “This appears to be a scam. The company is promoting the television opportunity in a dodgy manner and its story just doesn’t add up.”

But before our white knight could even begin basking in the glory of another heroic deed, he was quickly penning a follow up message to the vulnerable public. Unfortunately, there was no mention of these swindlers being brought to justice therein. Instead, Atkinson — famous for riding his bike to work each day — was forced to engage in a bit of political back peddling upon being told the promoters were the real deal.

He now wishes them well, but still refuses to remove the cape on the issue of 1900 call costs.

“A test call to one of the three 1900 numbers took between four and five minutes to gather all information, costing more than $16.00,” the press release screeched.

Good to see taxpayer’s money being invested so wisely to save the face of bumbling politicians.

NSW Women Lawyers white anted?

To the untrained eye, last week’s election of the new executive for NSW Women Lawyers went absolutely swimmingly — as always.

But word has it there was a fair bit of narkiness behind the scenes. Reliable sources tell us one of the candidates for the 2004 presidency was the victim of a smear campaign.

No details yet, but we’ll keep you posted as and when further information comes to hand.

Banking on infamy
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