As reported by The New Lawyer last month, barrister Jennifer Davies was appointed to the Court thanks to her experience on a number of high profile commercial, administrative and taxation law cases.
In a speech at Davies’ formal appointment ceremony last week, president-elect of The Law Institute of Victoria, Steven Stevens, gave the former Paveys, now Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and Deacons lawyer a detailed rundown of her “eccentricities” and work ethic.
Ranging from her outstanding results in HSC Latin, to her care to eliminate the bolding of quotations in submissions, Stevens’ speech left few stones unturned and offered anecdotes as backup.
“Solicitors who have worked closely with Your Honour know to purge all Latin expressions from any submission to Your Honour,” he said.
And the new judge’s choice of car was analysed: “For years, Your Honour’s car of choice was a 4-wheel drive Subaru… Imagine the surprise when, last year, you bought a red, Alpha Romeo Brera … A car for connoisseurs and cognoscienti. The Brera stirs emotions of unadulterated pleasure.”
One informant had told Stevens about “the call shortly before court for copies of ‘just a few extra cases … oh, and we’ll need 15 copies of each”. Another remembers “the telephone call at about 6.30 in the evening – ‘I’m sorry to trouble you this late, but I seem to have left all my papers in court, and I really need to work on them tonight’”. Stevens noted that getting access to a courtroom in the evening is a minor miracle.
The judge was “a pleasure to work with”, an example of “talented-hard-workers-producing-high-quality-work”, and was remembered for “laughing at your instructor’s jokes”, Stevens said.
The speech, for the most part a warm, flattering and endearing one, can be viewed in full here.