News and resources

Search news articles
Sending an innocent emoji in a text message could land you in court, because the law could see it as a threat or an acceptance of a contract.
30 Nov 2023

How an emoji can land you in court

We often add an emoji to our emails and text messages to bring a bit of levity to otherwise dull communications, but beware – icons such as the thumbs up, smiley face or gun could land you in trouble with the law. Legal impact of using emojis An emoji is an image used in texting […]
Read the full story
misfeasance, tort, public office, public official, robodebt, Royal Commission, Criminal Code Act, criminal charges, civil charges, malice, harm
28 Nov 2023

Misfeasance in public office and the robodebt debacle

What is misfeasance in public office? The tort of misfeasance – it sounds like an evil spell in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, and in a way it’s similar. Misfeasance is a legal term relating to the abuse of power by a person holding public office. Misfeasance and the robodebt scandal The term […]
Read the full story
deepfake, AI, artificial intelligence, bullying, misinformation, disinformation, image-based abuse, fake news, privacy, cybersecurity, data protection, child protection, defamation, e-safety, online
24 Nov 2023

AI-generated deepfake images create bullying danger

Concerns with the use of artificial intelligence on the internet are growing, due to its potential to design powerful toxins, control robo-missiles, perpetuate online scams, spread misinformation and lies, and create AI-generated deepfake imagery and porn. Children exploiting deepfake imagery for bullying Australia’s online safety regulator reports AI-generated sexually explicit imagery and deepfake porn are […]
Read the full story
injuries power line, electricity company, farmer, truck driver, power line, claim, injuries, risk, obvious risk, reasonable care, contributory negligence, negligence
24 Nov 2023

The electricity company, the farmer, the truck driver and the power line – which case won?

A farm owner retained a truck driver to collect sheep in Queensland and drive them to a far north western New South Wales property of about 60,000 acres that he owned. The truck driver was a self-employed independent contractor.

When the truck driver arrived at the property, he got out of his prime mover and spoke to an employee of the farmer about where to unload the sheep. The employee had the farmer’s authority to direct the truck driver where the sheep were to be unloaded.

Read the full story
outsourcing, employer, employee, ground crew, Qantas, sacked, dismissed, industrial action, enterprise bargaining, Fair Work Act, penalty, restructure, workforce
23 Nov 2023

Qantas acted illegally in sacking 1700 ground crew and outsourcing their jobs

The recent unanimous High Court ruling declaring Qantas’s actions illegal in sacking nearly 1700 workers and outsourcing their roles is very significant, although possibly not for the reasons most people might think. Outsourcing as a strategy to avoid industrial action The judgment does not mean employers cannot reduce the size of their workforce by outsourcing […]
Read the full story
grievous bodily harm, cut off, finger, hedge, clippers, guilty, not guilty, forensic, police, neighbours, confrontation, police station, victim, defendant, ERISP, handcuffed, electronic interview, transcript, blood, spatter, pruning
14 Nov 2023

Man cuts off neighbour’s finger with hedge clippers – was he guilty of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm? Which case won?

On a balmy afternoon on new year’s eve, in one of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs, well away from the anticipated rowdiness of the city, down a very long concrete driveway that leads to his battle-axe block home, an elderly man is clipping the shrubbery that divides the driveway from the home that fronts the street.

Inside that home, an equally elderly couple are going about dinner preparations in different areas of the house, having had a couple of glasses of wine as they recalled significant events of the passing year. Upstairs, with a view of the driveway and hedge, is an adult son, just about to start a computer game.

A few minutes later the woman in the house has lost a finger and police are called en masse to the address.

Read the full story
return to the office, office, work from home, WFH, employer, company, employee, worker, productivity, employment, contract, disciplinary action, dismissal, workplace, flexible work, Fair Work Act
31 Oct 2023

Can the boss force you to return to the office?

While Covid lockdowns are a thing of the past, many Australians have subsequently opted to not return to the office. The latest statistics show that on average, city workers spend one third of their work week at home, with many working from home full-time. Companies introduce mandatory office days This leaves offices largely deserted, but […]
Read the full story
31 Oct 2023

“He’s a violent man and I don’t want him to know my home address.” Which case won?

A woman died in July 2022, aged 95 years. She left behind three sons and a will which divided her estate equally between them. Two of the sons were named as executors of the estate. 

In December 2022, the court granted probate of the woman’s will to the two executor brothers.  

As is customary, the front sheet of the probate document named the two executors and stated the complete residential address of each of them.

Read the full story
registered design, intellectual property, IP, IP theft, infringement, fencing, panel, manufacturer, steel, GramLine, BlueScope, Gram Engineering, infill, good side, bad side, original, novel, prior art, fraudulent, imitation, copy
20 Oct 2023

Fencing manufacturer sues rival for infringing its registered design – Which case won?

A case heard in the Federal Court in 2013 concerned a registered design belonging to a manufacturer of steel fencing panel sheets used in backyard fencing.

The manufacturer, Gram Engineering, had ridden the boom in home swimming pool construction and the do-it-yourself backyard improvement wave by developing a product that was superior to other types of steel fencing on the market at that time.

The GramLine fencing sheets had a sawtooth or zig-zag profile with six pans or modules per sheet. The particular advantage of GramLine fencing sheets was that they looked the same from both sides, so there was no “good side” or “bad side”, as was the case with existing products on the market.

Read the full story
bank of mum and dad, BOMAD, bank of dad, loan, gift, family loan, financial support, property, mortgage, cost of living, Centrelink, age pension, guarantor, borrowing capacity, credit score, security, documented, divorce, Deed, verbal agreement
19 Oct 2023

Trouble at the bank of mum and dad – the horror story edition on family loans

Unaffordable housing leads to reliance on bank of mum and dad As Australia continues to rank among the least affordable markets for housing globally, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people and other aspiring first-home owners to buy a property. Consequently, the “bank of mum and dad” is as popular as ever. However, there […]
Read the full story
nuclear waste, nuclear waste dump, traditional owner, Barngarla, Kimba, South Australia, Lucas Heights, ballot, Federal Court, waste dump, consult, consultation, storage, radioactive, enriched waste, submarine, AUKUS
11 Oct 2023

Court rejects nuclear waste dump after challenge by traditional owners

Coalition government claimed dump site had support of local community When the previous coalition government announced a national nuclear waste dump would be built on a 211-hectare farm near Kimba in South Australia, it proclaimed it had the support of local people. The dump would take low-level radioactive medical waste and temporarily store intermediate-level nuclear […]
Read the full story
spinal injury, back injury, severe, ongoing, pain, disability, airline, liable, liability, damages, hot tea, accident, passenger, flight attendant
06 Oct 2023

Can spilling hot tea on a plane cause a spinal injury? Which case won?

A case heard in the NSW Supreme Court in 2015 concerned a Sydney woman who suffered a mishap in 2012 during a flight to Europe. A flight attendant accidentally spilt hot tea on the passenger, causing her to jump up and twist sharply, sustaining a spinal injury.

The passenger sued the airline for damages, claiming that the incident caused her to sustain a severe back injury, requiring surgery for disc protrusion in her lower spine and leaving her with significant ongoing pain and disability.

Read the full story
attempted murder, murder, manslaughter, misadventure, accident, death, accidental, defendant, victim, gun, struggle, shot, bullet, police, evidence, prosecution, defence, reasonable doubt, pathologist, forensic
22 Sep 2023

Is it attempted murder if the victim is already dead? Which case won?

In 2015, a very unusual murder trial was heard in the Victorian Supreme Court. The events unfolded when two men got into a fight and struggled over a gun. The gun went off and one of the men was shot in the head. The survivor claimed that that shot was fired by accident.

The victim collapsed on the floor and the surviving man saw the body twitch and jerk. The record of the police interview with the surviving man sets out what happened next.

Q: All right. And what happened after that?
A: Well, I couldn’t – I didn’t know what to do so – yeah, I didn’t want the bloke suffering so I shot him again, yeah, ’cause he wasn’t dead. Yeah.
Q: And so what happened then?
A: I don’t know. I went and looked at his room and found some more bullets, and I shot him again, yeah, to stop him from suffering.
Q: Yeah. So when you shot him that second time you said that that was so that he wouldn’t suffer.
A: ’Cause I wasn’t sure if he was alive or dead.

Read the full story
identity theft, ID theft, stolen identity, damages, trademark, infringement, cybersquatting, PayPal, Adidas, NBA, Medibank, password, hacking, debtor, jurisdiction, enforce, seizure, counterfeit
22 Sep 2023

Australian victim of identity theft receives US$1.2 million damages bill from US court

An Australian woman who was a victim of identity theft was shocked when she received a legal notice from the United States ordering her to pay Adidas and the US National Basketball Association a total of US$1.2 million in damages. Identify theft victim told to pay US$1.2m in damages Without her being present or even […]
Read the full story
Aboriginal fishing, traditional fishing, cultural fishing, indigenous fishing, fisher, Fisheries Management Act, Native Title Act, fishery, Aboriginal, Indigenous, ATSI, ecosystem, environment, catch, bag limit, catch limit, prosecution, abalone, permit, permit system, hunting, gathering, ocean
12 Sep 2023

Traditional Aboriginal fishing in NSW: end to prosecutions long overdue

Indigenous people in New South Wales continue to be targeted and prosecuted under the Fisheries Management Act for participating in traditional Aboriginal fishing practices, leading to disconnection from Country, loss of intergenerational knowledge and adverse health outcomes. Indigenous environmental management practices and cultural traditions Indigenous Australians have managed their lands and waters for millennia, ensuring […]
Read the full story
bail, police bail, police, NSW, court, arrest, accused, Bail Act, unacceptable risk, witness, offence, prosecution, bail conditions, innocent, guilty
07 Sep 2023

Who is entitled to get bail?

It used to be that everyone had the right to bail, based on the legal assumption that people are entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty. But over the years the general presumption in favour of bail has been tightened. It can now be refused if the person is arrested for a serious crime, […]
Read the full story
stormwater pipe, flood, property, buyer, seller, council, inundated, drainage, easement, pipeline, compulsorily, compulsory, restriction, development, collapsed pipe, damage, pump, flooding, encumbrance
05 Sep 2023

“The council should have told me about the stormwater pipe that floods my property before I bought it.” Which case won?

A Sydney property was bought in 1989. The buyer was unaware of a stormwater pipe that ran under the property.

The pipe was owned by the local council and had been in existence since about 1904. It had significantly deteriorated over time and had become blocked.

During heavy rainfall, the pipe was no longer effective to drain stormwater from the street. The backed-up water would pool until it inundated the property.

Read the full story
ambush marketing, Rio, olympics, Olympic Games, misleading, deceptive, sponsor, Telstra, telco, advertisement, advertising, sponsorship, technology, AOC, Australian Olympic Committee, Channel 7
25 Aug 2023

Was it misleading and deceptive conduct, or simply ambush marketing? Which case won?

Ambush marketing is the practice by which a company attempts to associate its products or services with an event without paying to become an official sponsor of that event. Businesses sometimes do this as a way to get more customers while at the same time saving money on the cost of sponsorship.

This happened in 2016 when telco giant Telstra decided to associate itself with the Rio Olympic Games, presumably for the obvious marketing benefits of being linked to a universally popular and widely televised sporting event. Another factor in Telstra’s decision to take this course of action could have been that its arch-rival, Optus, was an official sponsor of the Olympic Games.

Read the full story

Fill out this form and one of our local law professionals will be in contact

By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy policy