14 February 2018

Pragmatic Insights from the Australian Judiciary: Presenting The College of Law’s Judges’ Series

Published on 14 February 2018

The Judges’ Series: 5 evenings, 10 senior judges, 100s of insights

Once again The College of Law is bringing its unique Judges’ Series to the Banco Court of the NSW Supreme Court.

There are few such opportunities to learn firsthand from the senior judiciary about the ins and outs of court practice. Judges generously give their time to inform and educate lawyers about the finer points of practice across five different areas. The series is therefore an invaluable experience for new lawyers in particular.

In 2018, The College of Law will be once again delivering its popular Judges’ Series. Held in the Banco Court of the NSW Supreme Court, the Judges’ Series is an opportunity for lawyers to learn from current Supreme Court and Federal Court judges on a range of legal issues regarding litigation, evidence, court etiquette and case management. The Judges’ Series will run over five evenings in February and March.

Lawyer-client privilege

Commencing on Wednesday 21st February, the first session examines lawyer-client privilege in litigation, specifically addressing the nature of this substantive right and circumstances in which it may be waived or excluded. From a technical perspective, this session will detail the procedure involved when disputing a claim of privilege in court, and how evidence regarding a disputed claim of privilege is decided. Leading the session are The Hon. James William John Stevenson of the Supreme Court of NSW and The Hon. Justice Lindsay Graeme Foster of the Federal Court of Australia.

Pleadings and case management

The second session considers pleadings and case management. Given that pleadings serve as the foundation of a case at trial, understanding how to draft effective pleadings according to relevant rules, conventions and best practice is essential. With the scope of pre-trial judicial intervention in the management of litigation broadened, this session details how developments in case management may impact and improve the outcomes of a case. This session is led by The Hon. Justice Geoff Lindsay of the Supreme Court of NSW and The Hon. Justice Michael Bryan Joshua Lee of the Federal Court of Australia.

Affidavit evidence

Affidavit evidence is the subject of the third session. Providing practical insights on the effective drafting and use of affidavit evidence, this session also notes instances which may cause material to be struck out. Led by The Hon. Justice Kathryn Ward, Chief Judge in Equity of the Supreme Court of NSW and the Hon. Justice Alan Robertson of the Federal Court of Australia, this session is valuable for lawyers looking to sharpen their understanding of affidavit evidence.

Court etiquette, professional ethics and witness preparation

Court conduct bears quite distinct and formal requirements. In the fourth session, court etiquette, professional ethics and witness preparation at examined in depth. To fulfil their duties of acting with competence, candour and diligence, lawyers must be well aware of how to ethically prepare a witness to give evidence, and what unethical coaching involves. This session is led by The Hon. Justice Francois Kunc of the NSW Supreme Court and The Hon. Justice John Edward Griffiths of the Federal Court of Australia.

Subpoenas, discovery and interrogatories

The final session of the Judges’ Series considers the role of subpoenas, discovery and interrogatories. Pragmatic guidance from the Bench is provided regarding what lawyers are required to reveal to their opponents before hearing, and what disclosure opponents can compel.

What can you expect when you attend?

As all sessions will be hosted in Banco Court of the NSW Supreme Court, formal court etiquette applies. Upon entry to the court, attendees should bow their heads if the judge is present. Mobile phones should be switched off or on silent, and formal office wear is encouraged.

Each session is worth 1.5 CPD units, or 7.5 units over 5 sessions. The College of Law’s Judges’ Series remains an unrivalled opportunity to gain detailed, practical insights from experienced and esteemed members of the Australian judiciary.

If you are interested in attending the College of Law’s Judges’ Series, here is more information and registration details.