Updated: Dec 22, 2020
The Courts have announced the expansion and continuation of the COVID-19 list. The reasons cited in this latest media release for entering the COVID list include the suspension of time due to a family violence order obtained during the pandemic, that is rather than the alleged victim bringing the matter before the court due to a claim of increased family violence the alleged perpetrator could bring the matter before the court due to a reduction in time. No doubt this is in response to the delays or other issues with criminal hearings in many local courts. COVID-19 related employment (of a parent) is mentioned. Interestingly disputes about vaccinations for COVID are also specifically mentioned in this latest media release. It is not plain whether a joint practice direction is going to follow, though obviously a solicitor could argue that these points all fall under the criteria raised in Joint Practice Direction 3.
After the federal budget this year the Court noted that there would be additional funding for the COVID-19 list through to 30 June 2022. In this recent Media Release it is noted that "the Courts have received more than 430 applications for the COVID-19 list. The overarching majority of these applications have been accepted and heard by a Judge or Registrar within three business days of being assessed."
The information on the Court website regarding the COVID-19 list includes -
Joint Practice Direction 3 of 2020- The COVID 19 List
Joint Practice Direction 2 of 2020 - Special Measures
Form of Affidavit
Template cover letter
Credit card payment form (for the filing fee)
This latest media release (and it's expanded list of reasons)
There is a COVID judgments list, but the only case on the COVID judgments list relates to a matter where there was a failure to provide the required notice (or lead sufficient evidence of the required notice being given). It does then go on to discuss the rules in relation to contravention generally and whether a concern about cross border travel and specifically aeroplane travel was a reasonable excuse in this case. In this case it was found that the mother did have a legitimate concern for the child's health. Due to the way the case unfolded it probably doesn't provide great guidance to a dispute where there is a legitimate concern for the child's health but there is no aeroplane travel or failure to give written notice involved.
For now it seems that the COVID list is here to stay, potentially for another 18 months, and practitioners will need to familiarise themselves with the requirements of that list.
Making a change in 2021?
Are you thinking about making a change in 2021? We are running an event on Thursday 21 January 2021 titled "Starting a new legal practice" where we will cover a number of practical considerations for launching a firm. You can find out more about the event here.
It is aimed at people who are looking to launch their own firm or have done so in the last year. If, however, one or two of the topics are of interest to you and you want to be sent the video recording and papers for those topics then you can sign up for a product demonstration with Shannel Fanous prior to 21 January 2021 to get those two topics for free. If you are interested in a demo with Shannel you can book that in here.
Which marketing channel should I use?
One of our topics will be a panel discussion on marketing, lead by three speakers who will cover off Facebook, Instagram and SEO or content marketing. They will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of their approaches to help you to decide what avenue to pursue in 2021, and there will be time for questions. If you are doing your own marketing you cannot do all the channels, you need to choose one and do it well, so which one should you choose?
One of the panelists will be Kristal Naividi from Coastal Lawyers, she started with getting some outside help for SEO and the like but now she is doing it herself. She has decided to focus on Instagram. She has over 2,500 followers and you should follow her @coastllawyers if for no other reason than it is a fun page for your feed.
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