Information for lawyers

Affidavit evidence in family law matters – recording now available

Couldn’t make it to our 6 June training session on effectively getting evidence before the family courts?

A recording of the session presented by Barrister Laura Johnston – ‘Affidavit evidence in family law matters: the law and practical tips and tricks’ – is now available to panel and community legal centre lawyers for viewing on Vimeo.  

Expansion of matters in which summary crime youth certifiers can act

To ensure that ongoing high-quality representation for our clients can continue owing to the changes brought about by the Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform) Act 2017, Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has expanded the range of offences in which Youth Crime Subset certifiers of the S29A Summary Crime Panel can act in the higher courts.

The changes

Youth Crime subset certifiers of VLA’s S29A Summary Crime Panel can now act in the following matters in the higher Courts:

Fee and guidelines changes for Youth Crime lawyers

On June 1, the Children and Justice Legislation Amendment (Youth Justice Reform) Act 2017, will begin operating. These and other changes to the Youth Justice system mean that new types of hearings will be required for clients. We are changing our guidelines and fee tables to ensure that our clients are provided with high-quality representation at these new hearings by their existing lawyer  – whether by our in-house practice or private practitioners on our panel firms.

Child Protection's first quality audit – a solid result

During 2017 we conducted our first child protection panel practitioner quality audit. The overall majority of panel members passed the audit and did not require further support to meet the practice standards.

The Quality Audit team noted a generally high standard of quality service amongst practitioners audited across metropolitan Melbourne.

Key facts and findings include:

Claiming your costs

Invoicing at every billable event or stage of a matter is not only a requirement, but can save you time and effort. We often come across files where costs have not been claimed in a reasonable period. This can cause delays in assessing extensions, delays in your firm receiving payment and barristers chasing you for outstanding costs. Shelving the task of claims for costs until a matter is finalised can also result in you missing events for which you ordinarily are entitled to claim.

Increase in funding for civil law matters

On 2 April 2018 our civil law guidelines are changing to assist more Victorians facing significant legal issues. In particular, we will be able to assist more people with mental illnesses who are facing compulsory medical treatment and detention in psychiatric wards, more people who have a disability and are subject to a guardianship or administration order and more people facing eviction into homelessness. 

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