Terminating a domestic building contract

Entering into a domestic building work contract is like getting married – if both parties do not act in good faith the ensuing divorce can be very messy.  While Part 5 of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Act) establishes a statutory insurance scheme, the purpose of which is in certain situations to provide assistance to consumers of domestic building work, earlier articles by Dundas Lawyers have illustrated the pitfalls associated with trying to get out of a domestic building work marriage. [Read more…]

Claiming delay due to COVID-19? Think again.

In the current pandemic parties to legal proceedings may be tempted to apply for an adjournment or further time, citing COVID-19 as the reason for the delay.  Certainly the Federal Court of Australia has been quick to respond to the pandemic by changing its procedures and has even conducted entire trials using Microsoft Teams.  This article discusses the circumstances where COVID-19 has been used as justification for a delay in proceeding and the Court’s view on granting stays for this reason. [Read more…]

Evidence from the Wayback Machine

The utility of evidence relating to the existence of websites on the internet and their contents sourced from the Wayback Machine is increasingly being considered by Australian Courts.   The question is whether or not the Courts will accept reports from the Wayback Machine in practice and if so what will they allow? [Read more…]

Particulars – their importance in civil litigation

In civil litigation, the term ‘particulars’ is frequently used.  The term particulars stems from the ordinary meaning of the noun, ‘particular,’ that being, ‘a detail’.  Despite this rather simple meaning, what exactly a particular is seems to be a subject of some confusion even amongst the legal profession.  This confusion is likely caused by the blurred line between pleaded facts and particulars. [Read more…]

Standing down employees – when can it be done?

Standing down employees without pay would seem a logical response to the current COVID-19 crisis.  Employers must first recognise that during the COVID-19 public health pandemic normal workplace laws continue to apply. [Read more…]

Insolvent trading – prison for former Kleenmaid director

Founded in 1980, whitegoods importer and distributor Kleenmaid (Company) fell into administration in 2009 with debts amounting to approximately $96 million, including $26 million in customer deposits that had been paid for appliances yet to be delivered.  After an extensive investigation and 59-day trial by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), founder and former director Mr. Andrew Young (Mr. Young) was sentenced to nine years in jail for offences arising from the Company’s collapse. [Read more…]

What happens if you betray a Scotsman?

Fans of the movie 1995 movie “Braveheart” starring Mel Gibson would be aware of the savage brutality of the ‘Guardian of the Realm’, Sir William Wallace in seeking vengeance from his oppressors and those who ‘broke their promise‘ to support him in battle. [Read more…]

Copyright, code libraries and ownership

In Australia, copyright automatically vests in certain types of literary works, including computer programs and artistic works, upon their creation.  The general rule is that the owner of copyright in a literary or artistic work is the author of that work.[1]  An exception to this rule arises if the work is made by an employee pursuant to the terms of their employment.  In this case, the employer owns the copyright subsisting in the employee-generated work.  However, the distinction of whether an employee has created the work pursuant to the terms of employment, is not always clear.  This issue was considered in the case of Redrock Holdings Pty Ltd and Hotline Communications Ltd v Hinkley [2001] VSC 91 (Redrock). [Read more…]

Compilations from the public domain – confidential or not?

In the case of Ezystay Systems Pty Ltd v Link 2 Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 180 (Ezystay) it was held that the plaintiff’s business manuals were confidential despite having been compiled from the documents in “public domain”.  On Appeal, the Court had to re-visit the test for confidential information to determine whether or not the respondents’ software, business manuals and other documents collated from the public domain were in fact capable of being protected as confidential information.

[Read more…]

Shareholder oppression – valuation issues

Shareholder oppression or minority shareholder oppression can occur when the majority (shareholder(s)) in an entity misuse their majority to oppress or control the minority shareholders.  There are is not a limited number or combination of activities which the majority may engage in to oppress the minority, sometimes referred to as “sharp practice” or “board room tactics”, the possibilities are almost infinite. [Read more…]

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