Litigation and disputes

Categories of discovery – Federal Court

On 1 August 2011 the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) adopted the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) (Rules) and its revised regime for discovery.  The Federal Court does not require parties to provide disclosure as a matter of course.  Instead, if a party wishes to receive documents from another party (or a third party), they must seek the Court’s permission.  This process in the Federal Court of Australia is known as discovery.  The Rules are to be read in conjunction with the relevant Federal Court practice notes, particularly Central Practice Note: National Court Framework and Case Management (CPN-1) and Intellectual Property Practice Note (IP-1).  In this article, we consider the process of seeking discovery of documents by categories in a matter before the Federal Court. [Read more…]

When to complain about defective domestic building work

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Qld) (Act) provides key requirements and time limitations for dealing with or rectifying defective domestic building work.  The recent decision of MacFarlane v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2019] QCAT 408 (MacFarlane) illustrates the impact of failing to comply with the time frames as they apply to defective building work. [Read more…]

Directions to rectify defective domestic building work

Under the Queensland Building and Construction Commission Act 1991 (Act) the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) is empowered to issue to a builder a notice to rectify defective domestic building work.  If a notice is issued to a builder to rectify defective domestic building work, that event is listed on the builder’s licence history.  If the builder fails to comply with the notice, the QBCC may take disciplinary action against the builder and the home owner may be able to make a claim upon the QBCC Home Warranty Insurance scheme. [Read more…]

s115A Copyright Act – infringement outside Australia

Section 115A of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) came into effect on 27 June 2015 and was amended on 11 December 2018 pursuant to the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2018 (no. 157, 2018) (Online Infringement Act).  The effect of the amendments as described in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill were to amend the threshold test from ‘primary purpose’ to ‘primary effect’, add a rebuttable presumption that an alleged ‘online location’ is located outside Australia, to extend the scope to online search engines (Deindexing Orders) and allow the Court to make “more responsive” orders in terms of injunctive relief. [Read more…]

Interpreting release clauses in settlement agreements

Using a settlement agreement to extinguish a legal claim is common practice among most lawyers involved in litigation. These agreements have the benefit of providing certainty to parties and avoiding the costs and risks associated with litigation.  However, the decision in IBM Australia Ltd v State of Queensland [2015] QSC 342 (IBM v Queensland) is a reminder that lawyers need to exercise caution when drafting settlement agreements, and in particular compromise terms such as release clauses. [Read more…]

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…]

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