Proctor : July 2018
35 PROCTOR | July 2018 4-5 September | 10 CPD Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Stay up to date with the latest developments in property law, keep your skills sharpened, and connect with industry experts. Access earlybird rate until 7 August. PROPERTY LAW CONFERENCE Gold sponsor Register now qls.com.au/propertypr Early career lawyers will find themselves facing self-represented litigants sooner rather than later. Lidia Vicca advises on the guidance available and suggests how it can make a difference for you and your client when you encounter a self-represented litigant. Notes 1 ss308, 315 Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld). 2 Queensland Law Society, ‘Self-represented Litigants: Guidelines for solicitors’, November 2017, page 5; Queensland Law Society Ethics Centre, ‘Guidance Statement No.9 – Dealing with Self-represented Litigants’, 11 December 2017, paragraph 4.2. 3 Queensland Law Society, ‘Self-represented Litigants: Guidelines for solicitors’, November 2017, page 6. 4 Practice Direction Number 10 of 2014, ‘Supervised Case List involving Self Represented Parties: Civil Jurisdiction Brisbane’, Supreme Court of Queensland, paragraph 3.1. 5 Queensland Law Society, ‘Self-represented Litigants: Guidelines for solicitors’, November 2017, page 9. This article appears courtesy of the Queensland Law Society Early Career Lawyers Committee Proctor Working Group, chaired by Frances Stewart (Frances.Stewart@hyneslegal.com.au) and Adam Moschella (firstname.lastname@example.org). Lidia Vicca is a senior commercial litigation lawyer at Clayton Utz. The QLS guidelines advise that settlement negotiations can be hindered when a SRL party may misunderstand the settlement process and why offers are being made.5 The QLS guidelines recommend that you should clearly explain to the SRL what you are doing when making offers of settlement and the reasons why a settlement offer is being made. Ensure that terms of the offer are clearly outlined and in particular the obligations on the SRL should a settlement be reached. A SRL may take a settlement offer as an admission of liability and likely success, which is incorrect. This is also an appropriate time to recommend that the SRL seek independent legal advice as to the settlement. This may assist should any disputes on the interpretation of the deed arise in the future. Early career lawyers These tips are just a few ways to navigate matters when opposing SRLs. It is important to consult with more experienced practitioners and get their guidance on specific situations. However, by putting your best foot forward you will be in a position to efficiently resolve your clients’ disputes and display your proactive skills when opposing SRLs.