Miscellaneous legal snippets

By Legal Eagle

Snippet No. 1

Following on from last week’s post about the new regime in Fiji, the New Zealand Law Society has said that lawyers who accept judicial office in Fiji after the latest coup are accepting an unlawful position.

Snippet No. 2

The High Court of Australia is hearing a case which centres around an incident of “teabagging“. Seriously. I would never have thought the High Court would have to familiarise themselves with that term.

Snippet No. 3

Rolah McCabe’s case against British American Tobacco continues, even though Ms McCabe died of lung cancer contracted as a result of her smoking habit in 2002. Byrne J recently granted leave to Ms McCabe’s daughter to replead her defences against BAT’s claims. The case is a fascinating one, as the original trial of the matter (heard by Eames J) hinged around the finding that BAT had deliberately destroyed documents so that it did not have to produce them at trial. In making that finding, Eames J relied on legal advice and policies followed by BAT. Ordinarily, legal advice is subject to legal professional privilege, but Eames J ruled that this was waived in the circumstances. However, this finding was later overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, BAT’s then-solicitors, Clayton Utz, conducted an internal review of the conduct of the partners who had carriage of the matter, and concluded that the partners had engaged in professional misconduct and potentially committed perjury. The partners left the firm shortly thereafter. Another former partner from Clayton Utz leaked the conclusion of the review to the media and to the lawyers then representing Ms McCabe’s estate. The contents of the review gave further credence that Eames J’s finding that there was a deliberate policy of destroying documents.

Accordingly, the matter is still proceeding. I saw Ms McCabe in the corridors of the Victorian Supreme Court when the original trial was being heard. At that time, I was not aware of her identity, but I saw her in the corridor, looking very unwell and distressed. Of course, in the subsequent publicity following Eames J’s judgment, I realised who she was. It’s this kind of thing which makes me hope that there is a heaven, and that Ms McCabe is looking down on all this, smiling at the way things are turning out.


  1. Posted April 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I just want to say that this is an awesome blog. I’ve been following it ever since I stumbled on it while doing some research for a university assignment.

    I also find it quite astonishing that a case concerning ‘teabagging’ could get to the apex of our judicial system.

  2. Posey
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Re snippet two. Is there a name perchance for the act of placing male genitals on a woman’s lap whilst sitting next to her on a tram? Or how about the placing of male genitals against a woman’s elbow by a man in the seat behind a woman sitting in a cinema?

  3. Posted April 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    trambagging. not sure about the second though, Posey!

  4. Posted April 24, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Trambagging – excellent!

    Number two could be nobnudging. To which the only appropriate response would be prickpunching!

  5. Posted April 24, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    “Pre-op Eunuch”

  6. Posted April 25, 2009 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Hi the team at skepticlawyer. I have added you to my blog-roll at amaccas.blogspot.com. Is that fine with you guys? If not, I will take it down. Thanks.

    Kind regards,

  7. ceecee
    Posted April 25, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear – I play “teabags” with my one-year old at the pool, where I dip her in and out of the water and we sing “teabags, teabags”.

    I might need to find another name for the game – suggestions?

  8. Posted April 26, 2009 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Alka-seltzer, plink plink fizzz?

  9. Posey
    Posted April 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    LE, the Melbourne tram bloke did get nabbed. He followed me when I got off the tram and was arrested waiting for me outside a shop I’d sought refuge in after I’d asked the staff to call the police.. I thought at the time the charge would’ve been indecent exposure, but you’re right, it should’ve and may well have been sexual assault. I made a statement and went to the court for the hearing, but I don’t remember the details except that his girlfriend said she’d pay the fine.

    I sort of gave up for a long time responding to or even thinking of reporting all the exhibitionists, gropers and peeping toms that I’ve encountered on a regular basis. In the end I thought of these things as being fairly normal everyday hazards for young women, which they are of course.

  10. Posey
    Posted April 27, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    ‘Course it could’ve been mere coincidence that I was present when very young boys came racing up behind me on their bikes with their shorts pulled down wagging their dicks; that some poor fool fell out of the reeds minus his trousers when I sailed past on my bike in a public park; that a male pedestrian on the other side of a four lane highway pulled down his trousers and yelled at me to look; or that a bloke “built like a brick shithouse” according to the couth upstairs neighbours lurked outside my Glebe flat bedroom window at night for weeks.

    All this in just one month! Could’ve been a coincidence.

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