Draft Supervisors Handbook by HC120210171043

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									          Flinders Law School


 LLAW 4211 – LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
               (PLACEMENT)




HANDBOOK FOR SUPERVISORS
Legal Education at Flinders
The course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice is designed
with the intention that students will obtain:
   (a) knowledge, understanding and the capacity to critically appreciate and
       evaluate Australian law and the Australian legal system, taking into account
       historical development and societal imperatives;
   (b) facility in a range of basic legal and generic skills that assist in the translation
       of legal rights into effective outcomes; and
   (c) competence in applied legal skills essential to the ethical and professional
       conduct of legal practice, broadly construed.
Particular skills emphasised include:
     legal research techniques;
     legal reasoning, especially case analysis, statutory interpretation and an
       appreciation of how facts are established and their relevance determined;
     critical evaluation of legal rules and policy issues;
     presentation of arguments, both orally and in writing;
     interpersonal communication, for instance, in the contexts of interviewing
       clients or conducting negotiations; and
     use of plain and understandable English in legal drafting and other forms of
       writing.
The overarching aim is to have graduates properly prepared to enter upon the practice
of law in Australia.
Graduate Qualities
In keeping with the ethos of its Charter and Goals, the Law School strives to produce
graduates who:
     are knowledgeable;
     can apply their knowledge;
     communicate effectively;
     can work independently;
     are collaborative;
     value ethical behaviour; and
     connect across boundaries.

The Placement – A Capstone Experience
The Legal Office Placement plays an important role in the development of the desired
graduate qualities. It gives Flinders law students an opportunity to bring together the
academic work and skills experiences they have encountered throughout their degree
and to reflect on what they have learnt and the importance of continuing to learn.
Flinders Law School is grateful to all legal offices and placement supervisors who
make this experience available to our students.




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Work Integrated Learning at Flinders
Flinders University is committed to providing a student-centred, innovative,
supportive and high quality learning experience, and views the opportunity to take
part in some form of work-related experience as an essential form of learning.
Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is the term normally used to describe directed or
supported educational activities that integrate theoretical learning on campus with its
application in the workplace. Work-Integrated learning that is intentional, organized,
recognized and accredited by the University can provide powerful learning
experiences for students and staff. WIL provides opportunity for students to
demonstrate graduate qualities.
A Work Integrated Learning policy was approved by the Academic Senate on 08
September 2010 and this Supervisor’s Handbook and the associated Conditions of
Placement (below) incorporated in the placement approval forms have been
developed in accordance with that policy.


Flinders Law School Conditions of Placement
The Host Organisation (Legal Office) must:
1. Placement
    have the capacity to provide a legal office placement as described in the
      Flinders University Placement Supervisor’s Handbook;

2. Supervision
    provide appropriate supervision as described in the Flinders University
      Placement Supervisor’s Handbook, including:
       nominating a qualified placement supervisor (the Nominated Placement
         Supervisor);
       not permitting a student to hold himself or herself out , or allow anyone
         else to hold him or her out as a solicitor;
       not permitting a student to provide legal advice or to draw a document
         except under the direct supervision of a legal practitioner who takes the
         ultimate responsibility for the student’s actions;

3. OHS
    provide students with a safe workplace, including:
    taking reasonable precautions in respect of the health safety and welfare of
      the students in a non-discriminatory and harassment free work environment;
    ensuring students are informed of relevant occupational health and safety
      requirements and procedures;
    contacting the nominated University staff member in the event of a student
      having an accident, sustaining an injury or being involved in a safety incident
      whilst on placement;
4. Insurance
    have adequate public liability insurance cover in relation to loss, damage or
      injury suffered by students and/or university staff as a result of acts or
      omissions by the host organisation, its employees or third parties.


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The Nominated Placement Supervisor must:
    hold a current practising certificate issued in an Australian State or Territory
      and have held one for a minimum of five years OR be a current member of the
      judiciary;
    provide appropriate legal office placement experiences for the student
      including enabling the student to complete required placement tasks;
    discuss with the student professional conduct, confidentiality and appropriate
      professional behaviour;
    provide reasonable supervision of the student during the placement including
      signing the placement participation verification weekly;
    complete the placement supervisor’s verification in the placement handbook;
    communicate with the University staff member in relation to any matters of
      concern within the placement.


The University must:

1. Placement
    provide advice to host organisations and students as to the requirements of the
      placement;
    provide advice to students as to student responsibilities in the workplace
      including expected standards of behaviour and performance;
    provide adequate support to students before, during and after placement;
    advise students as to provisions for suspension or withdrawal from placement;

2. Supervision
    provide the student and the host organisation with the contact details of staff
      members responsible for the co-ordination of the placement and university
      supervision of the student;
    in consultation with the nominated placement supervisor, provide appropriate
      supervision in relation to the student on placement;

3. OHS
    provide students with appropriate general OHS preparation before placement;

4. Insurance
    advise the student and the host organisation of the relevant provisions of the
      university’s insurance policy.




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The student must:

1. Placement
    sign a declaration as to his/her fitness to undertake the placement;
    communicate with the nominated placement supervisor and/or University staff
      member in relation to any matters of concern within the placement;

2. Supervision
    act in accordance with:
       the instructions of his or her placement supervisor
       the policies and procedures of the host organisation
       the principles of professional responsibility
    not hold himself or herself out , or allow anyone else to hold him or her out as
      a solicitor;
    not provide legal advice or to draw a document except under the direct
      supervision of a legal practitioner who takes the ultimate responsibility for his
      or her actions
    negotiate strategies to meet the required tasks as set out in the Student
      Placement Handbook
    ensure that the tasks and placement participation records are signed each week
      as required, and that final verification signatures are obtained form the
      nominated placement supervisor.

3. OHS
    participate in pre-placement training required by the university which includes
     general OHS training
    comply with any reasonable safety instructions , rules or procedures of the
     host organisation
    notify the host organisation and the university placement co-ordinator in the
     event of having an accident, sustaining an injury or being involved in a safety
     incident whilst on placement

4. Insurance
    be aware of and comply with the relevant provisions of the university’s
      insurance policy.




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Placement Overview
For a legal office placement to be accredited, it must occur:

1.     during the year in which the Flinders student is enrolled in LLAW4211 –
       Legal Practice Management (Placement);
2.     within a “legal office” (see below);
3.     under the supervision of a “Nominated Placement Supervisor” (see below)
4.     for a minimum of 225 hours;
5.     with the formal approval of the Law Society of South Australia’s Education
       Section.

The placement comprises both a component related to the general experience of legal
office practice and a number of tasks which each student is required to complete and
which are assessed by the nominated placement supervisor or his or her appropriate
delegate. It is defined as “experience of the types of tasks which are commonly found
in legal offices including:
     interviewing and advising;
     legal research;
     letter writing and drafting;
     using Court Registries and Public Offices;
     negotiation;
     advocacy;
     practice management”

The placement is designed to:
 provide realistic opportunities for students to experience applications of legal
   practice skills developed within their course;
 enable students to experience and become involved in situations involving actual
   clients through correspondence, telephone attendance, direct interview, affidavit
   preparation, proofing, court observation, file maintenance and similar situations;
 enable students to observe and analyse actual practice management and risk
   management systems;
 enable students to experience various processes of document preparation and
   lodgement;
 assist in the development of students’ understanding of the complex interactions
   that constitute the dynamics of a legal practice whether it be in a large firm, small
   firm or corporate/public sector legal practice.

The information in this booklet provides guidelines for the Placement experience
anticipated for Flinders Law School students.
If you would like more information, or this is your first time in the role of Placement
Supervisor, please contact:

Deborah Ankor
Director of Professional Programmes
Flinders Law School.
Tel:    08 8201 3986
Email: Deborah.ankor@flinders.edu.au


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The “legal office”
A “legal office” is defined as:
 a private law practice, or
 a government or semi-government department, which provides legal services (for
   example, giving legal advice, legal transactions, legal representation)
 a corporate legal office, or
 a community legal service, or
 any other organisation, department, or office which the Law Society GDLP
   Education Committee approves as providing legal practice Placement experience.

For the purposes of the Flinders University WIL policy, the legal office is the “Host
Organisation”. A Host Organisation must have the capacity to provide the student
with a legal office placement as described above.

The legal office must provide students with a safe workplace, including:
     taking reasonable precautions in respect of the health safety and welfare of
       the students in a non-discriminatory and harassment free work environment;
     ensuring students are informed of relevant occupational health and safety
       requirements and procedures;
     contacting the nominated University staff member in the event of a student
       having an accident, sustaining an injury or being involved in a safety incident
       whilst on placement, and
have adequate public liability insurance cover in relation to loss, damage or injury
suffered by students and/or university staff as a result of acts or omissions by the host
organisation, its employees or third parties.




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The Nominated Placement Supervisor
The Nominated Placement Supervisor is a legal practitioner nominated by the legal
office to supervise the students during the placement period.

The Nominated Placement Supervisor must hold an unrestricted practising certificate
issued in an Australian State or Territory and have held one for a minimum of 5 years
or be a current member of the judiciary.

The Nominated Placement Supervisor must accept the responsibility to supervise the
provision of legal office Placement experiences for the student including enabling the
student to complete the required placement tasks.

As part of that responsibility, the Nominated Placement Supervisor should:
   1. meet with the student for an initial briefing prior to or on day 1 of the
       placement to discuss, among other things, the tasks that must be completed;
   2. discuss with the student professional conduct, confidentiality and appropriate
       professional behaviour;
   3. provide reasonable supervision of the student during Placement;
   4. sign the Placement Participation Record of the student’s Placement Handbook
       once a week, verifying the total number of hours worked that week;
   5. complete the Placement Supervisor’s Verification in the student’s Placement
       Handbook.

The Placement Supervisor may wish to delegate the instruction and supervision of
particular tasks to a Supervising Practitioner who must also hold a current practising
certificate issued in an Australian State or Territory and have held one for minimum
of five years or be a current member of the judiciary.

In that case, the Nominated Placement Supervisor should ensure that the Supervising
Practitioner is informed of the nature and requirements of the placement, including the
record of placement tasks undertaken by the student and maintain contact with the
delegated Supervising Practitioner as to the progress of the student.

The Placement Supervisor’s Verification will:
   1. verify that the student has (or has not) completed a minimum of 225 hours.
   2. verify that the student has (or has not) satisfactorily completed the tasks
       required during the Placement.
   3. verify that the student has (or has not) conducted themselves in a professional
       manner.
   4. provide feedback on the student’s performance during the Placement.

The Placement Supervisor should contact the Director of Professional Programmes at
Flinders Law School if he or she has any concerns about the attendance, tasks
required, hours worked, level of responsibility, or expected behaviour of the student.




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Expectations of the Student
The student must:
1. act in accordance with:
    the instructions of the Nominated Placement Supervisor or a Supervising
       practitioner;
    the policies and procedures of the legal office
    the principles of professional responsibility.
2. not hold himself or herself out , or allow anyone else to hold him or her out as a
   solicitor;
3. not provide legal advice or to draw a document except under the direct supervision
   of a legal practitioner who takes the ultimate responsibility for his or her actions
4. negotiate strategies to meet the required tasks as set out in the Student Placement
   Handbook
5. ensure that the tasks and placement participation records are signed each week as
   required, and that final verification signatures are obtained form the nominated
   placement supervisor.

For a pass in the Placement component, students are required to satisfactorily:
1. Participation
   Participate in the Placement for a minimum of 225 hours and record this
   participation in the student Placement Handbook.
   Exemptions from attendance at a placement legal office for any reason other than
   illness, such as University commitments or other appointments must be sought
   from the Nominated Placement Supervisor
2. Tasks
   Complete to the satisfaction of the Supervisor, the required tasks as set out in the
   student Placement Handbook and outlined in this Guide (see p 12ff).
   While tasks must be performed once, or in a particular context, students are
   encouraged to undertake the tasks as many times as practicable, while under the
   supervision of experienced practitioners.
3. Professional Conduct
   The student is required to conduct him/herself in accordance with the Rules of
   Professional Conduct and practice and the standard of professional responsibility,
   care and service required of legal practitioners.
   The student is also required to conduct him/herself in a professional manner that
   reflects acceptable standards of behaviour expected in a legal office, which
   includes maintaining a suitable standard of dress and physical appearance
   throughout the placement.
   The Nominated Placement Supervisor will be required to indicate the professional
   conduct (or otherwise) of the student at the completion of the placement.
4. Failure to meet Requirements
   If the Nominated Placement Supervisor considers that a student has not
   satisfactorily addressed the requirements of the placement assessment, the
   Nominated Placement Supervisor may contact the Director of Professional
   programmes, Flinders Law School to suggest that either:
             further experience be undertaken in the legal office; or
             that the student be withdrawn from the placement; or
             that other action be taken.


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Rights Of Appearance Before The Court

There are no statutory rights for pre-admission students to represent parties in
legal proceedings in courts and tribunals in South Australia.
In the absence of statutory rights, the courts themselves have made the following
provision for Pre Admission students to appear in certain circumstances:

As at September 2007 the following information has been provided by the various
courts concerning PLT students’ rights of appearance:



 COURT                      RESPONSE
 Magistrates Court of       “It is the view of the Magistrates Court that it is sufficient
 South Australia            for the student, at the hearing, to advise the courts that
                            they are a PLT student and who is their supervising
                            practitioner. They would then need to formally request
                            leave to appear. Whether or not they have written
                            confirmation from their supervisor is a matter between the
                            supervisor and the student.”
                            As of 10 December 2009, the following is added:
                            “…whilst the Court will generally give permission to
                            GDLP students to appear on adjournments and non-
                            contentious matters, it is inappropriate for practitioners to
                            send such students to pre-trial conferences or other
                            matters where the matter itself requires an admitted
                            practitioner.”

 District Court of South    From 4 September 2006 the District and Supreme Court
 Australia                  amended Rules and Practice Directions provide that a
                            person may only be represented in proceedings before the
                            court by an admitted legal practitioner entitled to practice
                            in South Australia: Rule 22 and Rule 4. There is no
                            discretion to permit a PLT student to appear in
                            proceedings in the District Court.

 Supreme Court of           Leave is unlikely to be granted for a student to appear in a
 South Australia            matter in the Supreme Court. It would not be appropriate
                            for a PLT student to appear, whether before a Judge or a
                            Master of the Court. In relation to Masters formal and
                            non-contentious applications are usually dealt with
                            without the attendance of practitioners.




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 Industrial Relations       “While reserving the right not to grant permission in a
 Court                      particular case, the Magistrates have indicated a
                            preparedness to generally grant permission for students to
                            appear in Chambers on uncontentious interlocutory
                            applications and on uncontentious directions hearings.
                            With respect to appearances in Court the circumstances in
                            which it would be appropriate for students to attend is
                            obviously more limited. The Magistrates would be
                            disposed to grant permission to attend at Prosecution call-
                            overs provided no applications that are likely to be
                            contentious are envisaged. This would be generally
                            confined to the initial return date. Magistrates would
                            generally not be disposed to grant permission for students
                            to appear in court to collect judgments.”

 Federal Court of           “The view of the Federal Court, as a superior court of
 Australia                  record, is that it is unlikely that a PLT Student would be
                            given leave to appear in a matter in the Court. There may
                            be exceptional circumstances in which such leave might
                            be given. That is a matter for the individual judge. In non-
                            contentious matters, practitioners are encouraged to use
                            Order 35 r 10 of the Federal Court Rules, which permits
                            consent orders to be made without the attendance of
                            parties”.

 Federal Magistrates        “Practitioners frequently inquire whether articled clerks or
 Court                      other unqualified persons can appear in the Federal
                            Magistrates Court. While the court has an inherent
                            discretion over audience, leave to permit unqualified
                            persons is exercised sparingly with the right of appearance
                            generally being restricted to parties and qualified persons.
                            Practitioners should be mindful of the policy reasons
                            behind the general restriction on the right of appearance to
                            parties and qualified persons. Leave must be sought and
                            those matters more likely to be granted leave are requests
                            for permission to file consent minutes and appear in
                            undefended divorce proceedings. However, leave is
                            subject to the discretion of the individual judicial officer
                            and there should be no assumption that leave will be
                            granted in such instances”.

It is the responsibility of the student to seek leave to appear in a listed matter, at
least one day in advance of the hearing. The student must also have written
confirmation from the Nominated Placement Supervisor, confirming arrangements for
the student to appear in court.

Please note: If students on unpaid placement are to appear in suburban courts it is the
responsibility of the law office to provide transport.

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SUMMARY OF PLACEMENT TASKS


Task                                     Description                                     Completed
 1A    Prepare for and observe an interview
       (eg taking instructions from a client, taking a statement from a witness or
       proofing a witness)
 1B    Prepare for and observe an interview with a client
       (at which advice is going to be given to the client)
  2    Legal research
       (appropriate legal research requiring a report or memo of the results)
 3A    Write a letter and obtain your supervisor’s feedback
       (eg advice to client, demand to opponent, response to a letter or engaging an
       expert)
 3B    Draft an affidavit and obtain your supervisor’s feedback
       (on behalf of a client, witness or solicitor for the client)
 3C    Draft a court document or non-litigious document and obtain your
       supervisor’s feedback
       (eg a statement of claim, defence, counterclaim, notice of appeal or
       interlocutory application)
 4A    Lodge a document in a court registry
       (any court)
 4B    Lodge a document in a public records office
       (eg OCBA, Stamp Duties Office, ATO or LTO)
  5    Prepare for and observe a negotiation
       (includes informal negotiation or settlement conference)
 6A    Assist in preparing for and observe a court appearance
       (eg an adjournment, directions hearing, interlocutory application, mediation or
       tribunal appeal)
 6B    Observe a trial
       (includes part of a trial)
 7A    File management
       (prepare an analysis of file management – opening, maintaining, closing,
       costing, diarising)
 7B    Practice management
       (prepare an analysis of practice management including ethical considerations)
 7C    Trust accounting
       (discuss trust accounting system with relevant department)
 7D    Risk management
       (complete risk management checklist)
 7E    Relationship between practice management and risk management
       (consider the relationships between practice management and risk
       management)




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Tasks in Detail

TASK 1: INTERVIEWING AND ADVISING

Complete Tasks 1A and 1B, in relation to two separate interviews. You do not
have to interview or advise a client yourself. You are required to observe the
process conducted by an experienced practitioner.

There are many different possible interview scenarios which you could use as a
basis for these tasks, such as:
     an interview with a client who is giving initial instructions
     an interview with a potential witness
     an interview with a client who wishes to discuss the next steps in the
      conduct of their matter
     an interview to proof a client before trial
     an interview with a client using an interpreter
     a telephone interview (if no face to face interviews are possible)


Task 1A:

1. Prepare a pre-interview checklist in anticipation of an interview with a client;

2. Observe the interview;

3. After the interview finalise the checklist on the basis of your observations and in
   consultation with the interviewing practitioner.

Task 1B:

1. In advance of an interview with a client in which the lawyer plans to give advice or
   counselling, prepare a list of possible remedies and options.

2. Attend the interview, observe the process of advice or counselling,

3. After the interview discuss the process (by reference to your list) with the
   interviewing practitioner.

4. (Reflect on the following (and post in your journal):
       What did the interviewer do that you thought demonstrated good interview
           technique?
       If the interview went well, what made it go well?
       If you had conducted the interview, would you have done anything differently?
           Why?)




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TASK 2: RESEARCH

 1. Consult with your Supervisor to identify a topic that requires research in your host
    office.
 2. Prepare a research report on a topic agreed with your Supervisor. Your report must
    include one or more of the following:
        Find legislation in a volume of the South Australian or Commonwealth Statutes and
         give the volume and page reference for that legislation, or the on-line reference.
        List relevant amendments to legislation, noting when the amendments came into
         operation, the name of the amending Act, its number and year
        Find relevant regulations made under the statute in particular year(s) and list them
         by date, with reference to the page number and the source of those regulations,
         including any on-line references
        List all reported cases that have judicially considered relevant sections of the
         statute, giving a full citation, including page number and/ or on-line reference, and
         listing possible reference sources for this information
        Find relevant cases and journal articles by identifying the leading cases on the topic
         (giving case name, report volume and page number or on-line reference) and by
         identifying the latest published discussion on the topic (giving details of the
         publication, the title of the article, author, date and page number or on-line
         reference of the article )




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TASK 3: WRITTEN COMMUNICATION AND DRAFTING


You must complete each of Tasks 3A – 3. These tasks do not require you to submit the
documents to clients/courts but to complete these tasks in parallel with or assisting your
supervising practitioner.

Task 3A: - Write a letter (or an email)
         To a client confirming instructions and advising;
           Of demand to the solicitor for the client’s opponent;
           Of response on behalf of a client to a letter of demand;
           To an expert seeking an opinion;
           To an authority outlining a client’s problem and requesting advice as to the client’s
            rights (the authority not at this stage being a party to the client’s claim);
           To the solicitor for a client’s opponent (eg formulating the client’s claim, or asking
            for something);
           Requesting and / or providing informal discovery;
           Accompanying and explaining a formal document to be filed/lodged for a client; or
           To the police /DPP asking for additional information
Task 3B: - Draft an affidavit:
           on behalf of a client, or
             on behalf of a witness, or
             on behalf of your Supervisor as solicitor for the client.
            If there is no opportunity at your placement office for drafting an affidavit, please
            do the following:
                Ask your supervisor to give you a file and to suggest a scenario which would
                require an affidavit. Draft a “dummy” affidavit based on notes from the file,
                even if no affidavit is actually required on that file.
Task 3C: -      Draft either a court document or a non-litigious document:

           Examples of court documents
                Particulars of Claim (long form) or Statement of Claim;
                    Defence or Defence and Counterclaim;
                    a Notice of Appeal from a Magistrates Court guilty plea, or District Court
                    or Supreme Court guilty plea;
                    a Notice for a pre-trial application for a matter listed in the District or
                    Supreme Court;
                    an Outline of Argument to be submitted to the Court;
                    a subpoena;
                    an interlocutory application;

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                 consent orders or initiation application in the Family Court.
         Examples of non-litigious documents
              an application for funding or a grant (especially in the context of a
                  Community Legal Centre);
                 a will;
                 a contract or agreement;
                 minutes etc for the incorporation of a company.




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TASK 4: - USING COURT REGISTRIES AND PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICES

Task 4A:
Lodge a document prepared in a file with which you are familiar in a Court Registry. This
may be:
             Magistrates Court
             District Court
             Supreme Court
             Industrial Court
             Federal Court
             Family Court
             High Court

      Write a synopsis of the formalities, fees and legal effect of lodgement.
Task 4B:

Lodge a document prepared in a file with which you are familiar in a Public Records
Office, such as:
       Office of Consumer and Business Affairs
       Stamp Duties Office (either over the counter or via RevNet)
       Taxation Office
       Lands Titles Office

      Then write a synopsis of the formalities, fees and legal effect of lodgement.




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TASK 5: - NEGOTIATION

For this task, observe a negotiation undertaken by an experienced practitioner in your
placement office. Observation of a “face to face” negotiation is preferable, but if there is no
opportunity for this at your placement office, you may satisfy this task by examining with
your supervisor a file which involves negotiation by correspondence, between, for example,
the DPP and solicitors for the defence.


Task 5:

          Prepare a negotiation plan in a file with which you are familiar and in which
          negotiation is ongoing or likely to occur during your placement.
          Observe the negotiation process.
         Prepare a commentary on the negotiation with reference to your plan and discuss
          it with the practitioner involved.


      Examples

         A negotiation of terms of an agreement or a lease
         A negotiation of terms of settlement of a claim, either pre-litigation or pre-trial
         A negotiation in a statutory or pre-trial conference setting
         In a criminal law setting, eg written negotiation through a series of letters between
          prosecution and defence
         In any file, through a series of letters or emails or telephone discussions.
         A negotiation within a tribunal setting




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TASK 6: - ADVOCACY

Task 6A and 6B do not require you to appear in court, represent a client or take part in a
hearing yourself.

Task 6A:

      1.   Assist your supervisor to prepare for an application to the court, such as:
                   Adjournment/remand
                   Guilty Plea
                   Bail application
                   Interlocutory application
                   Directions hearing
                   Chamber application
                   Mediation
                   Appeal to an informal tribunal
      2.   Prepare the necessary documentation on behalf of the client and make notes in
           preparation for the appearance.
      3.   Observe the appearance.
      4.   Write a reflective commentary about what you have learned from your
           observations. Compare and contrast this with your earlier preparation notes.


      If there are no court appearances or hearings listed on any files during the period of
      your placement, please observe three of the types of hearings suggested above. Then
      write a reflective commentary about what you observed and what you learned.

Task 6B:
     1.    With your Supervisor, identify a particular aspect of a forthcoming trial involving
           a client file with which you are familiar.
      2.   Observe the trial, or part of a trial, such as:
                   Opening address
                   Examination-in-chief of one of the parties or of an expert witness
                   Cross-examination of one of the parties or of an expert witness
                   Re-examination of one of the parties or of an expert witness
                   Final address
                   Qualification of an expert witness
                   The tendering of a series of documents or real evidence
                   Objections to questions or answers
                   Voir dire hearing
                   The use of photographs, plans or other aids to the presentation of
                       evidence to the Court
                   Putting to the witness prior inconsistent statement(s)
                   Submissions on sentence
      3.   After observing the trial, write a reflective commentary on what you observed.
           What did you learn? What surprised you?


      If there are no hearings listed on any files during the period of your placement, please
      observe a trial or part of a trial at any court. Write a reflective commentary about what
      you observed and what you learned. What aspects of advocacy that you observed did
      you think were effective? Why?



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Supervisors Handbook 2011
TASK 7: - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

You must complete Tasks 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D and 7E.

It is important that you discuss with your Supervisor how you are to perform these tasks
because details of practice management are often confidential.

Task 7A
     Prepare an analysis of an aspect of file management
     Consider your placement office’s approach to
        File maintenance – opening, maintaining and closure
        Whether files are kept in hard copy or electronically or both
        Recording and organisation of information on files
        Diarising
        File costing (if applicable)

Task 7B
     Prepare an analysis of an aspect of practice management, including reference to ethical
     considerations
     Consider your placement office’s approach to:
        Client service
        Communication with clients / police / government departments
        Time management
        Marketing
        Conflict of Interests

Task 7C
     Discuss with your Supervisor or Office Manager or Accountant the system of office
     and trust accounting used in your placement office. If you are at the DPP, consider the
     Confiscations Unit Trust Account.

Task 7D

You must complete the Risk Management Checklist (pp 59 - 65) prior to the Risk
Management workshop if the timing of your placement permits. You must complete the
Checklist even if placement occurs after Risk Management.

In the Risk Management workshop we will examine how good client service and
proper matter management produce happy clients (who refer work) as well as
reduce the likelihood of professional negligence claims. During your placement use
this checklist as a way to focus on these issues. You will not be required to submit
the checklist at the workshop, but you will be required to participate fully in
discussions about office systems and client management.
Task 7E
     Consider the relationship between Practice Management (office systems) and Risk
     Management and discuss with your supervisor.




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Supervisors Handbook 2011
RISK MANAGEMENT CHECKLIST


ENGAGEMENT MANAGEMENT                                                                  YES     NO     N/A


Is the substance of what you are engaged to do by a client put into writing?

Are the following items (at least) included in a written engagement :
        the client’s instructions?

        the basis upon which costs will be charged by the solicitor to the
         client?

        a time frame for payment?


        the basis upon which the engagement may be terminated?


        what the practitioner will do?


        what the client will do?


        a time frame for what the practitioner will do?


        a time frame for what the client will do?


        what is not the practitioner’s responsibility and/or any special limiting
         conditions applicable to the engagement?

        any limitation period applicable to the subject of the engagement and
         the consequences if they are missed?

        the client’s obligation to keep the practitioner informed of current
         address and telephone number and consequences if they do not?

        a request to the client to sign and return a copy of the letter setting out
         the terms of the engagement?

If there is any extension, expansion or reduction of the original task the subject
of the engagement are the terms of the variations always put into writing?




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Supervisors Handbook 2011
ENGAGEMENT MANAGEMENT (cont)                                                        YES     NO     N/A


Are the following items included in the written record of the variation:
        reasons for the variation?

        confirmation of client’s instructions?


        what the practitioner will now do as a result of the variation?


        what the client will now do as a result of the variation?


        any exclusions from the practitioner’s responsibility or special
         conditions applicable to the varied engagement?

        the effect that variation will have on costs?


        any limitation periods applicable and the consequences if they are
         missed?

        a request to the client to sign and return a copy of the engagement
         variation?

Is there a procedure within the office and a person responsible for ensuring that
engagement letters are signed and returned by a particular time?

Is there a procedure for taking action if the acknowledgement of the terms of
the engagement is not received?

Is there a procedure to prevent entering of costs incurred until written
confirmation of the terms of engagement has been received?

Do you accept instructions to practise outside your area of expertise?

Do you refuse to do a favour for a valued client by taking on the occasional
matter in a field not normally handled by you or your practice?

Do you avoid accepting any client and any matter that comes along?

Do you refuse to accept instructions from anyone with whom you have a
common business interest or mutual investment?




Flinders Law School                                                                       Page 22 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011
DOCUMENT CONTROL                                                                       YES     NO     N/A

Is there a centralised procedure for opening all mail received including
procedure for date stamping on receipt?

Is a copy of all outgoing mail date stamped with its departure date?


Does the office maintain a delivery book which records details of all deliveries
made by the office including the signature of the recipient?

Is there a register of faxes sent and received?

Are there specific procedures and agreements with clients for whom the office
is the registered corporate office for delivery of communications to that
company to an appropriate officer of the company including a written
acknowledgement by an authorised officer of the corporation of the office’s
responsibilities on behalf of the company with respect to forwarding and/or
responding and/or taking action on any communication delivered to the office’s
premises as the registered office of the company?

COMMUNICATION WITH CLIENT                                                              YES     NO     N/A

Are clients informed of progress of a matter by regular letters and telephone
calls?

Are clients fully informed in writing of alternative courses of action and the
consequences and costs?

Are instructions to proceed on a particular course always confirmed in writing
with an acknowledgement of receipt of advice about alternative courses?

Do practitioners record the substance of all telephone attendances with clients
and other persons on the client’s behalf?

Are clients routinely sent copies of letters to other persons for their information?

Are all clients’ telephone calls returned or acknowledged at least by
administrative staff within a maximum of 24 hours?

FILE MANAGEMENT/SUPERVISION                                                            YES     NO     N/A

Does the office have a uniform system of opening and recording files?

Does everyone in the office know and follow the system?

Does the office have an index of parties against whom the office is acting or has
acted to ensure against conflicts of interest?

FILE MANAGEMENT/SUPERVISION (cont)                                                     YES     NO     N/A

Does the index include when the client or party was a company:
        the names of its principal directors or officers?

        the names of any associated corporations?

        if acting for an insurer, the name of the insured?

Does the office circulate lists of new clients on at least a weekly basis?


Flinders Law School                                                                          Page 23 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011
Does the office have a procedure for closing, storing and destroying of files
including returning client materials where necessary?

Does the office have a procedure for obtaining a receipt from clients for
returned materials?

Does the file closing procedure include a proper review to ensure that all
matters have been attended to and no matters have been overlooked?

Is there a regular system of file reviewing including a regular overview of files by
another practitioner in the office?

Apart from regular supervision, review and file audits, does the office have a
procedure to identify and transfer “too hard” files which for whatever reason are
stagnating?

Are regular scheduled meetings held to discuss matters handled by all
practitioners?

SAFE CUSTODY STORAGE                                                                   YES     NO     N/A

Does the office have a centralised register of documents in safe custody?

Are the office’s safe custody documents kept securely?

Are client’s safe custody documents kept separately from the file?

Are all dealings with safe custody documents recorded in a register?

Is the register kept separate and secure from the safe custody document?




Flinders Law School                                                                          Page 24 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011
OFFICE PROCEDURES - BRINGING FORWARD SYSTEM                                         YES     NO     N/A

   Does the office have a current procedure manual, provided to all staff,
    outlining the office’s standard office procedures?

   Does the office regularly check that specified procedures are always
    followed and counsel those diverging from them?

   Is a proper 'bring up'/file reminder system in place?

   At the least, does each practitioner maintain a diary (desk or computer)
    with a companion diary being maintained by that practitioner’s
    secretary/assistant?

   Does the office have a centralised follow up/reminder system or register to
    be used for limitation periods and deadlines with responsibility for that
    central system being delegated to a particular trained person in the office?

   Are bring up dates/limitation periods clearly recorded on the front cover of
    every file?

   Is the office’s filing system arranged to ensure that no file can be put away
    unless there is a bring up date entered into:
       the central system?

       the diary of the practitioner responsible for the matter?

       the practitioner’s companion diary maintained by the practitioner’s
        secretary/assistant?

   Is there an established procedure to check a fellow practitioner’s matters in
    the event of absence or illness of that practitioner?

CONTINUING EDUCATION                                                                YES     NO     N/A

   Is the office’s library adequate and kept current in the areas of practice in
    which the office accepts instructions or does the office have access to an
    adequate library?

   Do the office’s staff, particularly professional staff, keep up to date with
    development and changes to relevant areas of practice through CLE or
    other avenues?

   Is there one staff member responsible for the co-ordination and distribution
    of library/CLE current developments and the dissemination of relevant
    updates/information to staff?




Flinders Law School                                                                       Page 25 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011
RISK AVOIDANCE STRATEGIES                                                             YES     NO     N/A

Does the office avoid accepting instructions to act for vendor/purchaser or
lender/borrower or guarantor/debtor in the same transaction?

Does the office avoid representing multiple clients with different interests?

Does the office give the client the opportunity to decide whether or not another
client’s interest is adverse?

Does the office take steps to otherwise avoid acting for more than one party in
any matter or transaction?

If a client attends with a relative or associate does the office enquire whether or
not the relative or associate believes that the practitioner is also acting for
him/her?

Are all instructions from the client, advice to the client and any changes,
confirmed in writing?

Are all instructions to make or accept an offer in writing prior to making or
accepting the offer?

Are all written instructions to make or accept an offer copied and the copy
retained permanently in case the original file is taken by the client?

When registering a caveat on behalf of a client do you:
        avoid using the address of the caveator as your office?

        advise the client in writing that if any letter comes from the LTO or
         Registrar to ring you immediately?

        advise the client of the consequences of not responding to a notice
         warning a caveat?

Does the office routinely advise a client to seek independent financial advice in
matters involving commerciality rather than legality, e.g. when acting for a client
which is an income producing property or business?

Is advice to seek independent financial advice routinely confirmed in writing to
the client?

Where there is a statutory obligation to provide financial information to a party
to the transaction does the office decline to accept instructions to prepare that
compulsory financial information?

Are all staff advised as to the importance of correct witnessing of documents?




Flinders Law School                                                                         Page 26 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011
RISK AVOIDANCE STRATEGIES (cont)                                                     YES     NO     N/A

Do staff witness documents for persons who are not well known to them?

Is a Bible regularly used to swear all affidavits?

Does the office have a policy regarding who (if any) in the office is qualified to
accept instructions to certify a document for lending institution purposes?


Does the office follow a checklist of all matters to be addressed in accordance
with case law?


Are all staff regularly reminded of the necessity to adapt precedent documents
for any particular transaction?

Are all staff made aware that prompt written notification to Law Claims is
required when any claim against the office is made?

Are all staff aware of the requirement that prompt written notification is to be
made to Law Claims of any circumstances which might give rise to a claim
whether or not a claim has been signaled by anyone else?

Is there one person responsible to report all notifications or potential claims to
Law Claims?

Does the office have a regular claims prevention checking program?

If a claim against the office has resulted in payments being made to the
claimant does the office review the case, identify the cause and change
procedures to prevent a recurrence?


Note the following:

1.       The types of systems and procedures used by the office to record critical dates and
         bring forward files for attention, check for potential conflict of interest situations and
         any systems that check those systems are working.




2.       How does the office communicate with the client during the course of the matter?




3.       Does the office have a return phone call policy or a policy on the treatment of
         transferred files?




Flinders Law School                                                                        Page 27 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011
  Thank you for assisting Flinders Law School by
 providing a placement experience for our students.




For any further information, questions or issues that might arise,
please contact:

Deborah Ankor
Director of Professional Programmes
Flinders Law School.
Tel: 08 8201 3986
Email: Deborah.ankor@flinders.edu.au




Flinders Law School                                      Page 28 of 28
Supervisors Handbook 2011

								
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