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Instructions for a solicitor?

A person seeking have quality counsel whilst constraining the extent of involvement by a solicitor by the wording of instructions

This situation arises where a person who may use a barrister and a supporting solicitor in a hearing and wishes to restrict the activities of the solicitor by the wording of the instructions.

Has anyone effected this? How did the agreement with the solicitor read?

The concept is that the fact that legal counsel has been engaged is not known by the adversarial party until the hearing commences. By restricting the solicitor from filing as the legal representatives in the court all correspondence would be directed to the party. The intent also is inhibit the solicitor to not be in a position to generate costs without specific instructions from the party. This allows the party to effect most of the documentation and draw upon the barristers experiential knowledge to identify what needs to be in the contents of the affidavits and how best to draft orders.

The better barristers tend to insist on having a solicitor to protect them from any repurcussions from their work. Direct Brief barristers are unable to insist on not having a so;icitor as in many instances their experience does not merit the amount their costs.

Should anyone have had these experiences you are invited to share your understanding of how to write a agreement with the solicitor.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
verdad said
This situation arises where a person who may use a barrister and a supporting solicitor in a hearing and wishes to restrict the activities of the solicitor by the wording of the instructions.

Has anyone effected this? How did the agreement with the solicitor read?

The concept is that the fact that legal counsel has been engaged is not known by the adversarial party until the hearing commences. By restricting the solicitor from filing as the legal representatives in the court all correspondence would be directed to the party. The intent also is inhibit the solicitor to not be in a position to generate costs without specific instructions from the party. This allows the party to effect most of the documentation and draw upon the barristers experiential knowledge to identify what needs to be in the contents of the affidavits and how best to draft orders.

The better barristers tend to insist on having a solicitor to protect them from any repurcussions from their work. Direct Brief barristers are unable to insist on not having a so;icitor as in many instances their experience does not merit the amount their costs.

Should anyone have had these experiences you are invited to share your understanding of how to write a agreement with the solicitor.
 

Line up a barrister first, then employ a lawyer to do the donkey work. This will enable you to control costs and not warn the otheside too much!

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
We're going back to Court and would like to use the barrister we had when we got our final orders by consent (last minute negotiation at the court room door). Unfortunately, we are stuck on Solicitors whom we've found to be indifferent and uncaring yet racking up tens of thousands of dollars in costs. The other side has a close to unlimited 'financial resource', so they can keep us running round and round chasing our tails for months if not years.

To try and combat this, we have approached quite a few solicitors about allowing us to be the conduit for communication (other side would send frivolous letters and allegations to ramp up costs to break us before we even get to the court door), unfortunately, they have all declined. We have tried to get a direct-brief barrister as well - no joy.

My current option is to learn and join SLR so we don't have to always do what our lawyers or what the other lawyers say blindly without questions, and try and get a timely and cost effective outcome within the foreseeable future. If anyone has any luck trying out this, we would be more than grateful..

Cheers
Moot
Moot said
We're going back to Court and would like to use the barrister we had when we got our final orders by consent (last minute negotiation at the court room door). Unfortunately, we are stuck on Solicitors whom we've found to be indifferent and uncaring yet racking up tens of thousands of dollars in costs. The other side has a close to unlimited 'financial resource', so they can keep us running round and round chasing our tails for months if not years.

To try and combat this, we have approached quite a few solicitors about allowing us to be the conduit for communication (other side would send frivolous letters and allegations to ramp up costs to break us before we even get to the court door), unfortunately, they have all declined. We have tried to get a direct-brief barrister as well - no joy.

My current option is to learn and join SLR so we don't have to always do what our lawyers or what the other lawyers say blindly without questions, and try and get a timely and cost effective outcome within the foreseeable future. If anyone has any luck trying out this, we would be more than grateful..

Cheers
Moot

Has anyone had any luck being a SRL? YES - but requires a lot of homework.

One advantage to being a SRL is that you can drive matters forward yourself with respect filing of applications etc.

It really depends on the issues being put before the Court for consideration and your personal capabilities.

Alternatively, if you are not happy with the performance of your solicitors or their attitude - move on and find new representation.


4MYDAUGHTER
Right in the middle of affidavits and annexures and filling out the application at the moment. We have hired a family law firm to handle the filing and initial representation stuff for us. However, I am getting stuck in streamlining the affidavits and formatting everything to be as cost effective as possible for the solis. I know from experience that doing the affidavits and sorting through the annexures cost us thousands last time, so am trying to do a better job this time so it is pretty much court ready when we hand it over.

Am wondering if any mods out there has considered my application for SRL membership as I understand that there is a lot of information only available to members eg. examples of how to do the right things in the proper sequence so as not to add cost and run afoul of the system. Have downloaded the 'Before you start SR' and found it to be quite helpful, as well as another doc. retrieved from the online library titled 'The effective presentation of evidence'. This document is so useful and takes a lot of the fear of the unknown out of the prospective witness box scary tacts. Our final orders were negotiated on the first day of trial, but we were not informed or advised on how to behave or answer questions or any of the matters described in this document.

Anyone??..
Moot said
Am wondering if any mods out there has considered my application for SRL membership as I understand that there is a lot of information only available to members….
Have you actually applied for SRL-R membership?

http://flwg.com.au/srl-r/pg/join
(This link goes off site to the SRL-R Group)

Applications are considered by the SRL-R Execs and not the site moderators.


SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
Yes and have not heard anything back, first time I applied was back in December 2008, and then again just over a week ago and then for good measure just now, once again.

Its ok, if I am considered not suitable to be an SRL member, just please let me know, I would happily re-direct my energies elsewhere to look for the answers I am seeking.
Moot said
Yes and have not heard anything back, first time I applied was back in December 2008, and then again just over a week ago and then for good measure just now, once again.
Moot there are a few applications still being processed, however there are no records of your ever having applied. There is no record of your emails in December, a week ago or the one you sent 3 hours ago. Are you using the proper link?
Moot said
Its ok, if I am considered not suitable to be an SRL member, just please let me know, I would happily re-direct my energies elsewhere to look for the answers I am seeking.
If SRL-R do not receive an application - how can you be considered? Refusals are not discussed in public forums.


SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
In that case I don't know how else to move forward with this. I have sent in emails to both deleted and to deleted. They have not come back so I presume that the address accepted.

Email addresses edited out by a Moderator. Placing email addresses in a public forum allows the automatic web trawlers to use the addresses for spam.
Moot, both addresses are valid and operational, however there are no records of emails from you.

It is possible that the rather aggressive virus filters are actually deleting your emails because they fall within the 'suspicious' area. Another possibility is that your email client is actually appending other information onto the address, this often occurs when people are using web based emails as their email client.

You could of course use the sites 'whisper' function to send a private message to myself.

 

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.

changing solicitors in old unresolved ongoing cases.

If one is having difficulty changing solictors as cannot find one who wants to take your case, then I suggest filing a notice of changing solicitors who represent you in the court registry as well as to the solicitor you currently have, and dismiss those solicitors. Register as a self-represented litigant. Then when you are looking for a new solicitor they may be more willing to take your case as you are unrepresented. Beware, costs for looking at what has happened up til then may be costly when given to the new solicitor.
In Queensland at least there is a standard UCPR form for "Notice of Withdrawal of Solicitor" and "Notice that Party Acting in Person" (ie self representing). Your current solicitor can provide these forms or if things are beyond that, I imagine the people at SLR-R can help. It's pretty easy really.
isy said
Register as a self-represented litigant.

You actually do not register as an SRL. If there is no legal representative specified on any application forms or if they have been removed by the Registry, the Casetrack software (used by the Courts) identifies you as an SRL ie 'Not Represented'.

The Casetrack software also records the details at hearings ie you may be an SRL in one and represented at another if you are using unbundled support, however this does not change your SRL status on your Court files.

File search (for the Family Court, Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court of WA) will indicate your current status recorded in the registry.
https://filesearch.familylawcourts.gov.au/cws/index.jsp

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
I am pretty sure ISY meant register on the site as an SRL-Resources member. As already stated the court only identifies you as not represented. It is surprising how many "not represented" parties do quite well and I have heard a number of judicial officers state that they wished some solicitors acted as well and were as well prepared. Some SRL members have in fact done so well that they have decided to become solicitors, will no doubt go on to the bar and we will see them back as Federal Magistrates perhaps. Now wouldn't that be something to be around for. I can see a tickets only event for that first hearing… Perhaps a first name Magistrate even .. Federal Magistrate Montiverdi (Sir) for example.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
When I said register as a self represented litigant, I meant have it formally recognised that one is a self represented litigant. This is a way to 'register" as a self rep. Some solicitors in the past have not recognised one who had a solicitor and dismissed them as being self rep until they had Court documentation with their own personal details in the section where the solicitor is usually registered. Therefore, if in difficulty, one may need some form of proof, and if the preceeding solicitor will not provide it, then go the the Court and get that documentation.
isy said
When I said register as a self represented litigant, I meant have it formally recognised that one is a self represented litigant. This is a way to 'register" as a self rep. Some solicitors in the past have not recognised one who had a solicitor and dismissed them as being self rep until they had Court documentation with their own personal details in the section where the solicitor is usually registered. Therefore, if in difficulty, one may need some form of proof, and if the preceeding solicitor will not provide it, then go the the Court andget that documentation.
isy, are you trying to confuse people?
There is a very easy 'proof' via Court records and no need to trudge to the nearest registry,

https://filesearch.familylawcourts.gov.au/cws/index.jsp

This shows your status as applicant or respondent and the name of your legal representative against your name. No legal representative against your name = SRL. If there is still a legal representative you are deemed represented or because a previous legal representative has not sent the Court a notice of 'Ceasing to Act'

Any solicitor you engage can easily check your current status if they are provided with the case and reference numbers.


SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
isy said
I meant have it formally recognised that one is a self represented litigant.
When a party appears in court without legal representation it is obvious to the court what the situation is. Each appearance is noted in the bench notes as to who spoke for who at hearings. The court has no need of labels. Parties are at times with or without representation. The court notes these instances.
As has been stated above, by accessing your records on the File search site you will be aware as to who is representing the other side and if the court has a continuing record of a party (you) being represented. The addresses to which correspondence is directed is possibly the paramount reason for this being detailed. The date on which documents are filed and in which court the hearings were held is also detailed.
You need a Client Number (available from court's information telephone line) and your Case File Number to enter into the fields before access to the court's infirmation is available to you.
I doubt that there is any value as projecting one's self as being self represented in the environment of the court. To the contrary, being seen to be a non-professional can see more assistance from the bench.


There are guidelines that are applied to self represented parties. See: Re F: Litigants in Person Guidelines [2001] FamCA 348 (4 June 2001)

1. A judge should ensure as far as is possible that procedural fairness is afforded to all parties whether represented or appearing in person in order to ensure a fair trial;

2. A judge should inform the litigant in person of the manner in which the trial is to proceed, the order of calling witnesses and the right which he or she has to cross examine the witnesses;

3. A judge should explain to the litigant in person any procedures relevant to the litigation;

4. A judge should generally assist the litigant in person by taking basic information from witnesses called, such as name, address and occupation;

5. If a change in the normal procedure is requested by the other parties such as the calling of witnesses out of turn the judge may, if he/she considers that there is any serious possibility of such a change causing any injustice to a litigant in person, explain to the unrepresented party the effect and perhaps the undesirability of the interposition of witnesses and his or her right to object to that course;

6. A judge may provide general advice to a litigant in person that he or she has the right to object to inadmissible evidence, and to inquire whether he or she so objects. A judge is not obliged to provide advice on each occasion that particular questions or documents arise;

7. If a question is asked, or evidence is sought to be tendered in respect of which the litigant in person has a possible claim of privilege, to inform the litigant of his or her rights;

8. A judge should attempt to clarify the substance of the submissions of the litigant in person, especially in cases where, because of garrulous or misconceived advocacy, the substantive issues are either ignored, given little attention or obfuscated. (Neil v Nott (1994) 121 ALR 148 at 150);

9. Where the interests of justice and the circumstances of the case require it, a judge may:

* draw attention to the law applied by the Court in determining issues before it;

* question witnesses;

* identify applications or submissions which ought to be put to the Court;

* suggest procedural steps that may be taken by a party;

* clarify the particulars of the orders sought by a litigant in person or the bases for such orders.

The above list is not intended to be exhaustive and there may well be other interventions that a judge may properly make without giving rise to an apprehension of bias.


What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
Thanks to your website, I have learnt something new about the Family Court. They are in the computer age. Last time I actually filed or appeared or attended a case in that Court was years ago. Perhaps even seven years ago. Since then, I have been far more interested in Family Law in all other Courts, and almost every matter I took part in was resolved in mediation, and never made it to any Court. In those days, I think we faxed to the registry at least some of the necessary documents. I have used their website since then, but  only for general reading.

Yes, a person can ask a solicitor it appears to enquire on the internet website of the Family Court and recieve a quick formal notice of whether or not the person has a solicitor, or is self represented.

Additionally, it is a bit old fashioned, yet worth remembering as a failsafe, that one can ask the Court to provide official written material that one can have in their hands. to help them feel secure in their homes knowing and sighting at whim, that the official record is that a previous solicitor can definetly have no rights in their matter before the  Court at that point in time. I am sure the thought stems from some older person who said it feels better having the instant proof in your hands, and knowing that it is recorded in the Court. These days, the only need for the piece of paper would be if the internet was down.
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