Towards a national emergency stockpile of interesting reserved judgments


Auckland has returned to Alert Level 3 and I have returned to the desk in my spare room, where I get cooked by the sun from the hours of 11.30am to 3pm.  I am very lucky to be supported by my employer and my colleagues, to have a well-paying job that I can do during a lockdown, and to have ready access to home-cooked, carb-based lunches.   The worst I have to contend with is a combination of heat and lunch pasta causing me to use the word “unimpugned” in a statement of defence in the early afternoon haze.  People across Auckland and across the country have it far tougher than me.

In normal times, like most people, my spare minutes and quiet moments are spent skim-reading new cases on  Mainly the senior courts, but with a smattering of disciplinary tribunals and the Legal Complaints Review Officer.  As I’m sure it is for many, it’s a sort of reassuring compulsion.  Interesting cases to be filed away in the back of one’s head; typos and approximations of jokes screenshotted for Twitter; costs decisions acting as a flag of cases from months back that may have flown under the radar; new syntheses of case law of a particular area.  It’s a comfort to bob on a vast sea of case law, even if the fine detail of the sea floor remains out of view to casual anglers like me.

But what in normal times is a reassuring compulsion, in alert level 3 becomes a lifeline.  Just as man cannot live on bread alone, so too is it difficult to sustain one’s self through lockdown with only a steady diet of judgments on discovery obligations from Associate Judge Lester or sentence appeals from a divisional court.  The background stresses, the distractions, the poor posture of a dining table chair, the digestive effects of too much lunch pasta: the need for interesting new case law is greater than ever.

It is vital in times like these that the courts not only continue to function as close to normal as possible, but that they contribute to the wellbeing of the country as a whole by providing those confined to their homes with interesting reading material.  It is essential that in times of crisis, new decisions can be made available immediately, and in sufficient quantity, to those who are dependent on them.

That is why I am calling for the creation of a national emergency stockpile of interesting reserved judgments.

The national emergency stockpile would consist of a collection of up to 20 senior court decisions, ready for emergency deployment upon entry into alert level 3 or at the direction of the Chief Justice in consultation with the Attorney-General.  In reality, the stockpile would amount to a holding zone for any judgment issued by the courts where a judge identifies on the internal distribution cover sheet that it contains a point worthy of law reporting.  When a judge completes a judgment and identifies that it qualifies for the stockpile, instead of being immediately released to the parties it will be sequestered in the stockpile for a pre-determined period of time.  The length of the sequester will depend on the level of court.  High Court judgments will be held for one month.  For the Court of Appeal, which has generally longer judgment delivery times for important decisions, two months.  For the Supreme Court, who can and do take as long as they please to release judgments anyway, three months.

If the stockpile is not called upon during the period a judgment is sequestered then, at the end, of the period it is released to the parties in the normal way.  Most judgments will not qualify for the stockpile, so overall judgment delivery timeframes will not be unduly affected.  And all this process does is build a short sequester into a system that already exists, meaning the additional administrative cost is very small indeed.

The stockpile will take time to accumulate, and the precise number of judgments held may fluctuate over time.  But, once established, upon any significant national event where people are confined to their homes and require the comfort and intellectual distraction provided by new judgments, these 20 judgments (or a portion of them) can be released immediately.  By using the Civil Defence emergency alert system, the text of these judgments can even be sent to every cellphone in New Zealand.  How much better we would all feel if any emergency 9.00pm press conference was accompanied by the delivery of new judgments on s 27 of the Sentencing Act 2002, on intensity of judicial review, and on the status of abuse of process as a standalone tort in New Zealand.

Every crisis is an opportunity.  The time for this balm for a nation is now.  And as soon as I can get the Rules Committee to stop blocking my emails, I will be raising this at the highest levels.

New Zealand Law’s Tile Guide

Flooring has long played an important role in legal analysis.  After all, it is difficult to step through a piece of legislation if you don’t have anything to step on.  Until now, though, New Zealand judges and practitioners have lacked a centralised means of identifying and cataloguing flooring tiles in courthouses around the country.  The result is anarchy, frankly.

That ends today, with the advent of the New Zealand Law’s Tile Guide.  The Guide, which is not yet comprehensive, identifies tiles by their nature and quality and provides individual photographic examples.  Practitioners wishing to identify photos of flooring in a range of New Zealand courts can now refer to this Guide.  The author has been assisted by an elite cadre of volunteers from across the country.  In time, it is hoped it can be  expanded to cover all New Zealand courts, apart from Blenheim which apparently doesn’t have any.  Further contributions are welcomed via Twitter.


The Supreme Court – cold, polished, calming


Auckland High Court – reliable, echoey, seen it all before


Wellington High Court – pale, clammy, marble on meth


Kaikohe District Court – carpet tiles, welcoming, socks and sandals


Auckland District Court – workaday, faux slate, oh-so-grey


Manukau District Court – a job to do, solid, does what it says on the tin


Hamilton District Court – varied palette, high sheen, Gloria Jean’s


Wellington District Court – beachy, tectonic, someday my prince will come


Invercargill District Court – flinty, frost-hardy, southern



Equity: an exclusive interview

When I arrive at Equity’s inner-city penthouse apartment, Equity is finishing on the phone with its interior designer.  Equity’s trademark decisiveness is on full display.

“And for the couches, the brown, I think.  … The dun, that’s right.  Thank you.”

Equity has always regarded as dun what ought to be dun.

Equity offers me a half-hearted apology (sans-smile) for keeping me waiting.

“Delay defeated me, dear boy.”

The venerable concept explains the entire apartment is being re-done.  Part of a desire to reinvent itself – to find new life in the 21st century. But what needs to be reinvented?

“When you’ve been around for as long as I have, it’s so tough to shed the image people have of you.”

What image is that I wonder aloud.  Equity waves a wistful hand.

“There have been certain certain things written about me over the years.”

I venture that I would be rather interested in hearing Equity’s side to all of that.

“People aren’t interested in score-settling, dear boy.”

But it wouldn’t be score-settling.  It would be doing justice.

This time Equity smiles.

“Well then I’d be delighted.”

Everyone is familiar with Equity’s early days.  The stellar acting career is in the distant past but the Academy Award is still on the mantle for Equity’s role in the the Hitchcock-directed Personam.

“Probably my favourite specific performance,” confessed Equity.

But now the glitz and glamour of those days are gone, as have the large wardrobes that used to be a part of them.

“I try to avoid a multiplicity of suits,” Equity explains.  In fact, the wardrobes are being completely taken out in the re-design.

There were dalliances in those days: Sir Thomas More (“Tommy – a wonderful man”) and rumours about a football player.  A goalie?

“A Keeper, of sorts,” says Equity, but offers no more.

I try to draw out more.  Was he an influence?

“Not an undue one.”

Perhaps this isn’t going to work if Equity isn’t willing to share.

“This isn’t a matter of secret-keeping.  It’s a matter of trust.”

But nor, it seems, does Equity want to talk about other partners like the Common Law.  Their high-profile divorce in the 19th century in which Equity came out on top in court.  Conscience Uncoupling, the tabloids called it.

“I’m still very close with the Common Law.  These people don’t know what they’re talking about half the time.”

There were of course the… stalking allegations.

“Not stalking,” Equity avows, before slipping into the third person.

“Equity follows the Common Law.  But it does not stalk.”

Equity is more forthcoming when talking about those who have wronged it.

“I’m a public figure.  I get it.  But the level of scrutiny we receive sometimes verges on the hateful. It’s enough to shock the conscience.  People think I’m being precious but if John Selden had written about you what he’s written about me we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

“And Snell, well…”

Snell.  The erstwhile biographer.

“He thought he knows everything about my life.  I shared a lot with him but for him to breach my confidence like that.”

Does Equity want an apology?

Equity pauses, but settles again on a stony response.

“I don’t require an idle gesture.”

We move on to what keeps Equity busy now.

“I have my range of remedies.  Still popular, time-tested.”

Still, there are rivals. Equity seems amused.

“Who?  Unjust Enrichment?”

I point out Unjust Enrichment has its adherents.

“No one can understand it, dear boy.  It’s a flash in the pan.  An obligation is helping your friend move house; it’s not the basis for a system of law.”

And what else does Equity do?

“What do you mean ‘what else’?”

A lot of other legal doctrines spend some time doing charity, I suggest.

Equity eyes me stonily over its teacup.

“Well,” it says, “I don’t assist volunteers.”

The interview ends shortly thereafter.

“I suppose you must be going,” Equity says.

I wonder if Equity is always this guarded.

“Not guarded.  Vigilant.”

Everyone else is to blame?

“It’s not a matter of blame.  But their hands are not clean, no.”

And if some judge you for that?

“I do what I think is right.”

Equity always does.

The New Zealand senior court hierarchy if seniority was determined by surname Scrabble score

Yet another important contribution to New Zealand legal scholarship.

While the title is self-explanatory, please consider the following important judgement calls made in the compilation of this list.

It’s surname only.  Their Honours Ellen France and Simon France, William Young and Paul Davison JJ don’t get bonus points from their first names.  Nice try!

There are presently six Supreme Court judges, but sixth place is split three ways, so I am running a slim-line five member Supreme Court, and letting sixth place share the Presidency of the Court of Appeal.

Where there is a tie, they are ranked by present seniority.

The result is a Supreme Court that maintains its gender balance (and would still do so if the sixth place candidates were included), and the Court of Appeal has significantly more female judges.  So, if you are an Attorney-General interested in my engaging me to consult on judicial appointments, please DM me on Twitter.


Supreme Court

The Right Honourable Dame Susan Glazebrook, Chief Justice (26)

The Honourable Justice Fitzgerald (24)

The Honourable Justice Churchman (21)

The Honourable Justice van Bohemen (20)

The Honourable Justice Winkelmann (19)


Court of Appeal

The Honourable Justice Clifford (17)

The Honourable Justice Katz (17)

The Honourable Justice Dunningham (17)

The Honourable Justice Duffy (15)

The Honourable Justice Woolford (15)

The Honourable Justice French (14)

The Honourable Justice Jagose (14)

The Honourable Justice Williams (13)

The Honourable Justice Courtney (13)

The Honourable Justice Walker (13)


High Court

The Honourable Justice Edwards (12)

The Honourable Justice Ellen France (11)

The Honourable Justice Goddard (11)

The Honourable Justice Venning (11)

The Honourable Justice Simon France (11)

The Honourable Justice Wylie (11)

The Honourable Justice Brewer (11)

The Honourable Justice Whata (11)

The Honourable Justice Thomas (11)

The Honourable Justice Clark (11)

The Honourable Justice Davison (11)

The Honourable Justice Powell (11)

The Honourable Justice Cooke (11)

The Honourable Justice Gwyn (11)

The Honourable Justice Brown (10)

The Honourable Justice Cooper (10)

The Honourable Justice Gilbert (10)

The Honourable Justice Palmer (10)

The Honourable Justice William Young (9)

The Honourable Justice Collins (9)

The Honourable Justice Dobson (9)

The Honourable Justice Gendall (9)

The Honourable Justice Mander (9)

The Honourable Justice Hinton (9)

The Honourable Justice Downs (9)

The Honourable Justice Osborne (9)

The Honourable Justice Miller (8)

The Honourable Justice Mallon (8)

The Honourable Justice Peters (8)

The Honourable Justice Gordon (8)

The Honourable Justice Grice (8)

The Honourable Justice Doogue (8)

The Honourable Justice O’Regan (7)

The Honourable Justice Kós (7)

The Honourable Justice Moore (7)

The Honourable Justice Muir (6)

The Honourable Justice Nation (6)

The Honourable Justice Cull (6)

The Honourable Justice Gault (6)

The Honourable Justice Lang (5)

The Honourable Justice Ellis (5)


A template memorandum for a procedural hearing

Select from the options below.  Delete inappropriate options.  Apply your own standard formatting.



May it please the:

  1. Authority.
  2. Tribunal.
  3. Court (if Court, specify District/High/Appeal/Supreme/Kangaroo).


Despite the direction to do so, we have not filed a joint memorandum because:

  1. We did not hear from the other side.
  2. We heard from the other side and, frankly, what we heard disturbed and alarmed us.


This memorandum is filed late because:

  1. We are ignorant that “two working days in advance” means two clear working days.
  2. We are merely conveniently overlooking the fact that “two working days in advance” means two clear working days.


Substantive issues


There is presently:

  1. Not enough.
  2. Too much.

The other side has been:

  1. Miserly.
  2. Undiscerning.

We need:

  1. Lots more.
  2. Just the smoking gun emails.



The other side’s pleadings are:

  1. Prolix
  2. Scattershot
  3. Haphazard
  4. An overpacked Cook’s Tour of judicial review.

We note in particular that the second cause of action/ground of appeal seems:

  1. Doubtful on the basis of relevant authority.
  2. Not to comply with the requirements when pleading fraud.
  3. Demonstrative of only passing familiarity with the High Court Rules.


Other matters

Despite the other side’s seemingly unanswerable points about our claim, at this point we’re just looking to get past:

  1. Strike out.
  2. Summary judgment.
  3. Next Tuesday.

Security for costs should be set at a level that is:

  1. High.
  2. Very high.
  3. Cripplingly high.
  4. Higher than that.


Timetable defaults

The defaults by the other side are:

  1. Concerning.
  2. Unexplained and serious.
  3. Borderline contemptuous.
  4. All of the above.

The defaults by our side are:

  1. Understandable.
  2. Out of our control.
  3. Really the other side’s fault [specify].


Next steps

Our estimate of hearing date is:

  1. Implausibly less than the other side says.
  2. Significantly more than the Court wants to grant.


The height of the horse I will get on at the procedural hearing is:

  1. High.
  2. Very high.


Despite having raised no less than three highly contentious matters in this memorandum do we optimistically venture that orders might be made on the papers and appearances might be excused?

  1. Yes.
  2. Very much yes.




For court use only

To be Minuted:

  1. Orders accordingly.  Appearances excused.
  2. Appearances required but cryptic silence as to which side I am annoyed at.
  3. Memorandum forwarded to Law Society marked attention of Standards Committee.


Strictly Obiter’s 2019 Law Awards

It’s almost the end of the year!  Time for a retrospective.

I don’t know how the real Law Awards started.  Presumably the person responsible surveyed the legal industry and decided that the solution for its myriad problems was more self-congratulation.  It functions now as a sort of peer support group for those whose glory days were high school prizegivings.

It’s arranged by Key Media, who publishes NZ Lawyer Magazine.  NZ Lawyer Magazine is probably best known for sending Morning Briefing emails which contain legal news essential to New Zealand lawyers such as “Ashurst opens Global Delivery Centre in Brisbane”, “Burford Capital makes governance change ahead of US IPO plan”, and “Hogan Lovells to go solo in Joburg with separate SA firm”.

But the Law Awards are important: who doesn’t love celebrating an “inaugural medium-term note issuance and sustainability financing framework”?  That is why we all went to law school.  There’s also a prize for mid-market deal of the year, which is great if you’re a fuel-efficient Holden station wagon and slightly less great if you are a lawyer who is an adult human.

I suppose it’s just all very good at celebrating the business of law, and not the things about law that are interesting: the quirks, the ironies, the curiosities.  Every day, new cases come out on NZLII and they’re like tabloids if you read them the right way: “Guess what this judge said?” or “Ancient legal doctrine has flash new makeover”.  Plus you can normally headline them with a terrible pun.  Academics and judges devote their lives to swimming in the deep end of the law, but as someone who can barely swim I’d like to think you can have plenty of fun in the shallows too.

So, with all that in mind, here are the things I’d give awards to for this year.


Category: New Chief Justice of New Zealand of the Year

Winner: Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann

What the assessors said: The first time this award has been conferred since 1999.  Tough to find an angle to parody in the same way as one could have Elias CJ dissenting all the time, but there’s something to be done with hyper-competence.


Category: Best Court of Appeal Decision of the Year

Winner: Misa v R [2019] NZSC 134

What the assessors said: Technically a Supreme Court decision, though you wouldn’t know it to read it.  The Supreme Court affirmed a bunch of Court of Appeal authority on miscarriage of justice and half the word count of the decision seems to be devoted to phrases like “we agree with the Court of Appeal”.  A real value-add.  (To be fair, when read in conjunction with Sena v Police [2019] NZSC 55 the Supreme Court had a good forking-over of the grounds for conviction appeal this year.)


Category: Best Dodged Question of the Year

Winner: Court of Appeal in Hai v Minister of Immigration [2019] NZCA 55,

What the assessors said: Ever since Machida v Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [2016] NZCA 162, [2016] 3 NZLR 721, we’ve been left to wonder whether the “any other reason” ground for leave to appeal to the High Court in s 245 of the Immigration Act 2009 means the same thing as the “any other reason” ground for leave to commence judicial review in s 249 of the Immigration Act 2009.  Identical statutory language, but Machida only pronounced on the s 245 test.  Given that Parliament intentionally amended s 249 to be identical to s 245, in order to reduce the number of applications for judicial review, an identical interpretation seems consistent with the legislative intent.  Since just before Machida, though, Palmer J has been leading an armed insurrection from the High Court bench arguing that the s 27 NZBORA right to judicial review means a more generous interpretation should be given to the “any other reason” ground for the test under s 249 (see three Palmer J decisions: (RM v Immigration and Protection Tribunal [2016] NZHC 735; AI (Somalia) v Immigration and Protection Tribunal [2016] NZHC 2227, [2016] NZAR 1471; and Hu v Immigration and Protection Tribunal [2016] NZHC 1661).  The Court of Appeal’s first time dodging this question in Kumar v Minister of Immigration [2016] NZCA 492, [2016] NZAR 1591 was good but at the time the assessors felt it needed more time to develop, and for the Court to really commit to dodging this important question of statutory interpretation.  This year, we are pleased to confirm that that commitment is really on display when the Court went full on “lalalalala we can’t hear you” in Hai and again declined to answer the question, saying “For the reasons that follow, we do not need to resolve the issue in this application either” (at [39]).  Classic.  And in the meantime, there are maybe two dozen of these cases per year in the High Court without an answer to this question.


Category: The “You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me” Prize for Bizarre Statutory Interpretation

Winner: Decision Suppressed [2019] NZCA 612

What the assessors said: You’ve gotta be kidding us.


Category: Prize for Party Anonymisation That Sounds Most Like A Civil War At Crown Law

Winner: SG v DSG [2019] NZHC 218

What the assessors said: Picked at random you say?  Suuuuure.


Category: Best coverage of a (quasi) judicial proceeding.

Winner: @economissive for this Twitter thread covering the Operation Burnham Inquiry hearings.

What the assessors said: Captured the vibe of cross-examination that had more skewering than a kebab shop.  Fantastic public service in tweeting this.  See also Thomas Manch’s reporting on which gave excellent write-ups.


Category: Figurative Attack on the Judiciary Award

Winner: Mark Mitchell, National Party Justice Spokesperson for the executive sending much stronger signals to the judiciary about sentencing policy.

What the assessors said: We can’t really improve on what the Chief Justice said.


Category: Non-figurative Attack on the Judiciary Award

Winner: Gilliland v Police [2019] NZHC 289

What the assessors said: This joke is in tremendously poor taste.


Category: Shortest Substantive Decision of the Year

Winner: Ullah v Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [2019] NZHC 332

What the assessors said: Eight paragraphs for an application for judicial review.  No messing around.


Category: Classic Brewer J Moment of the Year

Winner: Still wearing his ceremonial red robes when presiding over admission ceremonies as late as November 2019, despite the ceremonial reds being discontinued.

What the assessors said: Classic.


Category: Award for Looking Like Parents That Are Just Happy That You’ve Come Out Of Your Room And Joined The Family At The Table For Dinner, It’s So Nice To See You And We Can Eat Together As A Family Tonight

Winner: These two from the new Courts of New Zealand Video:

Mum and Dad


Category: Best PR in the Business Award

Winner: Whichever media liaison person shut down that “My sister is the Chief Justice” story which got precisely one story on NBR and then no one ever talked about it again.

What the assessors said: Sure, it was someone saying something dumb and only speaks to poor judgement on the part of the person who said it, but it is astounding that this didn’t get more play.


Category: The Austin Powers Award For Bringing Back The Swinging Sixties

WinnerH (SC 52/2018) v Refugee and Protection Officer [2019] NZSC 13, [2019] 1 NZLR 433

What the assessors said: Anisminic is back baby!  A decision written by O’Regan J, but also one of the last decisions of Elias CJ before she was out the door.  A threat to ouster clause detente off the back of a highly sympathetic set of facts.


Category: The “I Just Have To Remind You That You’re A Judge Writing This” Prize.

Winner: Kós P and French J in Zhang v R [2019] NZCA 507 at [51] which included the line that drug mules “may or may not apprehend the scale of the contents of their bags or bodily passages”.

What the assessors said: Christ.

Highly commended: Kós P in Orchard v R [2019] NZCA 529 at [1] which opened the judgment with the line “Mr Orchard, an arborist, fell from a tree”, before going on to describe a grim-as-fuck set of facts.


Category: Most Suspicious Art Design in Judicial Photographs

Winner: The background of the photos of new senior court judges, like this one:


What the assessors said: All the judges sworn in in Wellington this year had this background, which is a dazzling array of volumes in primary colours.  It looks really good!  But is it a genuine array of books?  Any report series or statute series has to be longer than the few volumes displayed from each series, right?  So has this collection been designed and curated solely for the purpose of being a background that pops?  That seems unlikely given it would have to be maintained over the length of the various swearings-in this year.  We want to know what those books are!  If someone can get Strictly Obiter into what we assume is a library in the Old Supreme Court in Wellington, he will investigate and report back!


Category: “Times This Blog Nearly Got Into Genuine Trouble” Commemorative Plate

Winner: Publicising the Crown Solicitor at Invercargill’s strange LinkedIn comments about the Aoteroa Legal Workers Union where she seemed to say that young lawyers needed to harden up.

What the assessors said: The Crown Solicitor at Invercargill doesn’t have a LinkedIn page any more.

Highly commended: Complaints about my Mark Lundy tweets 😦



Legal horoscopes

I’m on the cusp of Aries and Band Two of Fatu.


Aries (March 21 – April 19)

You’ll struggle with a constant sense of rejection as you try to get a registrar to accept an application for probate.

Something will happen this month that will require you to seek the mercy of others, at least until the Criminal Cases Review Commission is established.

A mistake calculating working days will have unexpected benefits.


Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Everyone is so very accepting of all you have to offer, except that one self-represented litigant who is dodging service.

Sometimes going through the motions is all you can do, especially if you’re presiding over the miscellaneous motions list.

Under no circumstances use Latin terms in your court documents.


Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Your sense of satisfaction will be greatly increased this month, but so too will be the costs ordered against your client.

Mars is in your house this month, which is technically trespass.  Go to your bathroom, lock the door and call the Police.

Part 30 of the High Court Rules will hold special meaning for you.


Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

The safest place after a bank robbery is the smashed vault that’s crawling with armed cops and ringed with Police tape.  By that logic, Russell McVeagh looks pretty good right now.

If the courts can call the 11.30am break “morning tea” then 9.15am is a perfectly acceptable time to get to work.

Use Latin terms in your court documents at every opportunity.


Leo (July 23 – August 22)

It never rains but it pours this month, as you finally get a case on Decisions of Public Interest but it’s one where you got an absolute pantsing.

Write down three things you hope to accomplish this month and then send it to yourself in a letter, to be opened after thirty days.  Be sure to label the letter without prejudice.

Words come easily to you this month but so do prolix pleadings.


Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Too many cooks spoil the broth, but three Cookes have made it to the High Court bench.  It just goes to show that you can’t place great store in platitudes.

At last people will start seeing your inner queen.  Why else would they be establishing a *Royal* Commission into you?

If anyone tries to challenge you, plead three aggressive affirmative defences.


Libra (September 23 – October 22)

This month you’ll realise that some things just aren’t meant to be, as you ask for your third amendment to timetabling.

You have to spend 10 hours per year becoming a better lawyer but no hours per year becoming a better person.

Read McGechan on Procedure for an hour every night before bed.


Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

What’s that old saying? “Lawyers, guns, and money – pick any two.”  A new brief will come across your desk that shows you that you were right to hold out for all three.

You’ll feel your age this month when you realise your standard form notice of appearance still says you’ll accept service via fax.

You will get news you will want to tell everyone.  Tell your insurer first though.


Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

A voyage of discovery will see you spending late nights at the office reviewing documents for privilege.

Your own truth is personal to you, but it won’t get you very far if you can’t point to where it is in the agreed summary of facts.

If Mai Chen calls, don’t pick up.


Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Your efforts to be less judgemental will be put to the test as you accept appointment to the District Court bench.

Now matter how early the bird is, the worm can’t give more than a 25% discount for a guilty plea.

Beware of the rule in Re G J Mannix Ltd.


Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

A tough choice between your personal and professional lives beckons this month as you have to choose between losing your appeal and losing your appeal.

You’ve always struggled to get answers despite being such a particular person.  This month you’ll realise that it’s because people aren’t required to respond to particulars.

Despite raising your standards you will get in trouble with a Standards Committee.


Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

Being proven right in your personal life will come as a relief, but the same can’t be said in your application for judicial review where you’ll be proven right but relief is discretionary.

You won’t always get it right the first time, but then, neither did the Supreme Court in Saxmere.

Pleading won’t change anything, so try a form of alternative dispute resolution.


Famous songs as written by lawyers

Tuxedo Injunction – Glenn Miller and his Orchestra

Sitting In the Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

Where You Plead – Carole King

Lien On Me – Bill Withers

Van Bohemen J Rhapsody – Queen

Section 4(5) Seconds – Kanye West, Rihanna, Paul McCartney

Sympathy for the Treasury Devil – Rolling Stones

The Prominent Entertainer – Scott Joplin

The Night They Read Old Dixie Down – The Band

Working 5 To 9 – Dolly Parton

Ademption Song – Bob Marley and The Wailers

50 Ways To Grant Leave To Your Lover – Paul Simon