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How can a criminal record affect you?

Criminal record

Everyone makes mistakes, and unfortunately, sometimes the consequences are dire. Having a criminal conviction can limit your opportunities drastically, and it’s something you probably won’t realise until you are affected by it personally.

When facing charges that could potentially lead to a criminal record, you should always hire a criminal lawyer to help you with your case. A criminal record is not easily wiped away, and it can affect your life in many ways as listed below.

Reduce employment opportunities

Most employers will run a background check on job applicants before employing them in a role. If you have a criminal record, this will show up on a background check and has the potential to deter many employers from accepting you as a worker.

This is even truer for serious criminal records, but generally any criminal record is enough to deter employers. Because of this having a criminal record can reduce your employment opportunities and the likelihood of being employed.

Restrict housing options

Many landlords or property owners want to know that their tenants are trustworthy and one of things they will base their judgement on is a background check.

Having a criminal record can restrict your ability to have stable, good living quarters as landlords may be reluctant to accept you as a tenant.

Reputation in the community

Having a criminal record may also result in social consequences – if members of the community gain knowledge of it, you might be isolated from certain parts of the community.

Being excluded from family or community events might result due to a criminal record.

Restrict overseas travel

A criminal record can make it much more difficult to obtain a visa to enter a country. Many overseas governments conduct a criminal check before issuing someone a visa, so having a criminal record will be an obstacle in the process.

In some cases, in stricter countries, this could prevent you from being able to obtain a visa and thus restrict the places you can travel to.

Prevent adoption

Adoption agencies are extremely particular with the potential guardians of children. A long process with many interviews and checks is conducted before you are able to adopt a child.

The result of the application can be affected enormously if an applicant has a criminal record. In the eyes of the agency, this record may demonstrate a risk in providing a safe environment for the child.

How the jury panel is selected for a trial


A jury panel is a crucial part of civil and criminal cases heard in the NSW District and Supreme Courts. Jurors represent the general public, and are essential in determining the outcome of cases involving more serious criminal matters and large monetary claims.

Because of this, there is a system in place to help determine the selection of jurors for trial. Jury duty is a part of your responsibilities as a citizen, and anyone may be called on to serve on a jury panel. Here is how the process works.

Inclusion on the jury roll

Around 200,000 people are randomly selected from the NSW Electoral Roll to be on the jury roll every year, meaning that they can potentially serve on a jury panel throughout the year. This step informs individuals in advance that they may be summoned to court sometime in that particular year.

Jury service summons

Around 150,000 people from those on this jury roll will be sent summons for jury service. It is usually sent a month before the trial and must be obeyed unless you apply to be excused with good cause.

Your summons will contain important information, such as the date and time of the trial and your panel number. You may face legal repercussions such as a financial penalty of up to $2200 if you do not turn up for your summons without being formally excused.

Jury selection and empaneling

Only about 9,000 people actually end up on a jury panel from the 200,000 on the jury roll. Once you turn up for your summons, it is based on a random draw and whether the number on your juror card is called. If it is, you will be included in the jury.

Challenging a juror

The prosecutor and defense counsel are each able to challenge any juror in the jury box up to three times. If you are challenged, you will sit out that particular trial but may be considered for another if there are any upcoming trials on that day.

Swearing in a jury

Once the challenges have been exhausted and there is a full jury panel, each individual who has been selected is asked to take an oath or affirmation to carry their task out impartially and faithfully.

The jury then chooses a representative who will deliver the verdict at the end of the trial and answer any question posed by the court.

Four common tasks a paralegal is expected to perform


Paralegals are often thought as an assistant to the lawyer. While this is generally true, paralegals are expected to have specific knowledge in law, and are qualified to perform legal tasks that may overlap with a lawyer’s duties.

Paralegals can become qualified by taking a short education course or volunteering in case work for a substantial amount of time. Paralegals perform a variety of tasks on a daily basis, but here are four tasks a paralegal is often expected to perform.

Office administration

While a paralegal is expected to perform law-specific tasks, it is common for their duties to include office administration, especially if they are working for a smaller firm. It is often easier to hire just a paralegal, rather than an office administration assistant in addition.

Paralegals may be asked to perform tasks such as filing papers, answering phone calls, and organising files. They may also be in charge of maintaining the schedule of the lawyer they assist, and calling people or scheduling meetings to help the progression of a case.

Client interviews

While a paralegal does not typically conduct the initial client consultation, they will normally observe and take notes in order to ensure their preparation for conducting subsequent interviews. Paralegals may be responsible for later interviews with clients or witnesses, which they will summarise for their lawyer.

Legal research and presentations

One of the key tasks of a paralegal is doing the legal research and creating a presentation for the client’s case. A paralegal will often be the one to gather relevant information for a case, including the relevant laws, legal articles, and precedents.

After researching into a case, a paralegal will often compile, summarise, and analyse a report for the lawyer, so that they are able to determine the direction of their legal strategy.

This cuts out a lot of time for the lawyer and creates an efficient system.

Drafting legal documents

Paralegals will also spend a lot of time drafting legal documents, such as correspondence, pleadings, and legal briefs. Because of this, it is essential that paralegals have a high degree of written communication.

Ultimately, a paralegal provides legal and administrative assistance to lawyers, allowing for a more efficient work flow process.

They will often shadow the lawyer they assist, attending trials in court, or meetings with clients, in order to be well-informed on cases. This ensures that they are well-equipped to assist the lawyer.

How to uphold your obligations as a juror


If you have been chosen to serve as a juror on a trial, it is important that you take your role seriously as your judgement will be impacting on the parties involved. Everyone has the right to a fair trial, and that includes having a fair jury panel.

Aside from giving the trial your full attention, there are other obligations you should uphold as part of your duty as a juror. Fulfilling such obligations is part of demonstrating your ability to respect citizen responsibilities.


Above all, as a juror, you should demonstrate fairness, open-mindedness, and impartiality in your judgement. It is thus important that you let the judge know whether there is a conflict of interest that prevents you from judging the trial fairly.

It is also important that you let the judge know if you are acquainted with any of the witnesses in the trial.


As a juror, you will be required to maintain a level of confidentiality regarding the trial. That means that you should not talk about the case with other people such as your colleagues.

Similarly, you should not post any discussion or material from serving as a juror on social media.

Taking notes

You will be provided a notebook when sitting in trial to take notes as you feel is necessary. You must hand this in at the end of every court day and at the end of the trial. The material in this notebook should not leave the courtroom.

While sitting in court, you are not permitted to use any research tool to find out more information about any matter in the trial.

Full attendance

As part of the jury panel in a court case, it is required of you to attend the trial in its entirety. Each court day goes from 9.30am to 4pm, and if the trial goes on for longer than a day, every juror is expected to fully attend every day the trial is being heard.

Your summons should have an estimation of the length of the trial, so if you think that it may overlap with events such as overseas travel, you should apply to be excused.

Jury view

Jurors may be required to go to the scene of the alleged crime alongside the judge and legal representatives. Such events will happen within court hours and will be pre-arranged. If such visits are arranged during your trial, it is your responsibility as a juror to attend.

Five reasons why you should become a lawyer

Become a lawyer

Becoming a lawyer is no easy path. Studying law at university is notoriously difficult and has a reputation for late nights and headaches. But there is a reason why so many people pursue a career in law despite this track record.

Becoming a lawyer has many benefits once you become qualified and start to practice. Here are five reasons why you should pursue this career!

Ability to help others

By becoming a lawyer, you will be a legal expert and you can use that knowledge to help people. As a lawyer, you will constantly be working cases with the intent of getting a better outcome for your client. Knowing this provides a motivation beyond being just work, but having a positive impact on the lives of others.

You can choose to use your knowledge and skills to benefit those less fortunate by becoming a pro-bono lawyer.  Either way, law is a tricky field to navigate and your skills can be extremely helpful to those facing protection against or under the law.

Diverse field of work

Amidst the field of law itself are numerous specialisations you can choose as a lawyer. Whether it is criminal law, family law, or corporate law, each category is completely different and it’s up to you which niche you prefer.


Being a lawyer will often allow you flexibility in your everyday work life. As a lawyer, you have the capacity to become self-employed, in which case you can set your own hours. Furthermore, the invention of new technologies like conference video calls can minimise the need for travel.

Intellectual challenge

Much like the path to becoming a lawyer, the career choice itself will constantly provide you with an intellectual challenge. You will be forced to think critically as opposed to doing monotonous tasks.

Many people find a passion in this intellectual challenge that law provides. Because it requires you to be actively engaged, it provides an intellectual stimulation that many careers lack. As a result, many lawyers are passionate about their career and enjoy their work.

Financial reward

It’s no secret that lawyers have the potential to earn a lot of dough. While it shouldn’t be the sole reason you pursue a career in this field, there’s no discounting it as one of the benefits.

As you gain more experience in this field of work, this career provides you with opportunities to grow, whether it’s setting up your own firm or climbing up the ladder.

Five benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution


One of the common mistakes people make when dealing with legal matters is rushing into litigation without considering Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR encompasses different methods such as formal and informal settlement conferences, mediation, arbitration, and conciliation.

Many of these methods involve a third party and can resolve issues between parties without involving the courts. ADR has many benefits over a court case, as listed below.


By going the ADR route, you can keep your private matters private rather than bringing everything out in the courtroom. If your case goes to trial, it will be exposed to be public, as opposed to ADR, which involves much less people in comparison.

Saves time and money

One major upside to alternative dispute resolution is that it saves a lot of time and money for both parties. As long as both parties are willing to cooperate and come to a resolution, it is extremely likely that ADR will be much faster than a court resolution.

Waiting for your case to court can in itself take a longer time, as you are waiting in line for your trial to be heard. ADR in comparison depends on either parties’ availabilities, which is likely to be much faster to coordinate. Substantial financial costs will be saved with regards to fees that go towards the lawyer.

More control

By choosing ADR, both parties will have more control over the decision made. They will be able to choose the method of ADR that suits them, and depending on which, have the option to reach a resolution together rather than being sentenced to a course of action.

There is more control in ADR, as both parties can choose who the third party is, and also a date and time that suits them best.


Alternative dispute resolution allows for more flexible outcomes than the typical court case. Through negotiation and being in a more intimate setting, it is easier to develop a resolution that is tailored to your situation.

A personalised outcome to the resolution can arise from ADR that would be less likely with a standard court sentencing. This can ultimately be a better result for both parties.


Choosing ADR over a court case indicates an attempt to compromise or at least cooperate on both parties’ side. Going this route rather than sitting through trial has the potential to encourage a better relationship between the two parties.

Benefits of having a prenuptial agreement

prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a binding legal document that ascertains how assets are to be distributed in the event of a relationship split. While raising the idea of drawing up a prenuptial agreement can be a touchy subject, it is often a good document to have just in case.

Prenuptial agreements are particularly useful if either partner has children from a previous marriage, owns real estate property or a significant number of assets such as shares.

Getting a lawyer to help you write up a prenuptial agreement can give both parties some assurance and security. It can also be helpful in allowing both partners to voice their wishes. Here are some benefits of having a prenuptial agreement!

Special provisions

By drawing up a prenuptial agreement, both parties can specify special provisions in the division of their assets. If either parties have children from a previous marriage, they may have certain heirlooms they wish to pass down to a particular child.

In this way, binding financial agreements are beneficial as they recognise unconventional families and allow for assets to be divided fairly.

A prenuptial agreement allows for particular circumstances to be specified. You are also able to account for future events when drawing up a prenuptial agreement.

Emotional reasons

Some people might not need a prenuptial agreement, but might feel obliged or gain an emotional benefit from drawing one up.

For example, if one party wants to avoid being labelled as marrying for money, they might wish to have a prenuptial agreement for that reason.

Property protection

By drawing up a binding financial agreement, a couple will be encouraged to communicate and set boundaries for their assets. This is beneficial as it creates a higher level of transparency between the two parties.

In the event of a separation, both partners know that their property and assets are protected. This will create a level of security for an individual’s assets.

Save costs in the future

A binding financial agreement can save you immense financial costs in the future. In the event of a separation, you know that the property settlement process will not be long and drawn out as you already have a prenuptial agreement in place.

This will save you a lot of time and effort and make the process go much easier for both of you.

While drawing up a prenuptial agreement isn’t the first thing on the minds of the newly engaged, it has a lot of benefits that should be considered!

Cybersecurity tips for Corporate Lawyers

As technology and data have become essential to the function of modern corporate entities, the risk of cyber-attack has been heightened. For many it is no longer a case of if they will be attacked, but when.

There are some very real and constant threats to the cybersecurity of a business and a corporate lawyer can find themselves right in the middle of it. But why would a lawyer need to worry about technology?

In truth, law firms and legal departments are some of the most highly targeted by cyber-attacks because of the sensitive information they have access to. Data on mergers, acquisitions, patents and new products are often available to lawyers, making them a prime target for data breaches.

For these reasons corporate lawyers need to remain vigilant and up to date with the company’s cybersecurity.

Understand the technology of your company

While you may understand your company’s business, you might not have any clue about how their digital infrastructure works. Do you know what is done with the data that’s collected and shared throughout the company?

If the answer is no, then you should investigate this as much as you can. Determine what the company’s cyber policies are and make sure your practises are in line with it.

Make sure you know your vendors

It’s important to be aware of which vendors your company associates with and who they contract with so as to avoid liability issues. If a vendor stores data from your company it pays to know what that data is and how they use it.

The relationship between the company and its vendors can be one of the first places to find flaws in data security. If you notice something that could be exploited by a malicious party, let management know about it.

Improve your own data security measures

Think about what your data protection practises are and do your best to improve upon them. Make sure that you are secure across all of the computers, tablets and phones you may use.

If one of your devices was lost or stolen, would a malicious party be able to access confidential information? What kind of information do you have that could be used against the company?

Asking these questions and practising ongoing data vigilance is important for protecting the company’s data. It only takes one weak link for a huge data breach to severely cripple a company.

The Importance of Children’s Rights in Australia

When it comes to law, not just in Australia but globally, children have always been given the most protection and been considered as high priority. This involves any crime against children. Though some crimes are worse than others, there is no justification for any form of child abuse anywhere in the world.

There are countries where children are forced to do unimaginable things and get treated like no true mother would ever imagine. Some even get hurt or die as a result of the violence and presence of negligence in their own homes.

From a 7-year old boy in the Middle Eastern war gets told to hold a bomb, there are countless more children all around the world that suffer from some sort of abuse. Is there a justification for it? We can’t and won’t ever be able to think of one. All we, and every other country, can do is focus on keeping children safe and increase the effort of keeping children from other countries safe as we do our own.

The Commitment Towards Protecting Children’s Rights in Australia

Although protecting children has always been important in Australia, in the year of 1989, the UN General Assembly joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which is noticed as one of the biggest human rights treaties globally. This treaty is signed by the majority of the world and excludes countries such as Somalia and the United States.

Ever since this treaty has been accepted in Australia, the country has the duty of ensuring the safety of Australian children and provide to them in such a manner that they enjoy all of the rights as stated in the treaty.

Important Principles of the CRC



Some of the most important principles of the treaty were set up to ensure the safety, freedom and education of all children.

These are four main principles that must be complied with and protected.

  • Make children a primary consideration and priority, as well as respect their interests. This includes all decisions that are made on behalf of children.
  • Protecting the right that all children have the right to development and survival.
  • Children have the right to express their individual views freely on all matters that affect them.
  • Children have the right to enjoy all rights implemented by the CRC without any discrimination.

Since signing the treaty with the CRC, Australia has made a commitment towards the country’s children and has to report about their rights to the UN every 5 years.

This agreement allows for the UN to monitor both Australia and the majority of countries around the world that are committed to the protection and promotion of children’s rights globally. Receiving feedback on the right of children in each country allows the UN the opportunity to furthermore develop the planning and policies, as well as raise more awareness, regarding children’s rights.

The Law on Intellectual Property

Intellectual property

It is and always has been important to protect your intellectual property against any disputes or copyright infringements that may present potential damage. This is true not only for the sake of property protection but also in order to provide you with a competitive advantage.

The best way to go about protecting your property would be to hire solicitors and in doing so also enforce your legal rights against those who seek an opportunity to infringe them or act on your behalf once an infringement claim is made against you.

Understanding Intellectual Property Law

Few tend to understand the term ‘intellectual property’. This is due to the definition of ‘property’ which refers to something you own. Intellectual property cannot be described as something physical but rather your ideas. The laws on the intellectual property thus include the safekeeping of your ideas. These ideas include designs, names, brands, images, symbols and literary work.

If ever you have created an ‘idea’ and invested your time, thinking and personality into it, whether it be for the development of a brand, service or product which can all add to your creative work, intellectual property tends to get a lot more serious. It provides a platform in law that protects your exclusive use of that idea. Once you’ve established your brand, product, service or creation, the law of intellectual property protects your property against the misuse of others, especially competitors.

Different Intellectual Property Rights


Trademarks – As an aspect that can be protected by intellectual property laws, trademarks usually refer to the name of your brand, as well as a logo. This law will also help protects the products and services that belong to your brand.

Copyright – The automatic right that exists within the creative works which will the manner your idea is represented

Designs unique to you – These are the preparations and layouts of your products and services. Intellectual property laws help protect your designs as they can very easily be copied.

Articles, content and creative work – Anything that can possibly be published under your name can also be protected by the law.

Services Provided by Solicitors to Enforce the Laws of Your Intellectual Property

Solicitors will provide you with a range of services to protect your ideas. These include the registering of your trademarks, advising on product names, images and designs which should be registered as trademarks, reviewing agreements, as well as creating new ones that protects your intellectual property, consulting with a patent attorney for the registration of your patents, enforcing your rights regarding property, opposing the registration of competitor trademarks that are similar to yours, reviewing your property’s protection before making business sales and conducting property audits in order to assess the protection of all your property.

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