Queensland Law Society

Launch of the Modern Advocate

On Tuesday 25 October Queensland Law Society launched the QLS Ethics Centre’s Modern Advocate Lecture Series. This series, an initiative of QLS deputy president Christine Smyth, aims to foster collegiality in the junior ranks of the profession and to imbue young practitioners with the knowledge and skills to sharpen their advocacy.

The initial lecture was delivered by her Honour Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, who spoke about the future of advocate’s immunity following the High Court’s decision in Attwells v Jackson Lalic Lawyers Pty Ltd, an issue which should be on the radar of all lawyers involved in litigation. Her Honour has a well-earned reputation for being able to render technical legal issues accessible through insightful oration complimented by her dry wit, and this lecture was no exception.

The Chief Justice articulated with precision the factors courts will need to assess in considering advocate’s immunity and provided practical tips to avoid trouble, all seasoned with wry observations which kept her Honour’s audience engaged and entertained. No doubt all who attended will approach mediations with both a heightened sense of caution and an enhanced ability to adequately protect themselves – an invaluable skill for lawyers of all levels of seniority.

Following the lecture, most of the 90 attendees – having had their intellects nourished – stayed for nourishment of a more casual kind, and embraced the networking session with at least as much enthusiasm as they had attended the words of the Chief Justice. Pleasantries and business cards were exchanged as both halves of the profession engaged in a relaxed atmosphere reminiscent of earlier times.

QLS deputy president Christine Smyth had spoken in her welcoming speech of the collegiality that had once emerged spontaneously from the many dreary tasks of young lawyers and clerks in the days of yore, and that had waned as technology subsumed those tasks.

The series launch showed that the spirit of collegiality is far from dead, however, and that all young lawyers need is the chance to get together and they will automatically begin building the professional friendships that will sustain them throughout their careers. The QLS Ethics Centre’s Modern Advocate Lecture Series is off to a great start and the Society is already planning the next lecture, to be held in early 2017.

See the event photos