Expert witness liability / immunity: Consideration of Attwells

With thanks to Tim Bowen for pointing out yesterday's decision in Chalk v Larder [2017] QDC 308 which concerned an application by the defendant to strike out the plaintiff’s claim and whether the defendant has immunity as a witness in the proceedings in respect of the claims advanced. Against the background of family law proceedings, the …

ALRC reference: Class actions + litigation funders

On 11 December 2017 the Attorney General (Cth) made a reference to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) asking it to "inquire into class action proceedings and third party litigation funders, to maximise access to justice for ordinary Australians". The ALRC will report by 21 December 2018. The media release reads: With class actions becoming more …

Expert evidence: Expertise & late service

Sandra Battersby v Allan; Darrel Battersby v Allan [2017] NSWSC 1724 was an interlocutory decision in the course of claim arising from a neurosurgical  procedure following which the claimant suffered hemiplegia. The defendant applied for orders in relation to the claimant's expert, who was a neurologist not a neurosurgeon. The court held at [48] - …

Recommendations by a psychiatrist: Child said to be at risk of harm.

Although the decision relates only to approval of a settlement and the claim was not a medical claim, the matter of Hopkins ( by her tutor the New South Wales Trustee and Guardian) v State of New South Wales [2017] NSWSC 1733 is of interest for its background facts, which concerned in part a recommendation by …

Reproductive negligence: A proposal

Writing in the Columbia Law Review, Associate Professor Dov Fox proposes a novel framework of reproductive wrongs. It distinguishes misconduct that (1) imposes unwanted pregnancy or parent­hood, (2) deprives wanted pregnancy or parenthood, and (3) confounds efforts to have or avoid a child born with particular traits. It also introduces a right to recover when reproductive …

AUSTLII database additions

Recent additions to the AUSTLII database include the journal series "Plaintiff" (1997 - 2004) and the newer series "Precedent" (2004 - continuing), both published by Australian Lawyers Alliance which was previously known as the APLA (Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association). The Precedent journal collection presently extends to 2015.