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    PICKING THE ILLEGAL LOCKDOWN

    Picking the illegal Lockdown The hard restrictions perpetuated by the regulations pertaining to Level 4 of the Risk-Adjusted Strategy have led to the widespread and mounting expression of frustration, anger and utter disdain — As they should! The status quo follows in the wake of the gullible majority’s initial crippling by fear, followed by perplexity— as the empirical truth began to emerge— and then a phase of denial and apathy, which has allowed Government to continue under the delusion that it is entitled to impose restrictions which are prima facie illegal (as exposed below) and have no bearing on the viral contagion. However, the mere expression of frustration and anger would appear to simply feed the draconian in the ministers who continue to grandstand their in-eloquence and incompetence on our TV screens.  It’s time to act! An issue close to our hearts, set out in ‘Speak for Children still estranged by the lockdown’, inspired us to act by mandating a member firm to act pro bono in addressing a stern letter of demand to the ministries of Social Development and Justice on behalf of various parents (who responded to the article), resulting in the regulation being amended within a couple…

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  • Uncategorized

    Unlockdown: “Always look on the Bright side of..” Law!

    It’s now day 19 and there is no sign of logical extension of the ambit of permitted contagion-benign activities. As part of civil society, lawyers should not advocate flouting, but can certainly flirt with the interpretation of unconstitutional regulations, in the interest of the public at large (or rather, at home)— Why not, if it’s leader finds the extension of the lockdown period hysterical! It must be cautioned that what follows is not for the obtuse, fear-mongered, faint-of-heart or sedentary but for the rest, an eclectic blend of law and satire in the ‘far side’ of the law of movement or lack thereof, lies in store. I pause to mention the irony of these regulations being published soon after the Minister of Health, a medical doctor, stating that ‘jogging and dog-walking’ would be perfectly fine. Followed by a complete rebuke of these activities, even more ironically by the Minister of Cooperative Governance et cetera and then the Minister of Police’s prophetic nay-saying: “There shall be no jogging or walking-of-dogs!”—And this, despite global tolerance of these activities (even in pandemic epicenters), and the absence of anyone on the planet remotely shown, or…

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    Speak for children still estranged by the Lockdown!

    I am writing this primarily as father of a 2-year-old child and in the interests of the myriad of children, who have been estranged from a parent since the Lockdown began. Immediately prior to the Lockdown, my son and his mother had been visiting his grandmother who they had not seen in some time. We, as a family, thought it best that they not rush back, having faith in the relevant Department taking great care in formulating directives in the best interests of children across the country. After all, children’s rights are paramount. On the 30th of March 2020, the Minister of Social Development dropped a bombshell on both parents and children alike with the publication of the first set of draconian ‘Directions’ (#43107), which simply reiterate that:  “Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities is prohibited.” There was absolutely no purpose to the direction, as Regulation #11062 prohibited the movement of all people in any event.  Accordingly, the drafters felt it incumbent to justify its futility by adding that the purpose was: “To ensure that the child is not exposed to any possible infection while moving.” Were the drafters of the view that parents who actually want to…

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  • Industry

    Where did the “One-Third Allowance” go?

    By the end of 1974, the Law Society by-law established that a maximum one-third allowance on fees to correspondents was permitted but not compulsory. Today, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, there are no one-third allowances granted by the correspondent attorney. Most newbie practitioners are oblivious to the one-third allowance and how to account for it. In practice, the correspondent attorney invoices the instructing attorney for the full fee. In turn, the instructing attorney recovers the full fee from the client and then pays the correspondent attorney two thirds thereof. The correspondent attorney should then send a credit note for the one-third which would then allow both practices to round off their books. In some instances, a referee attorney will invoice a client directly. In this scenario, the referring firm would invoice the referee firm. The challenge in this relationship is keeping track of both the quality of work as well as the fees invoiced as the respective firms have different books of accounts which are not accessible between the firms. Linklawyer provides a common bookkeeping and document management portal for referred clients which are accessible by both the instructing/referring attorneys and the correspondent/referee attorneys. Linklawyer further…

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  • Industry

    Unravelling the Legal Practice Act

    We, at Linklawyer, know how difficult it is for small and solo practitioners (SSPs) to keep abreast of professional developments and governance while juggling court appearances, urgent applications, and demanding clients. Large firms have dedicated resources to not only monitor but also voice their interests, which often differ markedly from those of SSPs. We’ve initiated the Linklawyer blog so that we can keep SSPs in the loop by providing concise and informative articles about new developments and the things that matter, and to collate, voice and lobby for such interests. First on our agenda is to present a series of articles on the Legal Practice Act. Our aim is to keep our followers updated on new legal developments and to identify and address the more salient features of the LPA. The Legal Practice Act came into partial effect in February 2019. This spells significant changes for legal practitioners who will all have to adapt very quickly to adjust to the new regulations or face punitive action. The LPA is the first piece of legislation to regulate all legal practitioners, candidate legal practitioners, and juristic entities in South African history. This new development has left many of us scratching our heads…

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  • Industry

    What Makes Lawyers Happy? It’s Not What You Think

    By Paula Davis-Laack Happy lawyer – sounds like an oxymoron, right? Having practiced law for seven years, I can’t think of many of my colleagues who I would classify as happy, or even mildly enthusiastic. More troubling, when I ask my lawyer audiences how many would pick this profession if they had to do it all over again, very few hands go up. The law is a well-regarded profession (despite all of the lawyer jokes you hear) that affords most in it a very comfortable income, prestige and respect – something is missing. I recently spoke at a conference on lawyer well-being and was thrilled to co-present with one of my favorite law professors, Larry Krieger. Krieger, together with social scientist Ken Sheldon, authored a groundbreaking study examining lawyer satisfaction. They discovered that the things that lawyers think will make them happy long-term in the profession (e.g., money, prestige, making partner, status) are exactly the opposite of what actually does lead to well-being in the law, and scientifically, have little to no correlation with happiness. Rather, it’s these three pathways that most strongly correlate with long-term well-being:…

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  • Industry

    Taking Legal Practice into the 21st Century

    ~ by Stephen Wingate-Pearse I recently came across a body of research, commissioned by the South African Law Society, and conducted by Lexis Nexis, the results of which I found fascinating.  Whilst the research was done in 2016, it is my considered opinion that the outcomes are that much more relevant in the current lexicon.   The research established a genuinely reflective “picture” in terms of inter aliageographical, race, earnings and gender demographics for the profession.  In brief, most lawyers operate within small firms or sole practitioners – the vast majority(72%) of the 12 373 law firms in South Africa are made up of organisations that employ one to ten staff including professionals and support staff.  Of the 72%, 47% is made up of sole practitioners!  Coupled with the information that the majority of lawyers bill less than R1 000 per hour, – this is a startling finding indeed!It appears that most lawyers are putting in a great deal of work, with non-concomitant rewards.   Additionally, it appears that the industry has thoroughly embraced technology to further their growth trajectories.  This is illustrated by 37% of respondents, indicating that either a director or equity partner conducts their own research with…

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  • Industry

    Sharing Office Space: A Smart Choice for aspiring specialist legal practitioners

    It’s tough practising law as an independent practitioner. The considerable outlay involved in setting up, and the overheads and time involved in managing a practice, fall squarely on your shoulders.

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