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General Legal Practice

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JSC ordered to reveal 'closed door' deliberations

In a case brought by the Helen Suzman Foundation, the Constitutional Court has ordered the JSC to make public its deliberations on appointing judges. In a majority judgment delivered yesterday, the court ruled that a blanket ban of disclosure was unjustifiable in a democratic society.

Chief Justice questions talk of five-year LLB course

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 29 March 2018
General Legal Practice
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has questioned why there was talk of extending the LLB programme to five years in SA‚ when countries in Europe offered high-quality law programmes in three years. Most SA universities offer a four-year LLB programme‚ except the University of the Witwatersrand‚ which scrapped the four-year programme in 2014, notes a TimesLIVE report.

Crucial meeting to prepare for radical transformation

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 22 March 2018
General Legal Practice
With just eight months to go before the final provisions of the Legal Practice Act 2014 are put into effect, the legal profession is preparing for the radical transformation of its operational landscape, reports Venilla Yoganathan for Legalbrief. With emphasis on stronger regulation, transparency and accessibility, the Act, gazetted in September 2014, will fundamentally alter several long-entrenched legal practices, including the role and functions of attorneys and advocates; fee structures; and disciplinary processes.

Search on for lawyer accused of R150m fraud

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 19 March 2018
General Legal Practice Litigation
A nationwide manhunt has been launched for Andrew Stephens, a lawyer who allegedly misappropriated more than R150m through the abuse of his law firm’s accounts and his clients’ trust. A Weekend Argus report says the US-born lawyer had been working as financial director of Sandton-based law firm, Dadic Attorneys, since 2011.

Hlophe punts mediation ahead of litigation

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 07 March 2018
General Legal Practice
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe yesterday said political disputes did not belong in courts unless there was a serious violation of rights, reports News24. Political disputes were spoiling SA's jurisprudence, he said. 'They shouldn't be there. When we find for them (politicians) we are clever, when we find against them, we are fools,' added Hlophe.

D-Day at last as Zuma asked to sell out Guptas

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 12 February 2018
General Legal Practice
The ANC’s apparent aversion to simply taking the President Jacob Zuma exit matter to Parliament and putting it to the vote of no confidence test is evident in the latest claims that the party is ready to offer Zuma the chance to escape any state capture prosecution that might be brought against him by turning state witness against the Guptas and other major role players, notes Legalbrief.

Courts at odds on debt review issue

Debt counselling, implemented as an alternative to sequestration for indebted consumers, is a ‘disaster’ for many consumers, according to practitioners. Rapport notes that the issue of customers wanting to abandon the debt review process has become more complicated with the Western Cape and Gauteng High Courts at odds on the matter.

Legal fraternity fights move on property transfers

A company which claims to have a business model to deal with the day to day administrative aspects of property transfers has run up against the legal fraternity, which says transfers in law are the preserve of conveyancers or legal practitioners, notes Legalbrief.

Attorney jailed for 30 days for contempt

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 29 January 2018
Criminal Law General Legal Practice
Handcuffs finally snapped shut around the wrists of Durban attorney Ajay Debba when‚ after ‘ducking and diving’ for two months‚ he was arrested at court on Friday and taken to Westville Prison to serve 30 days for contempt of court. A TimesLIVE report says Debba – who has also been suspended from practice by the KZN Law Society – is accused of stealing money from people through bogus property deals.

Judge urges mediation for medical negligence claims

Retired Judge Neels Claassen has urged parties involved in medical litigation to seek mediation as an alternative to protracted court battles in negligence claims. A report in The Herald says Claassen was presenting a paper to candidates on the advantage of mediation versus litigation stemming from medical negligence by doctors and other health professionals.

Builders delay class action to recover government debt

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 19 January 2018
General Legal Practice Litigation
Master Builders SA (MBSA) has postponed a planned class-action application against the government to recoup billions owed to its members for work done for municipalities, provincial and government departments, and state-owned enterprises in order to engage the National Treasury in a last-ditch attempt to resolve the problem.

TV Cameras in the Courtroom – Media Circus or Public Right?

By Ashersons Attorneys Published on Thursday, 04 January 2018
Civil Rights Criminal Law General Legal Practice
The Henri van Breda saga is a perfect example of how media broadcasts and livestreaming from a high-profile trial can stoke public interest and engagement. But what about the rights of witnesses to privacy and security? And the accused person’s right to a fair trial? How should our courts balance these rights against those of the public and the media?

Sheriff operated illegally for nine months

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 04 December 2017
General Legal Practice Litigation
Lawyers who used the services of KZN South Coast’s former sheriff Margaret Matthews could find themselves taken to court by those seeking restitution after she was found to have operated without a fidelity fund certificate for nine months, notes a Sunday Tribune report. Matthews, who vacated the office in September, executed summonses, notices, warrants and court orders in the Umzinto, Pennington, Hibberdene, Turton, Scottburgh and Vulamehlo areas.

It’s Wedding Season! Here’s Why You Need an ANC (Whether You Marry Here or Overseas)

By Ashersons Attorneys Published on Friday, 01 December 2017
Family Law General Legal Practice
The Rand’s weakness notwithstanding, many couples still plan their dream weddings overseas.  Likewise, many couples living overseas come back to South Africa to marry.  If you are one of them, ask your lawyer before you get married for advice on which country’s laws will apply to your marriage.

McKinsey yet to arrange Eskom refund

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 17 November 2017
General Legal Practice Litigation
Disgraced consulting firm McKinsey is still to make arrangements for the return of the cash it received from Eskom in an unlawful contract. A Business Day report says McKinsey has also declined to account for the R564m Eskom paid to the Gupta-linked Trillian, which initially had been introduced as McKinsey’s local supply development partner. The firm said it would pay back only the R1bn it had received from Eskom.

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