Courts

First Indigenous judge appointed to Australian supreme court

Silk Lincoln Crowley has been appointed by the Queensland premier as the first Indigenous judge of an Australian supreme court.

Employment

Amazon settles pregnancy discrimination suit by factory worker

Amazon has settled a lawsuit accusing the e-commerce giant of violating the Fair Work Act by refusing to give an applicant a job because was pregnant.

Appeals

Crown out of luck in $100M battle with ATO as High Court refuses leave

The High Court has dismissed Crown Resorts’ bid for special leave to appeal in a $100 million dispute over GST assessments on commissions and rebates paid to tour operators that directed international VIP gamblers to two of its casinos.

Trials

Ben Roberts-Smith to call last-minute witness over alleged Easter Sunday killing

Alleged war criminal Ben Roberts-Smith has won a bid to call a troop commander known as Person 81 in his defamation trial against Fairfax Media, despite the media company’s objections.

Intellectual Property

In tossing inventor’s IP challenge, Full Court says essential oil a ‘staple commercial product’

The Full Federal Court has rejected an Australian inventor’s appeal of a ruling that found three manufacturers of essential oil products did not infringe his patent because the oil was a “staple commercial product”.

Defamation

French Bulldog breeder wins defamation case over ‘puppy farm’ Facebook posts

A French Bulldog breeder has won a defamation case over Facebook comments calling her business a ‘puppy farm’.

Intellectual Property

Seeley challenge to ‘natural cool air’ trade mark gets chilly reception

Air-conditioning giant Seeley is appealing a decision by IP Australia shooting down its bid to block a father-son team from registering their ‘Natural Cool Air’ trade mark.

Class Actions

EY settles class action claims over Slater & Gordon audits

Ernst & Young has settled all claims against it in a shareholder class action alleging the Big Four accounting firm and Pitcher Partners signed off on an overly rosy year-end financial report that failed to disclose risks and impairments associated with the law firm's disastrous $1.2 billion acquisition of UK insurance claims company Quindell.

Professional Negligence

‘This is not a computer game’: Thomson Geer rails against remote witnesses in negligence case

A judge has allowed three witnesses for HK Realway to give evidence by video link at an upcoming negligence trial against Thomson Geer, over protests from the firm, which said it would be inherently unfair.

Legal Ethics

Ban on lawyer’s practicing certificate can’t be retroactive, appeals court says

An appeals court has overturned a decision banning a lawyer from practice with retrospective effect and ordering her to pay $20,000 in legal costs, after a tribunal sanctioned her for allegedly misleading a court employee and making “offensive” remarks in 2016.

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