Weekend Wrap: Law award finalists announced

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Making legal news this week, Australasian Lawyer announced this year’s law award finalists; the Queensland government opened the first Murri court; Minters launched ‘Flex’ and a Melbourne lawyer was hit with a 15-month practice ban.
Finalists for this year’s Australasian Lawyer Law Awards have been announced, ahead of awards night on 19 May.  Head to the awards site to see the full list of finalists.

The first of 13 Murri courts opened in Rockhampton this week as part of a strategy by the Queensland government to lower the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

“Murri Courts assist in diverting people from the criminal justice system,” said Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath.

“This is a vital change to the way we administer criminal justice in Queensland and an important step to closing the gap in our community.”

MinterEllison launched a flexible business to give clients access to contract lawyers with a quality guarantee. 

“Clients and market feedback tells us that there is increasingly a need for high quality lawyers to work temporarily in-house – but they need to be of the highest quality and able to ‘hit the ground running’,” partner and innovation head Andrew Cunningham said.

“The lawyers we place with clients through Flex are connected to and integrated with MinterEllison's elite capability and knowhow, and this gives clients the confidence to embrace agile staffing.”

The firm said while the move is in response to client demand, a growing number of lawyers are seeking flexible work so the new business will attract quality lawyers who don’t want to work long hours on a permanent basis.

Melbourne lawyer Alex Lewenberg was hit with a 15-month practice ban at a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal this week.  He was found guilty of professional misconduct in March over comments he made to a sex abuse victim while he was defending a paedophile.

“I am not exactly delighted that another Yid would assist police against an accused, no matter whatever he is accused of,” Lewenberg told the sex abuse victim in a recorded conversation.

Lewenberg, who has been banned previously, admitted to the comments but said he did not know he was talking to a victim of the paedophile he was representing when he made the comments.

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