WORKPLACE LAW

Do you have a problem at work? We might be able to help.

We can assist with the following:

– Magistrates Courts: employment claims for unpaid wages, superannuation and entitlements under employment instruments such as awards and enterprise bargaining agreements.

– disciplinary proceedings: if you are under investigation or being disciplined at work, we can advise you, represent you and respond/make submissions on your behalf.

– unfair dismissal: if you are eligible for an unfair dismissal remedy and your dismissal was unfair, you can apply for reinstatement and/or compensation.

– general protections claim: if your employer has taken adverse action against you because you have (or have not) exercised, or proposed to (or proposed not to) exercise a workplace right, your employer may have breached section 340 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

– Protection for whistleblowers: claims under section Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

If you are an employer, we can also assist you. We can draft your employment contracts, advise you of your obligations and defend any claim made against your business by a current or former employee.

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com

 

 

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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In Queensland, domestic violence includes behaviour that is:

– physically or sexually abusive; or

– emotionally or psychologically abusive; or

– economically abusive; or

– threatening; or

– coercive; or

– in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for the second person’s safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.

“Emotional or psychological abuse” means behaviour by a person towards another person that torments, intimidates, harasses or is offensive to the other person.

“Economic abuse” means behaviour by a person that is coercive, deceptive or unreasonably controls another person without their consent in a way that denies them economic or financial autonomy, or withholding or threatening to withhold financial support necessary for reasonable living expenses.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may well need the protection of the law in order to protect your physical and psychological wellbeing. If you have committed domestic violence or been falsely accused of having committed domestic violence, having an order made against you may harm you in subsequent family law proceedings or jeopardise your employment.

WE CAN ASSIST WITH THE FOLLOWING:

 – negotiating outcomes which avoid the need for hearing

 – if the matter cannot be settled, representing you at the hearing and presenting the best case possible to maximise the chances of a favourable outcome.

 

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com

MENTAL HEALTH LAW

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If you are under an Involuntary Treatment Order or a Forensic Order under the Mental Health Act 2016, this can seriously curtail your liberty and personal freedom.

The Mental Health Review Tribunal is an independent body which hears from the psychiatrists, the patient and others before it decides for itself whether such an order should remain in place.

In our experience, obtaining a second opinion from another psychiatrist and/or making strong submissions to the tribunal can often result in the order made against you being revoked.

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com

CRIMINAL LAW

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TALKING TO POLICE

Before you talk to the police, you should speak with a solicitor to determine whether it’s in your interests to participate in a police interview. Often you have everything to lose and nothing to gain by speaking to the police, as the primary purpose of interviewing you is usually to extract evidence that can later be used by them to prove your guilt. Everything you say can be used against you. Therefore, speaking to police before obtaining advice from a lawyer is extremely dangerous.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Being charged with a criminal offence or even being a suspect under investigation can be an extremely stressful time. Seeing a solicitor as early as possible will help ensure that you understand your rights, the process and what your options are.

We can assist with the following:

 Police interviews: we can advise you of your rights and tell you how to conduct yourself during the interview and what questions you should and should not answer.

 Bail hearings: to give you the best chance to live freely in the community while your charges are dealt with.

 Advice: on how you should plead, your prospects of acquittal, what the likely sentence will be and many other matters.

 Traffic matters: If you are caught driving unlicensed or over the alcohol limit, you will face a period of disqualification from holding or obtaining a drivers license. If you have been drink driving and require a license, we can prepare the paperwork and appear in court to apply for a restricted license for you to allow you to get to work and back. If you are suspended as a result of an accumulation of demerit points we can apply for a special hardship order so that you can travel to and from work.

 Trials: we can appear and advocate on your behalf for summary trials in the Magistrates Court. For more serious offences in the District or Supreme Court we will instruct a barrister to appear on your behalf. You will benefit from having two legal minds working on your case and having a lawyer who specialises in advocacy conducting the trial on your behalf.

 Sentencing hearings: if you wish to plead guilty, we can appear for you and make submissions to the Judge or Magistrate so that you obtain the lightest penalty in the circumstances. Provided that the offence you have committed is not too serious and you do not have a bad criminal record, we can make submissions to the court so that a conviction is not recorded.

 Appeals: If you are dissatisfied with the decision of a Magistrate, you can apply for a rehearing under section 222 of the Justices Act 1886. We can advise you on your prospects of an appeal, prepare the paperwork for filing and make submissions to the court.

Legal Aid PREFERRED SUPPLIERS

We are Legal Aid preferred suppliers for general criminal matters. You may apply for Legal Aid through our firm.

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com

PERSONAL INJURY

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If you have been injured at work, you will normally be entitled to Workcover, which pays most of your salary and your medical expenses. If your employer is at fault for the incident which caused your injuries, you may bring a claim against your employer for damages.

If you have been injured outside of work and another person caused your injuries, you may bring a claim against them. In the case of motor vehicle accidents, your claim is effectively against the compulsory third party insurer of the at fault driver (or, if the at fault vehicle was uninsured or unidentified, the Nominal Defendant). In other incidents, it is often a public liability insurer.

Strict timeframes apply to Queensland personal injury claims, so if you wish to make a claim you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

LIABILITY

Liability refers to who is considered to be legally at fault for the accident or incident which caused the injuries. It is decided according to the facts of the case, legislative provisions, precedents and what a reasonable person in the defendant’s shoes would have done.

In a negligence action, a court can make any of the following decisions on liability:

  1. The court finds the defendant is liable (damages are therefore awarded). See for instance Kerle v. BM Alliance Coal Operations Pty Limited & Ors [2016] QSC 304 (16 December 2016) or  Heywood v Commercial Electrical Pty Ltd [2013] QCA 270.

  2. The court finds the defendant is not liable (the claim is dismissed). See for instance Robinson v Lorna Jane Pty Ltd [2017] QDC 266.

  3. The court finds the defendant is liable but that the Claimant was also at fault, and an apportionment is made in accordance with the extent of each party’s negligence (in effect, damages awarded being reduced by the extent to which the Claimant is determined to have contributed to his or her own loss).

If your claim proceeds to trial and the issue of liability is wholly decided against you, the court will not award any damages.

QUANTUM

Quantum refers to how much your claim is worth, assuming that liability is determined in your favour. The quantum of a claim depends on a number of factors, including the following:

1. the symptoms, disabilities and prognosis of the injury(ies)

2. What medical treatment has been given or may later be required

3. the Claimant’s age

4. the Claimant’s work and earnings history

5. the extent to which the injury(ies) affect the Claimant’s employability

6. the extent to which the Claimant required gratuitous (unpaid) care following the incident

7. whether the Claimant has any injuries or conditions that were not caused by the incident the subject of the claim but which may also affect their employability.

It is impossible to precisely predict what a court will award if the matter proceeds to trial. Another unofficial factor affecting quantum if the matter proceeds to trial is which judge assesses quantum. It is well known that some judges assess quantum generously, whilst others take a more conservative approach.

Unfortunately, Queensland legislation prohibits us from advertising the results we have obtained or can obtain for you in personal injury cases. In our view this is an unacceptable restriction on free speech which should be repealed. However, once you book an appointment we can fully discuss your potential claim and answer any questions you may have.

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com

CIVIL LITIGATION

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If you want to sue or are being sued, it is extremely important that you have lawyers who fully explain to you the process, your options and the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed course of action.

WE beat Gold Coast lawyers

In 2019, we crushed two leading Gold Coast litigation firms in the same commercial litigation matter with our superior command and understanding of the law. Remarkably, on each occasion the solicitor opposing us only realised that our view of the law as it applied to the dispute was correct after the Judge told them so, and they subsequently unsuccessfully sought adjournments mid-hearing. The result on each occasion was outright victory.

We have a perfect record of success against Gold Coast litigation firms. We beat them every time. Hands down.

ENGAGING COUNSEL

The decision of whether to engage a barrister on your behalf is a complicated one which depends on a number of factors, including the monetary size of the dispute, its complexity and the stage in the proceeding. Despite the extra cost, having a good barrister advocate on your behalf can be a great investment that pays off later.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Litigation is normally an expensive process. You need competent representation to protect and promote your interests. We have the experience and diligence to help.

We can act for you in the Magistrates Court, District Court, Supreme Court, QCAT or the federal courts. We also are experienced in appeals against decisions of judges and Magistrates.

In order to save unnecessary expense, we will always explore ways to resolve the civil dispute without going to trial. There are many options. We can send through formal offers to the other side, have the matter set down for a mediation or conference or even just pick up the phone to the opposing lawyers to see what their position is and see whether the dispute can be resolved informally. Sometimes it is worthwhile to remember or discover the underlying motivations and interests of the parties to explore creative ways of resolving the dispute in question.

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com

FAMILY LAW

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Getting separated is one of the most stressful and difficult times of your life, as you have to deal with your feelings, divorce proceedings, financial issues and/or issues relating to your children. In our experience, clients often benefit from having a lawyer guide them through the post separation minefield.

We can give you the right advice so you know the law, the outcome(s) you want and how to pursue them.

HOW WE CAN HELP

We can assist with the following:

  • – Advising you on where you stand and your options
  • – Drafting and providing independent legal advice on binding financial agreements
  • – Preparing and filing consent orders, and providing legal advice in respect of consent orders
  • – Attending mediations and conciliations and negotiating on your behalf
  • – Obtaining divorce orders
  • – Drafting and providing independent legal advice on binding child support agreements
  • – Representation during family law litigation
  • – Advice and representation for domestic violence applications.
Legal Aid preferred suppliers

We are Legal Aid preferred suppliers for family law matters. You may apply for Legal Aid through our firm.

We are also on Legal Aid Queensland’s Cross-examination scheme panel, which means that if you require a lawyer to cross-examine on your behalf because you are prohibited from doing so, we are able to assist you with that.

Legal Aid Queensland grants legal assistance when applicants meet a means test as well as a merits test.

The means test applies to the income and assets of each applicant. An applicant’s income and assets includes the income and assets of any person who usually gives or can be reasonably expected to give the applicant financial support.

Initial contributions may be levied on both income and assets. Where an applicant has both income and assets above the threshold for legal assistance without contribution, the initial contribution to be paid is the sum of the income and assets contributions.

The means test is/can be applied at any stage of the proceedings and applicants are required to keep Legal Aid Queensland advised of any change in their financial circumstances.

CONTACT US

Sterling Law can be contacted by phone on 07 3667 8213, or by email: office@sterlinglawqld.com