I work with: various departments and entities of the Victorian Government, including Department of Transport and Victoria Police, and insurers including the VMIA and QBE.
Major highlights: There have been a few… some legally interesting… some factually entertaining…
Of the latter, I acted for Victoria Police in a Supreme Court proceeding involving a man in his 60s alleging, among other things, battery as a consequence of being capsicum sprayed in the genital area. The State succeeded in defending the claim, and the decision got a fair amount of media attention as genitals were involved. My highlight was when, in giving his evidence, the plaintiff jumped out of the witness box and proceeded to re-enact the entire scene of being capsicum sprayed in the middle of the court room and Justice Kaye did his best to keep up and narrate each of the plaintiff’s actions for the benefit of the court transcriber! There wasn’t a dry eye in the court room (lol).
Trends in my area: Like in many areas, the biggest issue is COVID-19, though the flow-on effects differ for each client. For the Victoria Police, they are dealing with more and more protests relating to curtailment of civil liberties and people seeking different forms of damages from them as a result. Otherwise, for insurers, the question of whether various policies extend to COVID-19-related claims continues to be a hot topic.
I predict the next big thing will be: As there continues to be a greater reliance on technology and more and more people work, shop and socialise remotely, our current understanding of many common law concepts will need to evolve too. How civil suits are adapted to these changes will likely be the next thing.
My proudest achievement: I had been supervising a graduate lawyer (though I think they were called articled clerks back then) who asked me to move her admission. I was surprised, as her father and partner were also lawyers. Later she told me that she preferred that I was her mover because she learnt a lot from me in our time together. That was nice.
Outside work, you’ll find me: Travelling. I like exploring places new to me and, for a short period of time, experience what it’d be like if I lived someplace else. Most recently, that place was Brisbane. I loved the river and surrounds (so underrated). Otherwise, you’ll find me in the many cafés, restaurants or bars around Melbourne.
If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be: A forensic psychologist or a fashion designer (if only I had the aptitude for it).
Lessons I learnt over the past year: That people are generally quite adaptable and resilient, but social interaction (whether you are extroverted or introverted) is critical for our overall wellbeing.