Monthly Legal Updater – November 2017

In Show 029 – Monthly Legal Updater originally broadcast on Facebook Live on Friday 3 November 2017 we explore this interesting topic.

Show Notes

Today we start a new feature to the show – the monthly Legal Updater.  We discuss the top ten legal changes that have occurred over the last year.  There have been many but we selected the ten that we think will have the most relevance to you and your business.  Eight of these come from Australia and two others from outside the country.

Can a mobile text be a Will?

The Queensland Supreme Court seems to think so.  After a man passed away an unsent text message was found in his mobile phone.  The text was intended for the man’s brother.  In it he essentially disinherits his estranged wife and leaves the bulk of his assets to his brother.  The court found that this was a legal will.

The East Brisbane Resumptions

Residents of Brisbane’s Eastern suburb are well familiar with the nightmare that is the daily commute.  Litton Road and Wyhnam Road suffer from horrible bottlenecks during the morning and afternoon commute.  The council decided two years ago to expand the roads and that required the purchase of a number of properties to facilitate the expansion.  Ten properties still need to be finalized with the council.  Construction is slated to begin in 2018.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency changes

The Australian Government passed a law in September which made a small but significant change to the Bankruptcy Act.  Prior to the change the director of a company could be liable for the insolvency of his firm in certain situations.  The new section allows directors to avoid liability for if they make a good faith effort to right the ship.  It’s called a safe harbour provision and it’s quite controversial.  The government believes it will incentivize companies to take more risks to prevent bankruptcy.  Others feel it will encourage company directors to gamble with creditor’s money.

Plastic bag ban

Residents of Queensland will soon no longer have access to plastic bags at local shops.  Starting July 1st, 2018 single use plastic bags will be banned.  An astonishing number of those bags end up in landfills each year.  This has big implications for local business owners who will now have to come up with alternatives.

Miller Murder

A New Zealand man was convicted last month in the death of 18-year old Australian Cole Miller.  Miller died after being punched by 23-year old Armstrong Renata in 2016.  Renata only punched Miller once but that was enough to end the young man’s life.  He was sentenced to seven years in jail.

Data Breach Laws

In the wake of massive data breach scandals like the Equifax and Ashley Madison breaches, Australian firms are now required to notify their customers if they expose their personal information.  The US has had a law like this on the books for 15 years and Australia is just now catching up.  The law comes into effect in February of 2018.

ASIC changes for liquidators

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has introduced some peculiar new regulations for liquidators.  The regulations allow liquidators to assign rights to sue.  The problem is there is little clarity about how the new rules will work in practice.

Australian politicians booted out

Australia’s strict citizenship laws have ended the political careers of seven high profile MP’s and Senators in recent months.  The Australian constitution forbids dual citizens from holding elected office.  The row has already claimed the Deputy Prime Minister and a Senator.

Baccarat Cheater

Phil Ivey is one of the most successful professional poker players in the world. Last year he turned his attention to another card game, Baccarat.  Ivey won $10 million dollars playing the game at a UK casino.  The casino accused Ivey of using a technique called edge-sorting, a form of card counting, and refused to pay him.  Ivey sued but last week he lost his case.  The court found that what Ivey did was dishonest.

Eminem copyright case

New Zealand’s National Party lost a big court case to American rapper Eminem.  The party was accused of using a song in one of their ads that was very similar to the hit song Lose Yourself.  The company that owns the rights to Eminem’s music sued and won NZ$600,000 in court.

More about this Show

We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms.  Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future.  There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan.  The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything.  A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly.   Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients.  We want to close that gap once and for all.  We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.

Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV.  We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with.  Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.