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Oz reforms: no tears for laid-off lawyers

"Lawyers losing their jobs because of the NSW government's clampdown on public liability claims have received little sympathy from Premier Bob Carr. The government's tort law reforms have reportedly forced the closure of a whole floor of lawyers at one Sydney firm. And NSW Bar Association president Ian Harrison has warned that up to a third of barristers could lose their jobs.

"But the premier gave the lawyers short shrift, saying he would rather see money going to workers than lining legal eagles' pockets. 'Australia would have been put out of work if we hadn't reformed the tort laws and reined in this culture of litigation in NSW,' he said." ("Lawyers get no sympathy", AAP/Melbourne Age, Dec. 5).

"The Civil Liability (Personal Responsibility) Act and its amendments introduced caps and thresholds on compensation and shifted the balance towards greater personal responsibility to avoid long and expensive court cases. The result has been a sharp drop in casework for solicitors and barristers specialising in personal injury cases." (Alex Mitchell, "Get over it, Carr tells jobless lawyers", Sun Herald/Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 7).

[cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Dec. 9, 2003]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.