Monthly Archive for August, 2015

How to Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Lawyer

businessman-agreement-cartoon_23-2147508090Lawyers may seem scary and intimidating, but almost everyone will need to see one at some point in their lives.

If you’ve never met with a lawyer before, don’t be afraid to ask questions and to meet with a variety of firms before settling on one you feel comfortable with. After this, it is up to both of you to maintain a healthy relationship with each other so you are getting as much as you can out of their expertise.

There are many different instances where you might need a lawyer, and these can often be unexpected. Lawyers also tend to have specialties, so be sure to consider this when making your selection. For example, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, specialists in this field like Motor Accident Legal Service will be able to guide you most easily along every step of the way.

If you run your own business, you will need a lot of specific legal advice to help you get things off the ground. A lawyer can advise you on things like copyright law and employment law to make sure that you are meeting all of your obligations. They can also help you with finding the right public liability insurance to protect your business. If there is an incident and somebody tries to make a claim against you, you will need a lawyer to help fight your case. All businesses will face some legal difficulties at some point, so it’s crucial that you have a good relationship with a lawyer. This is especially important during the COVID pandemic as laws about safety regulations are constantly changing. Businesses need to understand what their legal obligations are as they reopen and a lawyer can help to ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.

Whatever your situation is, here are some ways to build a good relationship with your lawyer.


Consistent and clear communication is key to the maintenance of any healthy relationship, and the one between you and your lawyer is no different. This also means that you shouldn’t be pestering your lawyer every day – they have other clients that are also deserving of their attention. In the same vein, make sure you provide all the information that you can so they aren’t calling you all the time to ask for clarification.

Realistic Expectations

In your first meeting with your lawyer, sit down and iron out some basic expectations that you both agree upon. This might include the frequency of updates, preferred methods of communication, and the delivery of invoices. Your lawyer might also give you some guidelines that they work by – every lawyer has their own little quirks. Setting such a baseline means both parties know what is expected of them, and this will make the relationship run more smoothly.

Follow Instructions

Your lawyer can only help you if you follow their instructions. They are qualified professionals, and they should always genuinely do their best to help you obtain the best outcome possible. Sometimes, the best course of action might not be something you want to do, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. You will get the most out of your lawyer if you trust them and respect their expertise.

Be Honest

Honesty, as the saying goes, is the best policy, and this is especially pertinent when it comes to your relationship with your lawyer. They cannot help you if you omit or lie about information – this might even hinder your chances of a positive outcome. Such issues will eventually be uncovered, which might lead to your lawyer losing trust in you and possibly the deterioration of your professional relationship.

Just keep in mind that no matter what kind of lawyer you end up with, the lawyer-client relationship is a two-way street. Be professional, honest and respectful, and you should not have any trouble with your lawyer.

How do you maintain a healthy relationship with you lawyer? Are there differences between your approach to a personal lawyer when compared to a business lawyer? Leave your advice and experiences in the comments section down below.

So, you want to quit your job… Don’t make this common mistake

Quitting a job or starting a new business is part of the circle of ‘business’ life that is now well accepted and expected. The reasons include a faster-changing world, accelerating with new technologies, the desire to expand one’s reach beyond a single industry and/or role and of course life-cycle changes following a life-changing event such as a divorce/separation, birth of a child, loss of a loved one, etc.

Early in my career, I was disgruntled and a very wise colleague told me “never leave without knowing where you’re going“.. AND “the more you understand why you’re leaving, the better your choice (of new job, career, company) will be.”

That wisdom has stayed with me over the past decades as I saw myself create several reincarnations for myself – each one progressively better as my decision-making process improved.

In the first instance, I am not ashamed to admit – it took me almost a year to stop whinging (to myself) about what I didn’t like about my “job/boss/role/situation”.

I listened to motivational recordings (they were on cassette tapes back then) by Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins and Jay Abraham, among dozens of others. It was a journey of self-exploration that led to starting my first company and setting me on my course towards my ultimate destiny.

Admittedly it is easier said than done, but there is a process you can follow:

  1. Identify all the things you LOVE about your job, boss, colleagues, clients, suppliers, industry, etc.
  2. Do the same for all the things you DON’T LIKE, that annoy you, are missing or you would like to have IN THIS JOB.
  3. Ask yourself the all-important question – WHY do you want to change jobs/careers?
    1. The more honest you are with yourself, the better. Remember – NO ONE will see your list!
    2. Sometimes the reasons are, you need a change because you can do the job with your eyes closed and you’re bored. If that’s the case, then you need to determine what is the NEXT challenge you need, desire, want for yourself… Or is it just a change, something “new” you’re looking for?
  4. If you were to apply for the IDEAL/PERFECT job/role what would it be?
    1. Be specific. Where would it be? Downtown, in a suburb? A view or next to nature?
    2. What would you be doing? Who would you report to? How much autonomy would you have?
  5. What would the IDEAL/PERFECT company be to work for?
    1. A small, entrepreneurial, a start-up?
    2. A large corporation with big budgets and lots of career choices and opportunities?
    3. Your own company so you can make all the decisions?
    4. How about going “solo” / freelance for a while? As you figure out what’s next?
  6. How long will you commit to this new venture, opportunity, role?
    1. This is important to know BEFORE you take the role, to be fair to your employer and for you to know how much you are willing to invest to get a return on that investment (career or industry changes come with some necessary extra time/effort investment). Will you need to take courses, read after-hours to catch up on stuff you don’t know? Will you need to acquire certifications or other accreditations?
  7. Last, but very important – WHO are you doing this for? Yourself, your family… You need clarity in respect of the forces at play, otherwise the incongruency will manifest itself at some point.

No one can or should be telling you what to do or not do. You need to follow your heart and accept that with the independence of choice, the onus/responsibility is on you to make the best decision possible.

I guarantee you that once you achieve clarity of intent – the Law Of Attraction will come to your assistance.

Once the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve… anything.

I wish you what your heart and mind desire so you can flourish to become the best version of you, you can be.


Do you have a legitimate case for unfair dismissal?

Written by: Laura Costello (Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University).

In Australia, unfair dismissal laws and regulations protect employees from being dismissed on prejudicial or unreasonable grounds.

What is an unfair dismissal?

An unfair dismissal occurs where the Fair Work Commission (the body that deals with cases of unfair dismissals),determines that;

  • the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable
  • the dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy (the employer no longer required the person’s role to be performed by anyone)
  • the dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code. (A small business is a business that employs fewer than 15 employees).

By bringing an unfair dismissal application to the Commission you begin a legal process that can help settle the dispute between yourself and your former employer. Whilst is preferable to settle the matter by agreement, the Commision can step in to make an order if an agreement cannot be reached.

What constitutes a harsh, unjust or unreasonable dismissal

The Fair Work Commission must take the following into account;

  • whether there was a valid reason for the dismissal
  • whether the person was given an opportunity to respond to the reason after being notified
  • whether the person had been warned if the dismissal related to unsatisfactory performance
  • Whether the person could have been reasonably  re-employed after being held redundant elsewhere within the company or an associated entity of the company.

Who is eligible to make an application for unfair dismissal?

To apply for a remedy in regard to unfair dismissal, an employee must be covered by the national unfair dismissal laws and also have completed the minimum period of employment. In a small business, the minimum period is one year, and in a larger business of 15 or more employees this is six months. You will not be eligible to make an application if you are;

  • a casual employee unless you had a reasonable expectation that your job would continue
  • a contractor
  • earn $129,300 or more.

The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code

You will have a legitimate case for unfair dismissal if your employer has failed to adhere to this code. The code provides that It is fair for an employer to dismiss an employee without warning when the employer believes on reasonable grounds that the employee’s conduct is sufficiently serious to justify immediate dismissal. Such conduct includes violence, theft and fraud.

In all other circumstances a small business employer must give valid reason for the dismissal, or risk being subject to an unfair dismissal claim. The employee must be warned verbally or in writing and give the employee a reasonable chance to rectify the problem. All small businesses are required to produce evidence of complying with the code if a former employee makes an unfair dismissal claim.

Are you within the time limitations for an unfair dismissal remedy application?

An unfair dismissal remedy application must be lodged within 21 days of the dismissal coming into effect. The Commission will only accept late applications in exceptional circumstances.

Lodging your application

When lodging an application for an unfair dismissal remedy, you will be assigned a case manager whose role is to assemble your file for the Commission. However, it is important to note that the case manager cannot assist you with preparing the application and cannot give you legal advice on how to submit your case and the likelihood of your case being successful. It is therefore advised that all applicants seek the advice of a lawyer to assist with the application process.


If the Commission finds that you were unfairly dismiss, they may order the following remedies depending on the specific circumstances

  • reinstatement to the same or equivalent position
  • payment of lost wages
  • compensation instead of reinstatement into the same position

Author Bio: Laura Costello is in her third year of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex legal topics to readers across a variety of mediums, in a way that is easy to understand.

Enhancing your professional credentials

How would you feel if you could earn an extra $200 per week? Or what if it was a larger amount that could see you earn anywhere from an extra $10,000 or more per year? It is very achievable to achieve these figures, if you are seeking to gain more income from employment.

You can easily increase your earnings by knowing how to sell your value to a business. Once the business recognises that value, you will have room to negotiate a salary or wage that can pay above average. It comes down to two areas.

  1. Knowing how to sell yourself.
  2. Knowing how to demonstrate your value.

In this article, we will go through some tips that will help you to earn more in your career through the enhancement of your professional credentials.

Add a new skill set

One of the quickest ways to add a new skill set to your professional credentials is to invest in a course that will teach you and provide you with the hands on experience.TAFE courses, workshops and university courses offer modules that can be done over a few days, months or years. Depending on what skill sets you need and the training required to develop these skills, they can be a cost-efficient investment that can yield you thousands of dollars in extra income, over the course of your career. Before enrolling in a course, it would be wise to scope out the job market to see if there are any emerging trends with skill set demands. This may come off the back of technology developments or skill shortages.

Become a specialist in a niche

The more specialised you become in a niche area of expertise, the more in demand you should become for that particular skill set. It generally tends to be a natural progression during the course of one’s career. However, it would be ideal if people can identify the direction when they are starting in employment or while they are undertaking class modules in universities or online TAFE courses. This will allow potential employers to recognise the direction of their skill set. If you are a jack-of-all-trades, you will find it more difficult to get work and to increase your wages.

Upskill your current skill set

If you are already good at what you are doing, why not make yourself become better? Investing in courses that will upgrade your level from a certified certificate one to a certified certificate two; and so on, can yield you a recognised qualification that will see you earn an increased minimum wage or salary, as per industry regulations. In some cases, your employer may pay for the course. Or you may invest in the course yourself and pitch yourself to your current or new employers with your newly upgraded skill, in a bid to earn more.


Any type of awards, certificates, diplomas, publications or accolades will only help you enhance your professional credentials. The more others are saying about you, the better it is. Furthermore, if this can be backed up with printed publications such as PR editorial write-ups, features in industry magazines, newspapers, newsletters or publications, it will only help to hold you in high stead.

Years of experience

Employers always value the amount of employment years candidates have in association with their skill set. Although it isn’t completely accurate, employers will generally look into the years of experience that you have with certain brands, industries and skilled practices. Employers can also be impressed with any training that has been undertaken by the candidate, that was paid courtesy of the company or paid for privately.

Enhancing your professional credentials and image doesn’t need to be difficult. By implementing a few of the tips shared above, you can gain increases in your wage and salary easily that will see you earn more over the course of your career.