Case study;Family Law Location MT Law CentreSolicitors/1030 Cavadish Road, MTGravatt QLD 4122
Hi already I ordered this paper But didnot mach with the my request It not essay it need to complete a letter, a timesheet and a costs agreement. The letter and costs agreement are provided in the annexure, it is a practical exercise, you do not need to reference. see comments
I add it 2 Annexure 4, 5 need to work up I do not need references thank you
Assessment Task 2 – Letter to client confirming instructions and regarding costs
Assessment Instructions /
You are to prepare a letter confirming your client’s instructions together with a cost disclosure and cost agreement.
You are to access the relevant legislation and regulatory requirements in your State or Territory for costing legal services and determine the types of costs that apply for an application for a divorce to be heard in the Federal Magistrates Court. In Western Australia, an application for a divorce is head in the Western Australian Family Court.
You are also to research law firms and or the legislation in your State or Territory to obtain information on the charging of professional fees on an hourly basis or a fixed quote plus GST and disbursements.
Pease following this instruction:
After interviewing the client, you are to open a file in your client’s name. You are to prepare a letter (precedent letter Annexure 4) confirming the clients instructions and attach a cost disclosure and cost agreement (template Annexure 5) setting out the costs and charges for work being done in the preparation of the application for divorce and attending court in relation to the client’s divorce.
. You need to complete a letter, a timesheet and a costs agreement. The letter and costs agreement are provided in the annexure, it is a practical exercise, you do not need to reference. see comments
I add it 2 Annexure 4, 5 need to work up I do not need references thank you
Here Is the
• This file to read before answer the ANNEXURE 4 And Annexure 5
Matter No: Annexure 1 Author: MERY LINN
Matter Name: Family Law Location MT Law CentreSolicitors
1030 Cavadish Road, MTGravatt QLD 4122
Client: Bradley Glen Pitt
Date: 07/06/20015 Time: 1130 hours
With: Your name
Joanna Ph Number: (07)32159484
Attendance: Physical Attendance / Phone Call / Court Attendance / Other:
The session started by explaining the purpose and process of the interview to the client. The client was advised that the interview was meant to gather crucial information from him for helping us act on his behalf in regards to his divorce application. It was also made clear to the client that the information required would be both of a personal and non-personal nature. The information particularly relates to type of housing where the children live, children supervision, current parenting plan, health of children, and education. In addition, the client was advised that the interview would familiarize him with the relevant legal and non-legal procedures as well as the action that would be taken by him and the law firm in relation to the divorce proceedings.
Before proceeding with the interview, the client was advised that the gathered information would be kept confidential as per the requirements of the Privacy Act and Australian Solicitors Code of Conduct. The Privacy
Act 1988 requires confidentiality to be maintained in the collection, storage and use of personal information (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, 2015).
The significance of confidentiality of personal information is further emphasized by the Australian Solicitors Code of Conduct. Section 9 of the code bars legal practitioners in Australia from disclosing any confidential information about a client to any individual who is not a legal practitioner or employee associated with the client’s legal counsel (Law Council of Australia, 2011).
Personal information may however be disclosed upon express or implied authorization by the client, if the law compels the solicitor to do so, or if the solicitor does so with the intention of avoiding the possibility of a grave criminal offense or avoiding imminent severe harm to the client or another person (Law Council of Australia, 2011).
The client was therefore assured that all his personal information would be treated in accordance with the relevant regulations
Information gathered from client:
The information gathered from the client touches on type of housing where the children live, children supervision, current parenting plan, health of children, and education.
Parties to the Plan
BETWEEN Angie Jean Pitt (Mother)
AND Bradley Glen Pitt (Father)
Terms of the Plan
This Parenting plan is prepared in agreement with the provisions of Section 63 of the Family Law Act 1975 in relation Susan Pitt 7 years old and born 20/06/1975 and Vincent Pitt and Victoria Pitt 5years old born 22/5/2010
Mr Pitt’s children presently live with him in their matrimonial home, which is a 4-bedroom property in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane. The children include Susan (7 years old) and Vincent and Victoria (who are twins aged 3). Vincent has his own bedroom, while Susan and Victoria share a bedroom.
Mrs Pitt, living in a rented apartment in Mount Gravatt East, Brisbane. The matrimonial home is jointly owned by both parties and is still under a mortgage provided by Westpac Bank.
Despite his busy schedule as a plumber, the client still manages to collect the children to and from school and childcare whenever they are under his custody as per the parenting plan. In the event the children are sick and
he has been called out to a job; the client has made arrangements for his parents, who live a few blocks from their matrimonial home, to look after the children. The client is therefore keen on supervising the children.
It has been agreed that the children will stay with their father from Monday afternoon to Friday afternoon, while the mother will stay with them over the weekend. The mother therefore picks the children from school and childcare at 3.00 pm on Friday and drops them at school and childcare at 8.45 am on Monday. The same arrangements are kept during the holidays, though the children are picked from their respective residence at 6.00 pm. It has also been agreed that the children will spend Mother’s Day with their mother from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
As for Christmas Day, both parents have agreed that they will spend the day with the children on an alternating basis. While one parent will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Morning with the children, the other one will spend Christmas Day afternoon and Boxing Day with them. Unless agreed otherwise, the mother will have even years while the father will have odd years. For Easter, the arrangements for Christmas will prevail. With regard to special events such as birthdays, both parents have agreed that there will be flexibility in spending time with the kids.
The client’s wife pays child support via the Child Support Agency. The client also meets his share of child support and home upkeep. Mr Pitt earns $60,000 per year while his wife earns $150,000. As per the child support estimator, the client will pay approximately $8,928 in child support per year.
Health It is confirmed that all the children are presently in good health.
Susan is a Grade 2 student at Mount Gravatt Primary School and she is progressing well at a school, though her teacher has notified the client that she occasionally shows disinterest in class activities. Vincent and Victoria attend Kindergarten three days a week, while the other two days they stay at home with their father.
Separation and Parenting Plan
It is confirmed that the separation was amicable and that the client anticipates no opposition to the divorce. The client provided a copy of the agreed parenting plan, though property and financial matters are yet to be sorted out.
Mother’s signature Fathers signature
Date: …………………………………………….. Date: ……………………………………………………
Explanation of legal procedures:
Divorce proceedings start with an “Application for Divorce” by the applicant in the presence of a legal practitioner, which is then filed in court at a certain fee. The application includes the applicant’s personal details and other crucial information such as pre-separation history and current arrangements. The application for divorce is accompanied by a number of documents, including Consent Parenting Order and Parenting Plan. The applicant is supposed to retain two copies of the completed and signed application. Once the court receives the application, the client is then given a hearing date and two sealed copies of the application. The applicant is then required to serve his spouse with a sealed copy of the application not later than 28 days prior to the hearing date if the spouse is in Australia, and not later than 42 days prior to the hearing date if the spouse is outside Australia. Since the children are minors, the client will be required to attend the court hearing unless he is hindered by circumstances. If the application for divorce is successful, a divorce order is granted by the court, which takes effect one day after it is given and which becomes final one month after it is given. Once the order becomes final, each partner is sent a divorce order by the court directly or through their lawyer. It is important to note that the divorce order may not necessarily be granted following the initial hearing; the court may require more information from the applicant (Family Law Courts, 2015).
Explanation of non-legal procedures:
The client was also advised that the dispute between him and his wife can be settled out of court. In other words, going to court can be substituted by a family dispute resolution procedure. This mainly involves arbitration, counselling, mediation, and other reconciliation mechanisms (Attorney General’s Department, 2015).
This option works if both spouses are comfortable with it. In addition, a family dispute resolution procedure would not be prudent if family violence and/or child abuse are involved or if there is a threat thereof.
Moreover, parenting plans and consent orders can be agreed and signed between the two parties without going to court. Family dispute resolution is often cheaper as compared to going to court. Just like a court process, the family dispute resolution practitioner is expected to maintain confidentiality of any personal information provided by the client.
Further information required:
As the case unfolds, more information may be required. This includes personal records such as death certificate of a prior spouse and court verdicts with a previous spouse; financial and property records such as expense records, insurance policies, debt records, pension or retirement plans, payroll statements, income tax returns; business records such as business financial statements and shareholder agreements; as well as photographs and videotapes of the client, his spouse, and children. This information can be obtained from the client or his spouse. The information can as well as obtained from relevant authorities through a court order.
Actions to be taken:
Help the client complete and sign all relevant family law documents
File the application in court on behalf of the client.
Actions to be taken by client:
Sign all documents in the presence of a solicitor
Attend the scheduled court hearing.
Need To completed this two Form
MT GRAVATTI LAW CENTRE SOLICITOR
Ref: [insert reference]
[Insert address of client]
Dear [Insert client’s name]
APPLICATION FOR DIVORCE
We refer to our conference on [insert date].
We confirm you have instructed us to represent you and thank you for your instructions. Enclosed is our Cost Disclosure and Cost Agreement document in accordance with the [Insert your State’s Legal Profession Act}.
Set out in the Cost Disclosure and Cost Agreement document is information that we are required by law to disclose to you under the [Insert your State’s Legal Profession Act}.. This document describes the basis on which we propose that you engage us. Please ensure that you have carefully read and understood the document before considering the terms of the agreement. If you wish to discuss or clarify the terms of the enclosure with us, please phone Mr James Thomsen. At this stage, the estimates provided are only estimates and not a quotation and subject to change.
Enclosed is our offer to enter into a costs agreement which you may accept by any one of the following ways:
• signing and returning a copy of the costs agreement;
• giving us instructions after receiving these documents; or
• oral acceptance.
If you accept this offer you will be regarded as having entered into a costs agreement. Whilst not essential, we would appreciate you returning the signed copies of the Cost Disclosure and Costs agreement at your earliest convenience.
Enc. Disclosure and Costs Agreement
And this one as well
Costs Disclosure and Costs Agreement
This document, together with our General Terms of Business, sets out the terms of our offer to provide legal services to you and constitutes our costs agreement and disclosure pursuant to the Legal Profession Act [insert year in your State] (“the Act”).
A Scope of Work
You have instructed us to act on your behalf in a divorce application.
*B Professional Fees (if fixed fee agreement)
We will charge you professional fees for the work we do on a fixed fee basis in the amount of: [INSERT]
*C Professional Fees (if hourly fee agreement)
We will charge you professional fees for the work we do based on hourly rates. The hourly rates charged by our professional staff are set out below:
(a) $[INSERT] for a Partner.
(b) $[INSERT] for a Senior Associate.
(c) $[INSERT] for a Solicitor.
The solicitor with principal responsibility for assisting you in this matter is
(a) Partner Responsible [INSERT] and
(b) Paralegal [INSERT]
You will be proportionately charged for work involving shorter periods less than an hour. Our charges are structured in 6 minutes units. For example, the time charged for an attendance of up to 6 minutes will be 1 unit and the time charged for an attendance between 6 and 12 minutes will be 2 units.
Our rates are reviewed on a regular basis and may change during the course of a matter. In relation to lengthy matters this may impact upon our cost estimates (which may be revised accordingly). You will be given 30 days’ notice in writing of any foreshadowed changes to our charge out rates.
D Expenses & Disbursements
You will be responsible for internal expenses, which we incur in carrying out your instructions. Our rates for internal expenses are:
(a) photocopying: $___________ per page.
(b) facsimile charges: $___________
We may incur disbursements (being money which we pay or are liable to pay to others on your behalf). Disbursements may include search fees, court filing fees, process server fees, witness expenses, travel expenses, transcript expenses and barrister’s fees.
Where you instruct us to brief a barrister or other expert and they provide a fee agreement we will provide this to you.
E Contact Person
If you have any queries about our costs you should contact [INSERT]
F Estimate of Professional Fees, Internal Expenses and Disbursements
On our present instructions, we estimate the cost of the work to be:
Professional fees: $[INSERT]
Internal Expenses: $[INSERT]
Please note that this is an estimate only and not a fixed quote. The total costs may exceed the estimate. While the estimate is based on present information and instructions and our current understanding from you as to what services are required, our costs may exceed the estimate if further information becomes available or circumstances change which impact on these matters. In this event we will provide you with a revised estimate as soon as practicable.
Some of the variables, which may impact upon the cost estimate provided above include the following:
(a) the number and duration of telephone calls or other communications;
(b) your prompt and efficient response to requests for information or instructions;
(c) whether your instructions are varied;
(d) whether documents have to be revised in light of varied instructions;
(e) the lawyer or other persons with whom we deal and the level of co-operation of the lawyer’s clients and other persons involved;
(f) changes in the law; and
(g) the complexity or uncertainty concerning legal issues affecting your matter.
*G Estimate of Costs Payable and Recoverable on Litigation Outcome
We are required by the Act to provide you with an estimate of the range of costs that may be recovered by you if you are successful in the litigation and the range of costs that you may be ordered to pay if you are unsuccessful in the litigation. It should be appreciated that an order by a court for the payment of costs in your favour will not necessarily cover the whole of your legal costs.
Based on our instructions, our estimates of the range of costs, which may be recoverable or payable are:
(a) estimate of the range of costs recoverable by you if you win the litigation: $[INSERT]
(b) estimate of the range of costs payable by you if you lose the litigation: $[INSERT]
(a) All courts have discretion in respect of awarding costs. Costs are normally awarded in favour of the successful party in the proceedings. In some courts such as the Small Claims Division of the Local Court and for claims less than $20,000 in the Local Court the amount of costs you can recover are very limited.
(b) The estimated ranges of costs are prepared bearing in mind that only a certain percentage of your total legal costs are recoverable or may be payable. Simply put, even if you win and obtain an order that the other party pays your costs, you will still be out of pocket with respect to legal costs charged by us on the solicitor/client basis.
(c) If you win at first instance, you may still face the prospect of meeting the costs of defending your verdict, if the other side appeals. If you lose at first instance, you may be advised to appeal.
(d) Any cost estimates provided with respect to an appeal are very uncertain as the costs associated with an appeal will depend upon many factors including initial trial length, findings by the court of first instance, nature of appeal to be run and which party is appealing. The possible costs associated with winning or losing on appeal are not dealt with in this document but will be advised to you should an appeal follow the result at first instance.
(e) Even if you are successful in proceedings and have a costs order in your favour it may still be necessary to seek to enforce such costs order through the court system. This can be time consuming and costly. The possible costs associated with such potential enforcement proceedings are not dealt with in this document, but will be advised to you should the relevant circumstances arise.
(f) Courts and costs assessors take into account whether a successful party is entitled to an input tax credit in respect of legal costs already paid, when assessing costs recoverable by the successful party.
*(Delete if not applicable)
1 Billing Arrangements
Our usual policy is to issue a tax invoice on a monthly basis but we may issue tax invoices on a more frequent basis depending on the nature of the work. All tax invoices are due and payable 14 days from the date of the tax invoice.
2 Acceptance of Offer
You may accept the Costs Disclosure and Costs Agreement by: a) signing and returning this document to us or: b) continuing to instruct us. Upon acceptance you agree to pay for our services on these terms.
3 Interest Charges
Interest at the maximum rate prescribed in Regulation [insert regulation number] of the Legal Profession Regulation [insert year] (“the Regulation”) (being the Cash Rate Target set by the Reserve Bank of Australia plus 2%) will be charged on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 30 days after a tax invoice is given to you. Our tax invoices will specify the interest rate to be charged.
4 Recovery of Costs
The Legal Profession Act [insert year] (“the Act”) provides that we cannot take action for recovery of legal costs until 30 days after a tax invoice (which complies with the Act) has been delivered to you.
5 Your Rights
It is your right to:
(a) negotiate a costs agreement with us;
(b) receive a lump sum bill in respect of legal services provided;
(c) request and receive an itemised bill after receipt of a lump sum bill;
(d) be notified as soon as is reasonably practicable of any substantial change to any matter affecting costs; and
(e) request in writing, and be provided with, a written report of the progress of any matter in which you retain us or a written report of the legal costs incurred by you to date.
We are entitled to charge you a reasonable amount for the provision of a progress report on your matter but may not charge for the provision of a written report on the legal costs incurred by you.
Nothing in these terms and conditions affects your rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
6 Your Rights in relation to a Dispute concerning Costs
If you have a dispute in relation to any aspect of our legal costs you have the following avenues of redress:
(a) in the first instance we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us so that any issue can be identified and we can have the opportunity of resolving the matter promptly and without it adversely impacting on our business relationship;
(b) you may apply to the Manager, Costs Assessment located at the Supreme Court of (insert State) for an assessment of our costs. This application must be made within 12 months after the bill was provided or request for payment made or after the costs were paid;
(c) you may apply to the Costs Assessor to set aside some or all of these terms on the grounds they are not fair or reasonable; and
(d) you may refer a dispute about a tax invoice to the President of the Law Society or the Legal Services Commissioner for mediation if the amount in dispute is less than $10,000.
7 Payment Methods
It is our policy that when acting for new clients, that we do one or more of the following:
(a) approve credit;
(b) ask the client to pay monies into our trust account;
(c) ask the client for their credit card details.
Unless otherwise agreed with you, we may determine not to incur fees or expenses in excess of the amount that we hold in trust on your behalf or for which credit is approved.
8 Authorisation to Transfer Money from Trust Account
You authorise us to receive directly into our trust account any judgment or settlement amount, or money received from any source in furtherance of your work, and to pay our professional fees, internal expenses and disbursements in accordance with the provisions of clause 88(3)(a)(i) of the Regulation.
9 Retention and Copying of Your Documents
On completion of your work, we will retain your documents for 7 years. Your (express or implied) agreement to these terms constitutes your authority for us to destroy the file 7 years after the date of our final tax invoice. The authority does not relate to any documents, which are deposited in safe custody which will, subject to agreement, be retained on your behalf indefinitely. We are entitled to retain your documents while there is money owing to us for our costs.
On completion of your work or following termination (by either party) of our services you will be liable for the cost of retrieving documents in storage and also any photocopying charges we incur and our professional fees in connection with the provision of your file to you or as directed by you.
10 Termination by Us
We may cease to act for you or refuse to perform further work, including:
(a) while any of our tax invoices remain unpaid;
(b) if you do not within 7 days comply with any request to pay an amount in respect of disbursements or future costs;
(c) if you fail to provide us with clear or timely instructions to enable us to advance your matter, for example, compromising our ability to comply with Court directions, orders or practice notes;
(d) if you refuse to accept our advice;
(e) if you indicate to us or we form the view that you have lost confidence in us;
(f) if there are any ethical grounds which we consider require us to cease acting for you, for example a conflict of interest;
(g) for any other reason outside our control which has the effect of compromising our ability to perform the work required within the required timeframe; or
(h) if in our sole discretion we consider it is no longer appropriate to act for you.
We will give you reasonable written notice of termination of our services. You will be required to pay our costs incurred up to the date of termination.
11 Termination by You
You may terminate our services by written notice at any time. However, if you do so you will be required to pay our costs incurred up to the date of termination (including if the matter is litigious, any cancellation fees or other fees such as hearing allocation fees for which we remain responsible).
Without affecting any lien to which we are otherwise entitled at law over funds, papers and other property of yours in our possession:
(a) we shall be entitled to retain by way of lien any funds, property or papers of yours, which are from time to time in our possession or control, until all costs, disbursements, interest and other moneys due to the firm have been paid.
(b) our lien will continue notwithstanding that we cease to act for you.
We are required and committed to protecting your personal information in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 and the National Privacy Principles.
Personal information about you, provided by you and other sources, is protected under the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 (Cth.). Disclosure of such information may be compelled by law (e.g. under the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)). You also authorise us to disclose such information where necessary to others in furtherance of your claim/matter (e.g. within the law practice; to the Court; to the other party or parties to litigation; and to valuers, experts, barristers).
At all times we will seek to maintain the confidentiality of your information. However, we may be permitted or required by law to disclose confidential information. We may also, on a confidential basis, provide your information to third parties where we consider it is appropriate for the proper conduct of your matter.
15 Sending Material by Email
We are able to send and receive electronic mail. However, as such mail is not secure it may be copied, recorded, read or interfered with by third parties while in transit. If you ask us to transmit any document electronically, you release us from any claim you may have as a result of any unauthorised copying, recording, reading or interference with that document after transmission, for any delay or non-delivery of any document and for any damage caused to your system or any files by a transfer.
Where applicable, GST is payable on our professional fees and expenses and will be clearly shown on our tax invoices. By accepting these terms you agree to pay us an amount equivalent to the GST imposed on these charges.
17 Governing Law
The law of [insert State] governs these terms and legal costs in relation to any matter upon which we are instructed to act.
For more information about your rights, please read the facts sheet titled Legal Costs – your right to know. You can ask us for a copy, or obtain it from your local law society or law institute (or download it from their website).
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