James Farmer

Legal Commentary

Terence Arnold Retires From the Supreme Court Bench

Retirement from the Bench at the age of 70 is compulsory.  It has become customary for a retiring Judge – at least in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court – to have a final sitting which is addressed by the Attorney General (or the Solicitor General in his stead) and by the Presidents of the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Bar Association or their representatives.  The retiring Judge then replies. More...

From Violence to Redemption

Domestic (and other) violence rightly gets a lot of press these days.  It is now identified as one of the largest social problems in New Zealand with suggestions that we are among the worst countries in the world in this respect.  The message is loud and clear: “It is not OK” is the catch cry and who could responsibly take issue with that.   More...

Drugs, Sports and Society

I have just attended the 26th annual conference of the Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Association [ANZSLA], held this year in Wellington from 12-14 October 2016.   Around 150 lawyers, most of them from Australia but all involved with Sport, were there and an enjoyable occasion it was.   My thanks to the Attorney-General Chris Finlayson who, in opening the Conference, gave my racing yacht GEORGIA a plug as we prepare for the annual Coastal Classic race from Auckland to Russell this weekend. More...

Are Our Law Schools Churning Out Too Many Lawyers?

Let me answer this question up front.  Yes. More...

Equiticorp 20 Years On

On 12 July 1996, Justice Robert Smellie delivered Judgment in the High Court at Auckland in the case of Equiticorp Industries Group Limited (In Statutory Management) v. The Crown (since reported in summary form only because of the length of the Judgment in [1996] 3 NZLR 586).   This followed a trial which started on 21 November 1994 and which finished on 21 December 1995 after 204 sitting days but which then continued with 8 “call back” days over the next 6 months in which the Judge sought further submissions on specific points.  This was – and still is – the longest trial in New Zealand’s legal history. More...

The Year in Retrospect

Many journalists find reviewing a year that has just ended irresistible.   The temptation to point out the obvious is in reality a pointless exercise, even for the benefit of those who suffer short term memory loss.  However, the temptation is not confined to journalists and so I will make a few observations about 2015 and, apart from shortly recounting my own experiences, endeavour to identify some developments in the legal system that appear to have taken some hold. More...

A Good Year for the Farmer Legal Family

Following last month's report of older son Leo's elevation to partnership at Meredith Connell and other achievements in the Court room, younger son Hugo has just been awarded the prestigious Rex Marsh Award for the best published legal article. More...

Having a Balanced Life Style - Part 4

Written by Jock Anderson for the New Zealand Law Society, "Law Talk" More...

A Balanced Life Style (Part 3), Prisoners' Voting Rights, Top Gun, 7000kms in a Corvette, John Maynard Keynes and Atticus Finch

When I first wrote on a balanced life style in this column (9 February 2012), I was surprised at the positive reaction from many lawyers for whom it was clearly a matter of great interest and importance.  That encouraged me to come back to the topic 18 months later (15 August 2013) in the context of reviewing a biography of Michael Kirby (“Michael Kirby, Law, Love and Life” by Daryl Dellora).  More recently, I was invited by the organisers of this year’s Criminal Bar Association Conference (held in Auckland 1-2 August 2015) to speak on the subject along with Helen Bowen, a barrister, and Jo Soldan, a clinical psychologist, both of whom have been at the forefront of researching and devising practical techniques for coping with stress.  More...

Biographies

As a lawyer, it’s hard to find the time or inclination to read books, given the fact that so much of our working day involves reading … and reading … and more reading – documents, law reports, submissions, transcripts and then of course the endless emails.  For myself this means that reading books, whether novels or otherwise, tends to be restricted to vacation time. More...

Georgia Racing

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