O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors continues to operate during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Some key operational changes to the firm are listed below.
Additionally, all current legal matters with existing clients are progressing as per usual.
Key Operational Changes in Response to Coronavirus
For the firm, the health and safety of our clients and staff is a priority. As such, O’Brien Solicitors is now operating under the following conditions –
- As of Monday 30th of March, our solicitors will be working in a remote capacity. Our offices on Castlereagh Street will be closed to the public.
- Contact with the firm and its solicitors can be made via the usual channels- either by phone (02 9261 4281) or by e-mail (). This includes both current clients and individuals seeking new legal representation. Please don’t hesitate to contact the firm with any queries.
- All scheduled conferences with the firm will proceed as planned, with any ‘face-to-face’ appointments now to be held via telephone or Skype.
Changes to NSW Criminal Procedure
Several changes to Criminal Procedure in NSW have been implemented in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, the Chief Magistrate’s Memorandum (24th March) has outlined several changes to Local Court proceedings, taking effect on Monday 30th of March. These include
- No new defended hearings or listings until a review in April 2020.
- Options for deferral/adjournment of proceedings in matters listed where no appearance is required.
- Likely deferral of sentencing in matters where the account is expected to involve imprisonment.
- Replacing physical appearance in Court with digital appearances.
This list in non-exhaustive, and is likely to change. If current clients have any queries as to how changes to NSW Criminal Procedure will affect your matter, please don’t hesitate to contact the firm via phone or email.
Further information on changes to the legal profession during this time can be found via the NSW Law Society, or at individual Court websites.
UPDATE: From the NSW Bar Association comes the latest news as at Tues 31 March on COVID-19: INFORMATION FOR ATTENDING COURT (opens as a PDF file).
Business as Usual in Changing Legal Times
Despite the slowdown of public life in NSW, the legal areas of interest to O’Brien Solicitors continue to evolve.
In response to COVID-19, the NSW Government have made several initiatives. These include:
- empowering the NSW Police Force to fine individuals breaching coronavirus public health orders, with several fines already issued.
- Parliament have empowered the Commissioner of Corrective Services to grant parole to certain vulnerable inmates, in an effort to stymie mass outbreaks of Coronavirus amongst the prison system.
- The NSW Police have been granted extraordinary powers to arrest individuals suspected of contravening a COVID-19 public health order, with the force still fresh from somewhat damning anti-corruption inquiries in respect to systemic misuse of strip search powers. The legality and enforcement of laws requiring self-isolation remains a live issue. In response to the extraordinary legal changes, civil liberty advocates have cautioned against Government overreach in new COVID-19 restrictions.
O’Brien Solicitors will keep abreast of the changes to the law as they occur. For the firm, it’s business as usual, with the above-mentioned changes.
O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors are able to pursue your possible claim anywhere in Australia. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 02 9261 4281 or by email at