NZ Legal Jobs – Briefcase Blog – www.lawfuel.co.nz – Year-end roundups can be a bore, but we must undertake this important role and as its Christmas I will be kind. Kind of. These are the Briefcase Oscars, let’s call them the ‘Boscars’ for the sake of cheesy charm. Drum roll, Bill Crystal . . here they are.
Best Soundtrack – “Meet John Key” – John Key. A memorable soundtrack to a political-promo all tied up in legal knots. A nice rumba beat all the same.
Best Special Effects – “The Tuhoe Affair” – Solicitor General, Dr David Collins QC. He dropped the only bombshell in the Tohoe raids with his announcement that the terror charges would not fly. His aplomb and over-enunciated announcement produced an effect that continues to reverberate around the country. Well deserved.
Best Wardrobe – “Objects of Desire” – Justice Lowell Goddard. The new face of a new authority, the Independent Police Conduct Authority, she presented her Christmas bonus to the embattled police in the form of a thumbs-up report on their investigation of historic rape allegations labeled a “shambles” by Clint Rickard. Wearing a terrific-looking lemon (I think) outfit from someone like Karen Walker she put an attractive face to an institution that’s had an ugly year.
Best Family Drama – “The Kains” – The Kain/Couper family. This long-running series of hearings has run to massive fees and involved sibling rivalry and disputes over trusteeships and – what else? – money. Siblings Tom, Michael, Charles, Georgina and Harry Kain have been battling their Hawkes Bay uncle Tom Couper and their sister Mary Hutton since the beginning of the century. Will it end in this millennium? All the ingredients of a fine family drama.
Best Male Lead In A Legal Drama – “David Bain: The Untold Story” – Michael Reed QC. He fitted the role like a glove as the Privy Council’s decision to quash multiple murder convictions in May held the country spellbound. Reed combines a sense of righteous indignation with unique media savvy.
Best Female Lead In A Legal Drama – “The Algerian” – Deborah Hollings QC. She battled the darkest institution in New Zealand on behalf of Ahmed Zaoui, and won. A fantastic tribute to stamina, conviction and legal aid.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Williams QC. The old sea dog never lies down, especially when there’s injustice or persecution. He reappeared on the public stage this year with his representation of the Tuhoe ‘terror suspects’ followed by his fight for imprisoned kiwi businessman Ballu Khan in Fiji.
Best Multimedia Lawyer – “Hunter” – Stephen Franks. This multimedia personality is everywhere at once with rapier-fine mind and feisty defence of all things right. Lawyer, blogger, TV and radio guest, commentator, Facebooker, outdoorsman, writer, family man and so-so tennis player he’s on the way up again.
Best Production (based on an original scenario) – “What Bargain?” – The Commerce Commission case with Woolworths and Foodstuffs carried a galaxy of legal stars and a budget that remains tightly guarded.
Best MP In Court – “Duck Walk” – Trevor Mallard. T. Mallard who beat T. Philip Field, the latter having seriously prejudiced Boscar chances by objecting to dockside pictures. The Mallard story is a tragi-comic drama with a simple, love storyline and a must-see, low-budget fare for the holiday period.
Best Trial (based on unoriginal events) – “The Baton” – The March trial of former policemen Brad Shipton, Bob Shollum and Clint Rickard, which sucked the air out of the local atmosphere. Stunning evidence, key performances, shock reactions.
Best Foreign Trial (English language) – “Black Heart” – The Conrad Black trial captured the attention of the media and the legions of Black-watchers who documented the fall from grace of the Superior Being with a mouth-watering schardenfreude as spellbinding as Mr Black’s limitless greed and ambition. A stellar performance that promises a sequel.
Best Commercial Production – “Maple Syrup or Palm Oil” – The on again, off again takeover of Auckland Airport from a variety of players hinted at a combination of xeonophobia and powerplays that had financiers, lawyers, government officials, local body stooges and almost everyone else entering the fray. Boardroom drama at its best.