LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The NSW Law Society president who tried to stop a pre-election advertising campaign because of concern that it could antagonise the state Government was yesterday appointed a NSW magistrate, The Australian reports.
Geoff Dunlevy, 34, tried last year to prevent the society spending $300,000 on a campaign against the state Government’s restrictions on damages payouts for injured people.
At the time, he startled members of the society’s governing council when he told them a campaign to wind back legal changes known as tort reform would be counter-productive because it would annoy the Government.
Despite Mr Dunlevy’s concerns, the society council pressed ahead with the campaign, providing most of the funding for the legal profession’s $500,000 pre-election advertising blitz on tort reform.
Mr Dunlevy, who has 10 years’ experience as a solicitor in Moree and Narrabri in western NSW, will take up his position on the bench on September 17.
His resignation from the Law Society presidency mid-way through his term comes after a court battle last year to assert hisright to the office.
His appointment as a NSW magistrate follows that of former Law Society chief executive Mark Richardson, who was appointed a NSW magistrate this year. Mr Richardson’s appointment meant the state Government had given top jobs to the two top officeholders at the Law Society who had presided over the society’s response in 2002 to tort reform.