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LEGAL AID

March 31, 2022

Don’t know how you’re going to afford a lawyer?

Did you know that RK Law is a preferred supplier for Legal Aid Queensland on the Sunshine Coast?

This means we can help you from the initial Legal Aid Application right through until the conclusion of your matter.*

Preferred supplier status means we’re here to help.

Legal Aid Queensland provides government financial assistance to access legal help through RK Law for:

  • Criminal law
  • Domestic Violence matters, and,
  • Coronial Inquests

If you are eligible, our team can help you to complete the necessary forms and lodge the application for assistance on your behalf. There’s no need for an appointment – drop in and see our team.

You will need to bring with you to the office:

  • Proof of Income (1 month of payslips) or Centrelink Statements (such as an income statement);
  • Your bank statements for the last 3 months; and,
  • Copies of any relevant material
    • For Criminal Matters – Your QP9 & Criminal History;
    • For DV Matters – The Application for a Protection Order.

If you cannot print these documents before your come in – do not worry.  You can email them to us, or access a computer at our office and we will print them for you!

What if I’m not eligible?

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, we will still provide you with an up-front estimate of fees under our no-surprises policy.

Investing in quality representation and a team that will fight for your future is worth it! Contact us today to find out more.

Notes:

For more information about Legal Aid – Click Here.

* Please note – matters which are funded by legal aid are subject to strict financial and merit eligibility requirements, and assistance provided by RK Law may cease if or when funding is withdrawn by Legal Aid – see the Legal Aid website to find out more.

WHAT IS A DEFENCE LAWYER, AND HOW DO THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT?

March 21, 2022

By Rowan King, Principal Lawyer at RK Law


My name is Rowan King, and I am a defence lawyer.  I am often called upon to help people who are involved in criminal law matters.

I do not mind who they are or what it is alleged they have done, I put those things aside and focus specifically on the burden of proof and the evidence in each and every case.  As such, I have been involved in some of the highest profile cases in Queensland.

I passionately defend my clients in any court or tribunal in Queensland.  At times, I have been required to fearlessly take on “unpopular” cases.  I am tasked to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to ensure justice for those who feel crushed, helpless and hopeless in our legal system.  You will see reading this article that I love my job and my role in the administration of justice.

How do you lawyers sleep at night?

When I tell people what I do for a living, I am often asked, “how do you lawyers sleep at night knowing you help bad people?”

In response I will often ask questions to the effect:

  • what if they are not “bad” but they just made a horrible mistake?
  • how can the government prosecute someone I know to be innocent?”; or
  • how can I sleep at night if my client is wrongly convicted?”.

The next logical question I am often asked is, “how do you represent someone you know is guilty?”.

The issue with this question is that it assumes the lawyer “knows” the defendant is guilty.   Sometimes a lawyer may “suspect” a client is guilty, but the law says that lawyers must:

  • avoid personal bias;
  • follow all lawful, proper and competent instructions; and
  • act in the best interests of a client.

The rules about fair trials and due process still apply even when the evidence may appear to be “overwhelming”.

John Grisham has some great quotes on justice.  He said this in one of his legal thrillers:

Do we really want fair trials? No … We want justice and quickly.  And Justice is whatever we deem it to be on a case-by-case basis”.

This presumption of “innocence” is easy to stomach when we speak of victimless crimes, such as possession of a small amount of cannabis, or failing to vote in an election.  However, it is something that is more difficult to stomach when a person has sustained a significant injury, acquired long term deformity from the alleged offending, or even worse if someone has died.

HUMAN RIGHTS:

As Queenslanders, we have a number of legislated human rights.  One of the rights we enjoy is the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, according to law.  This means that a person charged with a criminal offence is entitled, without discrimination, to the minimum guarantee that they are provided:

  • The particulars of the charges against them.
  • The nature and reason for the charges; and,
  • Time to prepare a defence.

Another basic human right in Queensland is that a defendant cannot be compelled to testify against themselves or to confess their guilt.  This means if a defendant chooses to plead “not guilty”, the Police must prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, by pointing to relevant and admissible evidence.

UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY – “ACCORDING TO LAW”

Despite what the Police brief says, there are many times where a client will “maintain their innocence” by instructing you that:

  • it “wasn’t them”,
  • they “didn’t do it”,
  • they “were provoked” (when the defence is available),
  • they were “acting in self-defence”, or
  • The police cannot actually prove the elements that make up a charge.

It is extremely difficult when you believe your client is innocent because one mistake by me could result in them spending a long time in prison, or ruin their chances of future employment etc. Thank goodness for the court of appeal, but at the end of the day, despite my feelings about a matter, if a client instructs they are not guilty of an offence, then I must put aside my feelings and beliefs, and advance their interests.

DO THE POLICE ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT?

It is clear that the Police Service and the other executive branches who lay charges against people often get it right.  They have the right person, and there is clear evidence they are guilty as charged.  For example, there may be CCTV footage that shows the offending, or the cumulative effect of a number of circumstances show the only possible offender was the defendant charged.

There are, unfortunately, times that the Police get it wrong due to several reasons (this is obviously not an exhaustive list):

  • The information provided to the Police by witnesses appeared compelling but was not true.
  • The police think a crime has been committed, but it has not.
  • Someone may have done something that appeared illegal, but they had a defence at law.

It is for these types of cases that defence lawyers primarily exist.  These are also the cases where we receive the most job satisfaction (when successful) or lose sleep (when unsuccessful).

Most people would agree that Police have a difficult and often dangerous job.  They are under a lot of pressure when responding to crimes.  It is clear that the common theme from the above list is un-intentional error rather than a “conspiracy” against a person charged.  Given the significant sum of charges laid each year, it is my understanding that only a minute quantity are cases of “rogue policing”.

COMPELLING BUT NOT TRUE:

A recent case we were involved in where the “evidence was compelling – but not true” was a matter where the mother alleged the father had sexually abused the child.  This allegation was made at a time when the mother was losing the family law custody battle.

The child had no injury consistent with the allegations, made no disclosures when spoken to by Police, and the mother ultimately admitted she made it up.  If he had been convicted, he would have been an innocent person, who was “proven guilty according to law”, and would then be a convicted child sex offender.

In Queensland, the default position is actual imprisonment, and it is also a relatively lengthy term of imprisonment – not to mention being a registered sex offender for a crime they did not commit.

CRIME NOT ACTUALLY COMMITTED:

A recent case we were involved in where the police thought a crime was committed when it was not, involved a woman who they caught “red-handed” in possession of syringes.

Police charged her when they located the syringes during a search.  Whilst it “looked like a crime”, the law says you may possess a syringe provided it is in an approved container and they are no risk to the safety of others.

It was clear that these syringes where in an approved container and capped, and it was the officer simply misunderstanding the law around possession of syringes.

A CRIME WAS COMMITTED – BUT HE HAD A DEFENCE AT LAW:

An example of “a defence at law”, was a matter where a man had been punched by the defendant causing pain and discomfort.  The criminal law does not only punish; it protects as well. It does not expect Queensland citizens to be unnaturally passive, especially when their safety is threatened by someone else.

Sometimes an attacker may come off second best, but it does not follow that the one who wins the struggle has committed a crime. The law does not punish someone for reasonably defending himself or herself.  In this case, it was a single punch.

When police arrived the “victim” was on the ground holding his face.  All the witnesses said that the victim aggressively approached the defendant in a fighting stance and the defendant took one step back and in a “swatting” like motion, struck the “victim” in the face.  The jury accepted that the defendant was acting in self-defence as:

  • it was only 1 punch,
  • the “victim” closed the gap between himself and the offender,
  • the defendant was “retreating” at the time he threw the strike, and
  • the “victim” was observed to be belligerent and aggressive for minutes leading up to the alleged “assault”.

These are examples of cases where people in the community or media may “think” someone is guilty, but they were not actually guilty “according to law”.

WHAT IF THEY TELL YOU THEY ARE GUILTY?

A defence lawyer’s first duty is to the court and the administration of justice.  A solicitor must follow a client’s lawful, proper and competent instructions.  If it is the case that a defendant has told the lawyer they are guilty, but wish to maintain a “not guilty” plea, then a solicitor must not deceive or knowingly or recklessly mislead the court.

This does not mean they do not have internal struggles from time to time with these types of matters.  The matter is then subject to a process of Trial by Jury (or Magistrate/Judge) in accordance with the law.

In these cases, the Defence Lawyer is extremely limited in how they can run the case.  But remember, it is the defendant’s human right to take the matter to trial.  The Defence Lawyer must put aside their personal feelings and beliefs, and comply with the client’s lawful instructions.  Also, there are rules that say we cannot simply stop helping a client because we do not like them.

When a defendant has told the lawyer they are guilty but wish to put the prosecution to proof, the defence lawyer cannot simply:

  • Allow the defendant to give evidence that he did not do it; nor
  • falsely suggest that some other person committed the offence charged; nor
  • set up an affirmative case inconsistent with the confession the defendant made to the lawyer.

So if Jim and Bob are seen standing over a dead body, and Jim says to the lawyer in a conference that he killed the victim by shooting him in the head while Bob stood back watching, contrary to popular belief, the defence lawyer cannot suggest (or allow Jim to give evidence) that it was Bob that killed the victim, nor can the defence lawyer suggest, for example, that Bob stabbed the victim causing death.

PROSECUTION CAN NOT PROVE ITS CASE TO THE STANDARD REQUIRED BY LAW

A situation may arise where the offence occurred, but the Police cannot prove it was the defendant.  In those cases, despite the confession in conference with the Defence Lawyer, they can still argue that the defendant should not be convicted because the evidence as a whole does not prove that the client is guilty of the offence charged.  These situations are slightly trickier to navigate.

An example of this was a case I “lost” as a prosecutor.  There was a DV Order and the wife was assaulted by the husband.  Despite the assault, the wife did not want to press charges.  The Police proceeded with a charge of Contravention of the DVO as they didn’t need her permission to proceed.

I could easily prove the defendant assaulted his ex-wife, we had photos and footage.  However, I could not prove the essential element of the crime – that he had been served with the DVO.   Even though it was clear the defendant had “committed A crime”, I could not prove he “committed THE crime” as charged.  Because I could not prove he had knowledge of the order prohibiting the violence, he was acquitted of the charge.  At the end of the day – that was justice “according to the law”.

WHAT IF THEY ARE GUILTY? (found guilty or plead guilty)

When a client is actually guilty, either due to a plea or finding of guilt, the matter proceeds to sentence.

Defence Lawyers are still important in this space.  When sentencing offenders, the legislation sets out a number of matters the court must balance when imposing a penalty for the crime.  Two relevant sentencing considerations the Defence Lawyer will often point to are the “mitigating features” and the “personal history” of the defendant.

The other function of a Defence Lawyer in this space is to assist the Magistrate or Judge by providing submissions about the law to help the judge impose a just sentence.  This may involve tendering legislation and pointing to binding or persuasive case law that sets a “range” of sentences available.

There are sometimes cases where the magistrates or judges impose a sentence that is “excessive” for the crime.  It is in these cases that the defence lawyer may file an Appeal to review the decision by a superior judge.

Just because someone did something wrong, does not mean the punishment should be disproportionate to the crime.  For example, I recently won an appeal where a woman was fined almost $80,000 for her ex-husband’s failure to lodge his tax return.  The ATO could not find him, so they prosecuted her.  She was middle-aged, on Centrelink, and it was going to take 4,000 weeks (almost 78 years) to pay off the fine for a crime that she “technically” committed, but was actually committed by her ex-husband.

Sometimes it is the case that there is nothing nice that can be said about a client.  In these cases the Defence Lawyer will often concede that the facts are horrible, the injury was significant, and the defendant has an appalling inability to comply with the law.

Each case and each defendant are very different.

CONCLUSION:

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  If you need a defence lawyer in your corner, contact RK Law today on 07 5437 2288 or click here to submit a website enquiry.

RK Law opens in Caloundra

January 4, 2022

Written by Sam Turner in the Courier Mail on 22 December 2021

A lawyer who has fought in several Queensland high-profile murder cases has expanded his law firm into Caloundra to defend those on the wrong side of the law.

A former prosecutor who crossed the courtroom to start his own defence firm in regional Queensland has revealed his big cases after opening a new law firm on the Sunshine Coast.

Defence lawyer Rowan King opened RK Law in Caloundra in August to defend alleged offenders on the Coast as well as across Australia.

His new firm employs several staff including two administration workers and lawyer Braden Milburn, with Mr King saying there is room to grow.

Following his beginnings in a private firm eight years ago in north Queensland Mr King rose through the ranks to become a prosecutor in Cairns for 18 months.

While in prosecutions Mr King worked with victims of domestic violence and helped children get back to their families through child safety.

Mr King wanted to expand after his time in the public sector.

He opened his Rockhampton legal practice five years ago where he has defended several high profile matters.

Mr King helped defend convicted murderer Dianne Wilson-Struber who was found guilty of killing Bruce Chuler in Cape York in 2012.

Another controversial matter Mr King helped defend in its early stages was the case of Nigel John Gilliland who murdered his wife Karen Gilliland in 2020 in Rockhampton.

“I’ve defended everything from drink driving to murders and will help people charged with any type of crime,” Mr King said.

“Our philosophy is that it doesn’t matter what it’s alleged you’ve done, we’re here to help to defend your future and your interests.”

Mr King said his bread and butter is criminal defence along with administrative appeals and other legal matters.

What sets his firm apart according to Mr King is the compassion the team provides to each of their clients, with one offender thanking him for treating him as a “human being”.

“Everyone has the capacity to make mistakes and end up on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

“We’re able to give them some hope and compassion and kindness while going through the proper channels.”

Mr King said even in the most serious cases, it was important people had to right to seek bail by going through the right channels.

“Someone dying is a terrible thing, but everyone is entitled legally to get bail rather than sitting in jail for a long time waiting for their court case,” he said.

The recent proposal of a youth remand centre in Caloundra was another reason Mr King migrated to the Coast to help with youth offenders.

He said since opening away from Maroochydore where there is a large number of law firms he has been inundated with work.

Mr King said his team would not only service the Sunshine Coast but also Rockhampton, central Queensland and the rest of Australia if necessary.

 

Vaccine Status

December 19, 2021

Just an update to let you know that you do not need to provide vaccination information to access RK Law. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what it is alleged that you have done, RK Law are ready to defend you, and your future (whether you are vaccinated or not).

 

Case Dismissed – Holland Park

December 8, 2021

As we are aware, Domestic Violence is a big issue in our community.

Unfortunately, and rarely, people can make applications for Domestic Violence Protection Orders for the wrong reasons.

The good news is that RK Law have extensive experience when it comes defending these vexatious applications.  In fact we recently appeared in the Holland Park Magistrates Court for a client in this exact circumstance.

Letters were sent to start time between the children and father after a separation and almost immediately a vexatious DV Application was filed.

After hearing submissions from Principal Lawyer, Rowan King, the case was dismissed.

If you know someone who has a domestic violence application or breach proceedings anywhere in Queensland then you need RK Law in your corner!

 

RK Law – Anywhere in Queensland

December 3, 2021

At RK Law, we represent clients anywhere in Queensland, and we are willing and able to attend Court in any location that you need us.

In the last 18 months, we have appeared interstate in Perth, Hobart, Paramatta, and Mildura to name a few.  In Queensland, we have appeared in a number of courts from Southport to Cooktown and out West as far as Longreach Magistrates Court.

We often have clients on the Sunshine Coast with cases elsewhere in Queensland.   We are also fortunate enough to have clients all over the state who trust us with their legal issues.

At RK Law, our head office is located in Caloundra right near the Caloundra Magistrates Court, and our satellite office in Rockhampton is directly opposite the Court House precincts.  This makes it really easy to deal with our client’s cases, no matter who they are or what it is alleged they have done.

Brisbane Supreme Court and Court of Appeal – 3 December 2021:

This morning (3 December 2021) Rowan King was at the Brisbane Supreme Court and took this photo of the Brisbane Court House.

[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Brisbane Court House - RK Law Brisbane Court House – RK Law[/caption]

RK Law – Zipping Around Queensland:

This week, Principal Lawyer Rowan King’s schedule has been:

  • Monday – seeing clients in our Caloundra Office before flying to Rockhampton;
  • Tuesday – appearing for an arraignment in the District Court in Rockhampton at 8:30 am followed by a Plea of Guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court at 11:00 am;
  • Wednesday – appearing on a plea of guilty in the Magistrates Court at Caloundra;
  • Thursday – seeing clients in the Caloundra Office;
  • Friday – in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court at Brisbane in the morning, followed by client meetings in the afternoon at Caloundra.

Next week will see our team appearing in the Nambour Magistrates Court, Holland Park Magistrates Court, Brisbane Magistrates Court, Rockhampton Supreme Court and Brisbane Supreme Court.

If you’re facing a charge, you need us on your side

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done – the team at RK Law will passionately defend your future in any court or tribunal.

To see some of our high profile past cases, click here.

Legal advice and representation

We can represent you for charges relating to:

  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Drugs (Possession/Supply/Trafficking/Utensils)
  • Assaults and violent offences
  • Domestic Violence Breaches and Applications
  • Robbery
  • Sexual offences
  • Public nuisance
  • Theft or shoplifting
  • Fraud
  • Property Damage
  • Firearms and weapons

If you’re pleading guilty or going to trial, our criminal defence team will make sure you are represented fairly and passionately.

For more information about how RK Law can help you or a loved one, contact our office on 07 5437 2288.

RK Law Brisbane Court

RK Law in the News 11/11/2021

November 11, 2021

BAIL GRANTED FOR TRUCK DRIVER IN FATAL CRASH

Defence lawyer Rowan King told the court that the evidence was still not clear on what signs were visible in the lead-up to the accident, and that the charges could possibly be amended in the future.

While reading from court documents, Mr King said his client had told police, “I didn’t see the signs. There were no signs”.

“[There is] nothing in the material about his manner of driving. It is not alleged he was under the influence or speeding,” Mr King said.

Read the full story here

RK Law – In the News

December 22, 2020

Here are a few RK Law cases that made the news in the last few weeks.

No.HeadlineDate

Quote

1.Couple blames school holidays for bail breach22.10.2020Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said both his clients were in a relationship and operated a cleaning business together.Mr Robertson said it was the first time Tapp’s daughter was able to see her father and stepmother since Family Court orders were made and that caused the breach of bail.
2.Petrol thief leaves driver’s licence at servo

23.10.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said his client had attempted to pay for the fuel, even leaving his licence behind to get money but was unable to secure the funds.Mr Robertson said his client had forgotten about the testosterone, claiming it had been sitting in the fridge for a number of months.

 

3.Over-sleeping check out leads to drug bust at motel

30.10.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Dyer normally worked in construction but was unemployed due to the COVID-19 downturn.He said Dyer had aspirations to do university study in the future.

 

4.Magistrate to hoon: ‘grow up, grow a brain’

1.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Finnegan was supported by his father in court and the Heights College Year 12 graduate had qualifications in sheet metal fabrication and boilermaking which led him to working shut downs since high school.

 

5.Mum couldn’t pay fuel bill for over a month

2.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Trevor was a single mother of two with a seven-year-old child in a wheelchair, diagnosed with muscle degenerative disease.

 

6.Busted with drugs, axe in car while driving unsupervised

3.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Scofield had been working on rehabilitation, engaging with GumBi GumBi and Lived Lives Well, and had been drug free for a long period.

 

7.Threats made to fish and chip shop staff

3.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Reynolds was unemployed and on workcover payments after a workplace accident while working as a landscaper where his head was injured.

 

8.Father blows up at mum over baby’s last name

5.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said there was a complex family dispute between the defendant and the victim and her family.

 

9.FRESH-FACED OFFENDERS: 10 youth crimes exposed

9.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Dyer normally worked in construction but was unemployed due to the COVID-19 downturn.

 

10.‘Grow up’: Rocky sisters fight after drinking alcohol

11.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said his client and her sister where close after the sister took on a motherly role when the defendant was about 12 years old and the sister was 22.He said both women were intoxicated and violent towards each other on both occasions.

 

11.Young mum busted after smoking marijuana

13.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Herdman was a single mother of a 10-month-old and was studying aged care.Magistrate Cameron Press said Herdman had no reason to be smoking illicit drugs, nor to hang around drugs.

 

12.Man accused of “extraordinarily stupid” assault on baby

15.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson argued his client was at risk of spending too much time in remand awaiting trial or sentence.Mr Robertson said the risk his client posed of committing further offences and failing to appear could be managed through strict conditions.

 

13.House cleaner steals cash from employer

17.11.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Ross was a mother of five with the youngest having ADHD and ASD.

 

14.Young man didn’t quite get what he wished for

17.12.2020

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said Kelly was not currently working but had all the certificates and qualifications to do scaffolding and was looking for work.

 

15.DV offender visits victim, unaware order is still in place

20.12.2020

the defendant’s defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said, although it was a serious breach of a court order, there was no violence alleged.

 

In the News August & September 2020

September 20, 2020

Check out Rowan King and Lachlan Robertson’s most recent cases in the Morning Bulletin:

Defence lawyer Rowan King said Weeding found it difficult to survive upon release from custody having spent so much time in prison over the years.

Defence lawyer Rowan King said the offences last year took place while Delaware was mentally unwell, but had no official diagnosis, only an explanation that a relationship breakdown occurred and Delaware turned to any drug he could get his hands on, leading to his life spiralling downward.

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said there was some history between his client and the victim. “There has been some arguing back and forth, which resulted in this offence before the court today,” Mr Robertson said.

Defence lawyer Lachlan Robertson said his client, who works in a Central Queensland mine, cared for their daughter and his stepson.  He said the woman contacts his client about other matters.

 

Defence Lawyers – Lachlan Robertson & Rowan King

 

Out and about in Central Queensland

September 15, 2020

One of our Solicitors, Lachlan Robertson, appeared in Emerald District Court this morning to represent a client with another great outcome achieved.

Our Solicitors frequently travel to Emerald, Blackwater & Gladstone. Contact our office today if you have a matter located outside of Rockhampton, we would love to discuss with you how we can assist.

For more information about where we travel to click here!

 

Exciting growth for RK Law

September 1, 2020

RK Law has recently expanded our team, so we have outgrown our current office space. Our exciting news is this: we are moving up in the world and moving our head office even closer to the Rockhampton Magistrates’ Court.

From Monday 7 September 2020, the new-look RK Law will be located at Level 3, 36 East Street, Rockhampton – directly across Fitzroy Street, facing the Court.

Accessing our new offices

Street parking is available on East Street. The door to enter the Fitzroy & East Building is on Fitzroy Street. Take the elevator to Level 3 and follow the signs for RK Law. We’re located on the right, just past the elevator.

The new-look RK Law

Along with our move, we are also rolling out a rebrand that has been in the works for quite some time. Our new logo reflects our vision to be a law firm that delivers outstanding results across all of Queensland – but our commitment to fight for our clients hasn’t changed at all.

No matter who you are or what you have done, RK Law is here to defend your future.

With staff now in Rockhampton, Brisbane and Cairns, we have a vision to build a permanent presence throughout the major cities in Queensland.

Thank you for being part of the RK Law journey so far.

Rowan King and the RK Law team

AHPRA Charges Dropped

June 22, 2020

Last week RK Law was extremely proud to defend a claim by AHPRA against an experienced Nurse to revoke their nursing registration. We received a great outcome for a client who was wrongfully accused of misconduct as a Nurse in a facility.

When the complaint was received, the outlook appeared grim for the Nurse. There were several Stat. Decs. from key management staff in the organisation supporting the allegations. A number of times the Nurse asked whether it was worth pursuing, and even recently if it was worth re-applying for Registration for the 2020/21 registration year.

After leaving the facility, the Nurse was re-employed in a very high paying job in another location. The complaint to the Regulation Agency was used against the Nurse to terminate subsequent high paying job. It was also a further barrier to obtaining other employment in the industry as the Nurse had to declare the pending case to prospective employers.

This meant the Nurse had to live and work in another State from the Nurse’s partner, as it was impossible to obtain work locally due to the stigma of “stealing medication from a dead patient”. At or about the same time, the Nurse’s partner had a deterioration in their health, causing them to retire from work – affecting cash-flow and the ability to pay for legal services.

It was clear when taking instructions that the Nurse had no idea about the allegations. We organised the Nurse to provide independent records such as telephone records and bank transactions. From this, we were able to defend the Nurse in the lengthy proceedings.

It was also a case where we felt so passionate about the injustice, that Principal Lawyer, Rowan King took the case on Pro Bono putting in most of the man-hours outside of core work hours – due to the poor financial position of the Nurse – and the inability to fund the matter with the declining health of the Nurse’s partner.

The Nurse retained RK Law, who successfully defended the allegations and received not only a dismissal of the allegations but justice after a 2 year battle with a disgruntled former employer. The Nursing industry is better having this practitioner (with over 35 years experience) back in the field.

Below is a summary of the matter:

The Allegations:
  • Failing to provide pain relief to an acutely ill patient; and,
  • Stealing medication from a deceased patient.

 

Background:
  • The Nurse was employed with an organisation in Queensland in a management capacity.
  • The Nurse was terminated by employer.
  • Fair Work proceedings successful resulting in a pay-out to the Nurse for unfair and unlawful dismissal,
  • On the day that the “pay-out” was transferred to the bank account of the Nurse in accordance with the Fair Work proceedings, a complaint was made to the Regulation Agency about the above allegations.

 

Evidence for the Complainant:
  • The complainant produced Statutory Declarations from several staff that stated the Nurse had failed to provide treatment to a patient causing discomfort to the patient and the requirement for hospitalisation.
  • Statutory declarations from two staff members that said the Nurse had made multiple phone calls directing a staff member via telephone to steal a deceased patient’s medication and drop it to the Nurses house.
  • Mention was made in the Stat. Decs. to documentary evidence (which when requested – did not actually exist).

 

Independent Evidence:
  • File Notes and Patient Records.
  • Policies and Procedure Manuals.
  • No evidence of a complaint to Police (despite theft of medication).
  • Over 9-month delay to report the matters to the Agency.
  • The alleged stolen medication was not a “dependency medication” and it was one which the nurse could not use unless they had the relevant condition the deceased person suffered from – without causing death or serious injury.

 

Evidence for the Nurse:
  • RK Law organised to secure Bank Statements and Phone Records that showed the Nurse was at all relevant times in Central NSW on Annual Leave, and the Nurse’s partner was in North Queensland having medical treatment.
  • The Board noted that the telephone records demonstrated there was only one phone call from the Nurses mobile phone to the facility during the relevant period.  That phone call lasted 16 seconds and was made two weekends following the patient’s death. The phone call was made from Central NSW.
  • The evidence gathered by RK Law supported the argument that this was a malicious complaint.

 

If you have received a complaint from a regulation authority, you must contact RK Law immediately!

Betty Murison – 2 years at RK Law

June 9, 2020

Today we are thankful for the hard work and dedication of our super-star Paralegal and my P.A. – Betty Murison.

9.06.2020 – Message from Rowan King – Principal Lawyer of RK Law:

In my experience in the workforce, it is rare to come across a truly indispensable member of staff.  Just over 2 years ago, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Betty.  At the time, she was working for one of our competitors.  I naturally assumed she was 100 years old, because her name was “Betty”.  She had expressed an interest to join our team, and we were unfortunately not in a position to get her on at that time.  But one day in May/June 2018, the stars aligned, and we were able to offer Betty a job with our firm.

The recruitment of Betty to RK Law, in my view, will be something we look back on in years to come as a pivotal moment in the life of our business.  Betty displays an unmatched passion for excellence in all aspects of her job.

Betty has the perfect combination of:

  • Professionalism;
  • Kindness;
  • Work Ethic; and
  • Loyalty.

Betty also has the ability to put the fear of God into anyone who snitches on her, forgets to lodge a Legal Aid claim or fails to correctly name a document in our database.

Around 6 months into her employment, Betty spoke to me, and it was clear she was upset.  She said her husband had been transferred with work, and she was leaving Rockhampton.

Due to her commitment to the firm, her solid work ethic, and her “Donna” skills (watch Suits if you don’t get it), Beverly and I kept her on working remotely.

Betty does her job to such a high standard that most clients do not realise she is 1064km away.

We fly Betty down to our East Street Office, and Beverly, Lachlan, Maggie and I have the pleasure of spending 1 week with her each month (subject to Corona Virus).

It is important to honour when honour is due.

I know that I am a better lawyer thanks to Betty’s support and assistance over the last 2 years.  I know RK Law is also a better place thanks to her input into our business.

Thank you Betty for your hard work and commitment to RK Law over this last 2 years.

I look forward to many more years working with you!

Rowan King

@rklawqld

 

Morning Bulletin Article – 23.05.2020 – RKLAWQLD

May 23, 2020

An RK Law case in the news:

“Defence lawyer Rowan King said his client served five years of the prison term after being found guilty by a jury.

He said Donoghue had been in a relationship with the victim of this latest incident, but it had since ended. Mr King said Donoghue was the sole carer of his two children and lived outside of Rockhampton.”

Read the full story here!

https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/man-threatens-to-kill-hits-victim-with-chair/4021114/

COVID19 Coffee

May 20, 2020


RK Law is not just about fighting in the Court Room and getting results for our clients.  We are here in Central Queensland and always looking for ways to make a difference in our community.

It is 11:00pm and after a long day in the office, Rockhampton Defence Lawyer Rowan King is volunteering at Rocky Hospital with the Calvary Team making Café quality coffees for our front line staff on the late shift.

This is an initiative during the current COVID period to keep the caffeine flowing into our Hospital Staff.

Reflections from Rowan:

We are so lucky to have such amazing front line staff in Central Queensland.  I have been able to connect with the wonderful hospital staff.  You can take for granted the significance of the stress our nurses and doctors deal with day-to-day on a shift, external of COVID-19.

For example, I spoke to one medical staff member on one of the nights who looked exhausted.  They told me that during the shift the night before they had attempted to resuscitate a person.   They tried for a number of hours but could not save the patient.  That happened right at the end of the shift. The medical staff member got home and due to the adrenaline, they could not sleep.   They eventually got a few hours before getting the scrubs back on and getting onto the next patient.  They had shared thoughts such as “could I have done something better to save the patient?”.  A double shot was in order.  It was clear that burden that staff member was carrying was huge!

If a lawyer makes a mistake, and the magistrate makes a bad call due to the lawyer’s error, it will go on appeal and get fixed. There may be some inconvenience, but at the end of the day – no one died!

This volunteering has reminded me to be thankful for our front line medical staff (including the cleaners, wardies, and security) not just during COVID, but at all times.  It has also reminded me not to sook when I have a bad day at work!

Also a special thanks to Calvary Rockhampton who organise the coffee cart and provide the coffees.

@RKLAWQLD

RK Law celebrates International Womens Day

March 8, 2020

Today we acknowledge and celebrate International Womens Day. We are incredibly grateful for the amazing women who work at RK Law. We are blessed with the best!

To all the women in our local community and beyond, we celebrate you today and all the unique and wonderful qualities you bring to the world around you.

A red-letter day for RK Law

February 17, 2020

We love our team at RK Law and today we all had smiles on our faces as our graduate lawyer, Lachlan Robertson, was officially admitted to the legal profession.

Lachlan was sworn in as a lawyer today in the Rockhampton Supreme court, and we’re proud to say the whole RK Law team was there to cheer him on.

Well done Lachlan – we know you’ve got great things ahead of you.

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