Few lawyers would quarrel with the statement 'We must create equal protection for everybody under the law' made by Justice Minister Dullah Omar in his foreword to the final version of the Justice Vision 2000 document which he presented in September this year. The Vision document is perhaps best descriptionbed as a green paper outlining the Justice Department's plans for reform. It was drawn up by a departmental planning unit funded by overseas aid money.
Q1 (from Bloemfontein): What is the difference between marketing and advertising? A In my view this question relates more to practice development than to ethics, but there is a relationship. Readers will recall that, only a few years ago, advertising by attorneys was not allowed at all because it was 'unethical'. Advertising is now allowed by the four provincial law societies and is governed by the rules of those societies to ensure that it is properly done.
Labour lawyers and aspiring labour lawyers will be pleased to know that there are two very useful sites on the internet, providing links to local and international information relating to industrial relations. LabourNet can be found at www.labournet.co.za and IRnetwork at www.irnet.co.za. LabourNet provides attorneys with access to research facilities, all relevant labour legislation and rules, a precedent bank of draft applications and agreements, access to news groups, labour law attorneys, mediators and arbitrators or employer organisations, for almost any kind of labour relations assistance you might need.
A recent case handed down by the Transvaal Special Court for Income Tax Appeals will be of special interest to several attorneys. The case deals with the deductibility of expenditure incurred by an attorney on an overseas visit with the alleged purpose of keeping abreast of the latest developments in his field of expertise. In general, for expenditure incurred in the Republic to be deductible. it has to pass the requirements of the general deduction formula in section 11(a) of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 (the Act) and should not be prohibited in terms of s 23, in particular s 23(g).
When I was, not so long ago, in the employ of the employee benefits division of a large life assurance company, it was not inconceivable to receive a letter of demand from a firm of attorneys advising that firm was acting for Mrs 'Divorce' who was the wife of Mr 'Divorce', a member of your fund, and requesting that the assurance company withhold payment of a pension benefit to Mr 'Divorce' pending the finalisation of the divorce proceedings since Mrs 'Divorce' was entitled to a share of such benefit.
Does the cession by a beneficiary of a beneficial interest in an inter vivos trust which holds immovable property attract liability for transfer duty? The debate on this issue has encouraged the Receiver of Revenue to consider requiring the payment of transfer duty on such a cession. The purpose of this article is to persuade him that in most instances a cession would not be subject to the provisions of the Transfer Duty Act 40 of 1949 (the Act). It is established law that a trust is not a legal person and that the assets and liabilities in a trust vest in the trustee. A trust has been held to be a legal institution sui generis. The trustee is the owner of the trust property for the purposes of the administration of the trust but qua trustee he has no beneficial interest therein.
Costs de bonis propriis - that is, 'straight from the pocket"" (of the representative) - are awarded by the courts in deserving cases in our law. The expression comes from bona propria, meaning one's assets, one's own property. The issue of costs being awarded against the legal team - both advocate and attorney - was urged by counsel in the then Transkei Supreme Court case of Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa v Minister for Local Government, Eastern Cape and Others (Tk) 23-11-1995 (case 1685 unreported) heard at Umtata in November 1995. More on this case presently.