Although I specialise in family law, I do on occasions venture into areas where I practised in a past life.
Being admitted in both Queensland and New South Wales can have its advantages. This includes being able to help out practitioners from regional areas when somethings needs to get done in a hurry.
I was contacted by one of my colleages from a regional centre in the North West Slopes and Plains. He had a client who was in hospital and he needed a solicitor who was admitted in New South Wales to witness some documents.
Hospital visits aren’t always fun. Some times you feel like you’re intruding but you have a job to do. You need to get your timing right so that people aren’t asleep or having dinner. You also don’t know what condition your client might be in.
I was met by my clients’ daughter in the foyer. I had read the documents before I came and by way of an ice breaker with her, I notice that she was from a small town that I knew about. It happens that this lady had recently done a furniture restoration project with the mother of my sister-in-law’s partner!
When I was introduced to my clients, I explained why I was there and they understood what I would be doing for them in witnessing the documents. What I did not tell them was that I needed to assess their capacity to understand the documents they were to sign. By way of starting the conversation, I asked the wife what her date of birth was and where she was born.
It turns out that this lovely lady (now in her mid 80s) was born at Coolamon. This was where my great-grandmother lived after my great-grandfather died.
Then started a lovely conversation with both of them about the fact that they had lived at Winchendon Vale. This was where my grandfather’s farm Lenton Park was and where my paternal family grew up. As chance would have it, the husband had been a farmer in the district and knew my grandfather Jim and his brother Trev. They used to sell clover hay to this gentleman. He smiled with delight when he was telling me this.
We had a great chat about the Winchendon Vale area, my family, why they had moved away from tthe cold climate for health reasons, farming in general and the fact that this gentleman knew my family, particularly my grandfather.
I never met Jim. He died about a decade before I was born. Prior to yesterday, the only people that I had ever met that had known my grandfather were my paternal family.
Being admitted in two states has its advantages. Particuarly when something like this happens out of the blue.
Best $350 I have ever spent!