- Q. What’s the difference between an echidna and two lawyers in a BMW?
A. An echidna has the pricks on the outside.
Another lawyer joke:
Secret S11 deal twist
Chris Tinkler and Kelvin Healey
Sunday Herald Sun
March 11, 2007
THE law firm that brokered a controversial payout for S11 protesters who sued police is now representing injured police.
It is understood the law firm has now stopped taking on cases against Victoria Police.
The revelation is a remarkable twist after the S11 saga.
Normally outspoken Police Association secretary Paul Mullett, who slammed the S11 deal, refused to comment on the Slater & Gordon pact on Friday.
Asked if the association had hired the law firm that represented the S11 protesters, he would only say: “We use a range of solicitors.”
But Slater & Gordon spokesman Andrew Taylor confirmed the law firm was working for the association in a range of areas.
“It’s generally industrial stuff and sometimes personal injury work,” Mr Taylor said.
He said the firm had been working with the Police Association for “six months to a year”.
That would mean that a separate unit within the firm was representing the association at the same time as another unit was suing its members.
It is understood all Slater & Gordon employees have been given a directive as part of the association deal not to accept any new cases against the police. When a Slater & Gordon help-line adviser was asked this week about representation for a man claiming to have been beaten by police, he was told: “We are not taking on any claims like that any more.”
The Bracks Government provoked widespread [sic] outrage when the Sunday Herald Sun revealed last week it had agreed to a secret $700,000 payout to protesters who clashed with police in the S11 [police] riots outside the World Economic Forum at Crown Casino in September 2000.
Forty-seven demonstrators and Slater & Gordon are sharing the windfall [sic], though the law firm is believed to be picking up about $600,000 in payment.
News of the payout also fuelled worries that the S11 protesters’ success could prompt similar action from participants in November’s G20 riots in Melbourne.
Opposition police spokesman Andrew McIntosh described the latest revelation as “the irony of ironies”.
“First you have a secret deal between the Bracks Government and Police Association, next you have a secret compo deal between the Government and Slater & Gordon and now there is a secret deal between Slater & Gordon and the Police Association,” he said.
“It is a merry-go-round of secret dealing. But I guess it proves if you can’t beat them, join them.”
Slater & Gordon is also preparing for a possible public listing later this year, with a prospectus due to be released within days.