I usually wake up between 6.00 am and 7.00 am depending on what I've got planned for my morning. Today I get up a little earlier because I have a teleconference at 7.30 am with one of the firm's American clients. 7.30 am is pretty early for a call, but it's largely because of the time difference.
I eat breakfast, get ready, check my emails on my work phone (just in case something urgent has come through) and head to the bus stop. I always bring a book and my noise-cancelling headphones.
I get to my desk, log into my computer, check my emails again, check my calendar and review the task list I prepared last night to make sure I'm across my upcoming tasks and meetings. Today is a bit of an unusual day with such an early start and potential late finish, however, the team is great about working flexibly on other days to ensure we maintain our work/life balance.
I head into the partner's office with the senior associate and special counsel for the call with the American client. It turns out the client wants to commence proceedings against an Australian based entity. The partner is asking questions to find out more about the facts of the matter before providing preliminary advice. The special counsel and senior associate are assisting the partner, asking the client questions where necessary. I focus on taking notes of what's happening - the key facts, what information we are missing and any questions I have about what is happening.
The meeting concludes. We quickly debrief and discuss next steps. The client has told us it will be sending through some material to support its version of events. The partner asks me to prepare an index of that material once we receive it. I add this to my task list.
After debriefing, it's time for coffee. We go together as a team, which we do regularly.
I get back from coffee and the special counsel asks to see me about a task he gave me a few weeks ago. The task is to determine whether one of our clients can make a claim under its insurance contract. I grab my notepad and pen, quickly refresh my memory on my progress and head in. I explain that I think the client can make a claim under the insurance contract. I say that I've almost finished a memo which explains, in detail, why this is. I tell him I will have it to him by tomorrow afternoon.
Following the meeting with the special counsel, I get ready to head to court. We're in day eight of a 15-day trial in the Supreme Court. I pack my laptop, two notepads, several pens and a muesli bar and jump into a cab with the team.
I head into one of the court's conference rooms for a pre-trial briefing with my partner, the senior associate, the barristers (senior and junior counsel) and the client. When court commences we will be resuming the evidence of the other side's main expert witness. Senior counsel quickly explains his cross-examination strategy to us.
Court commences. I am sitting at the table behind the barristers. The partner is sitting next to me. The senior associate is instructing the barristers so he is sitting at the bar table with them. The senior counsel commences cross-examination and I listen and take notes. It's important I pay attention because later on, I may get tasks that require an understanding of what has happened in court.
Court adjourns and we head back to the conference room to debrief. The senior counsel explains that his cross-examination is going well. He has managed to obtain a number of concessions from the other side's expert witness.
We break for lunch. As I'm down near the courts I've organised to catch up with a mate who is working as an associate to one of the judges. We go to a nearby sushi place.
Court resumes and we are back into the cross-examination of the other side's witness.
Following a brief re-examination by the other side's senior counsel, the witness is allowed to leave. The Judge asks the barristers about the trial's timetable, whether it is on track to finish within the next 7 days. The barristers agree that it is. The barristers and judge also have a discussion about a few legal issues that have come up in the course of the trial. These include issues about causation and the measure of damages.
Court adjourns for the day and we head back to the conference room for a final debrief. After explaining how the final cross-examination and re-examination went, the senior counsel explains what will be happening next in the trial. At the end of the conference, the junior counsel asks me to prepare a research memo for the issues to do with causation and the measure of damages. He says he needs the one about causation before tomorrow morning.
I head back to the office. I make a cup of tea and get stuck in the research task. This involves stocking up on all the key texts from the library. I also stock up on lollies from the library's lolly jar too.
I'm close to finishing the memo for the barristers. I take a quick break to have dinner.
I finish the memos and send them off to the barristers. Within minutes they call me. They have a few questions about my memo such as how strong I think my arguments are, and how I think those arguments interact with the facts of this particular matter. I answer their questions and they thank me for my work.
The call ends. I prepare my task list for tomorrow, log off my computer and get ready to go home. Tomorrow I plan to come in a bit later after checking with my partner, as today was a bit unusual due to the early morning US call and extended finish time. At the moment I'm really into running. I try and do it as often as I can. So tonight I decided to run home. I am fortunate that I am able to do this - I only live about 30 minutes from the city.