QLS’s The Callover: Mistakes and Professional Development by Dan Rogers

Dan Rogers on QLS’s The Callover: Mistakes and Professional Development


Earlier this month I had the pleasure of featuring on the Queensland Law Society’s podcast The Callover, which focuses on unpacking issues for young lawyers. I spoke with host Georgia Athanasellis about practical steps that lawyers can take in the event of a mistake, and the importance of ongoing professional development and maintaining ethical standards throughout one’s legal career. This is against a backdrop of our firm regularly acting for solicitors and barristers who face complaints or professional discipline proceedings.




The most important thing when it comes to mistakes is to be upfront about them. We all make honest mistakes and mistakes are ok. The best way to deal with a mistake is to accept that it has happened, and be able to gain insight about how it happened so that it can be avoided in the future – it is better to fix the mistake than to try and hide them. I encourage lawyers, particularly young lawyers, who are faced with the consequences of a mistake, to turn to their supervisor where possible, or if confidential advice is required, to contact the QLS Senior Counsellors who are volunteers with 15 or more years of post-admission experience who provide advice on any professional or ethical problem. For information and practice support guidance regarding ethics, the QLS Ethics Centre also provides confidential guidance.


Professional Development


Professional development should remain a priority for lawyers of all ages. Constant learning is important throughout your legal career, to ensure that you understand and comply with your ethical obligations. I encourage lawyers to look to the QLS Guidance Statements, which are concise summaries of important conduct rules on specific topics.


Legal Services Commission Complaints


The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is a statutory body who receive and investigate complaints relating to the conduct of legal professionals. In serious cases, the LSC has the responsibility to file an application for disciplinary proceedings through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). The nature of complaints vary greatly. However, one of the main ways to expose yourself to a complaint is failing to give clear and early cost estimates to a client. Improper communications and the making of unfounded allegations are also problem areas for many clients.


What to do in the event of a complaint: Robertson O’Gorman’s Services


In the event that a complaint is made against you, it is of utmost importance to seek independent legal advice. Too often, lawyers react emotionally and respond before thinking about the best course of action. Reputational and personal damage resulting from these allegations can be significant, so it is important to understand your rights and obligations.


Robertson O’Gorman specialises in presenting all professionals who may face the unfortunate experience of being subject to a complaint that leads to their professional disciplinary body becoming involved. As well as for complaints through the LSC against solicitors and barristers, we can assist public service employees, teachers, child care workers, accountants, tax practitioners, doctors, nurses and students who are subject to proceedings before a number of statutory bodies.


We assist our clients to respond to complaints, participate in the investigatory process, in the making of oral and written submissions and if necessary, appeal a decision to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or other appellate Commission or Court.


We pride ourselves on a thorough analysis of complex factual issues and a timely resolution of matters.


If you have a professional discipline issue you would like to discuss, please contact us so that one of our Professional Discipline Specialists can assist you.


  • You can listen to the episode (‘Mistakes and Professional Development’) through Spotify or iTunes, or read the episode’s transcript.



Contact us

Level 19, 179 Turbot Street Brisbane Qld 4001

ph: (07) 3034 0000
fax: (07) 3034 0099
email: mail@robertsonogorman.com.au


Robertson O'Gorman encourages emerging leaders - Robertson O'Gorman Prize in Criminal Law 2020

Robertson O’Gorman is a proud sponsor of the University of Queensland Law School.

Each year the law school recognises the brightest legal minds through awards to its top performing students.

The latest recipient is Ana Coimbra who was thrilled to receive this award:

"Being awarded with the Robertson O'Gorman Prize in Criminal Law 2020 has given me a fantastic framework from which to develop my legal career.  I cannot express my gratitude to Robertson O'Gorman enough.   Their generosity will not only financially support me in my studies but will also motivate my continued interest in criminal law.  While I have always had an aptitude towards criminal law, being granted such an award has prompted me to consider how I may contribute to Queensland’s criminal law system.  Ultimately, I hope to one day be in a position to encourage the academic pursuit of law students like Robertson O'Gorman has done for me.  These are the kinds of opportunities that truly cultivate knowledge, determination and progress in students at the beginning of their professional journeys." Ana Coimbra


Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors, leading criminal defence firm is pleased to welcome Linda Cho to the team!

Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors, leading criminal defence law firm is pleased to welcome Linda Cho to the team!

Linda holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Political Science) from the University of Queensland. She obtained her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from Australian National University and was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2016.  Prior to joining the team at Robertson O’Gorman, Linda practiced in the areas of criminal law, child protection, domestic violence, mental health and youth crime. Linda has a keen interest in rehabilitation and has experience working within the therapeutic courts in Brisbane.  She has travelled on circuit to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, such as Bamaga and Thursday Island and has represented clients from all walks of life and has appeared for clients in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Court, representing them for matters ranging from simple traffic matters to more serious matters.

Linda is also an active committee member of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association, helping to promote the importance of cultural diversity in the legal profession. She also sits on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Advisory Council.  She is a passionate advocate who strives to assist people who must go through the criminal justice system. She understands that it can be a daunting and frightening experience. When meeting with clients she ensures that any question can be asked so every client has a clear understanding of what is happening with their matter.

Robertson O'Gorman Solicitors striving for Excellence - Emma Higgins recognised in the 2020 Queensland Criminal Law Rising Star Rankings

Last week, Robertson O’Gorman was again recognised as a ‘First Tier Criminal Defence Firm’. Congratulations to our newest edition to The Doyle’s Guide, solicitor Emma Higgins!  Emma has been recognised in the 2020 Queensland Criminal Law Rising Star rankings.  Doyle’s is curated by fellow criminal lawyers and barristers, recognising the expertise of our firm’s criminal defence lawyers and we are proud of our firm’s commitment to excellence and the continuing professional development and mentoring we provide throughout our lawyers' career.

Robertson O’Gorman Principal recognised in national Doyle’s List for White Collar and Corporate Crime Professionals and Criminal Defence Lawyers

Robertson O’Gorman Principal recognised in national Doyle’s List for White Collar and Corporate Crime Professionals and Criminal Defence  Lawyers

The Doyle’s Guide is an independent organisation that rates and recommends law firms and individuals based on interviews with clients, peers, and relevant industry bodies.  The Doyle’s 2020 rankings are in and we congratulate our Principal, Dan Rogers for being recognised nation-wide as a Leading Criminal Defence Lawyer, in addition to a national recognition in the White Collar Crime, Corporate Crime and Regulatory Investigations Category.  Congratulations also to Terry O’Gorman; another one of our team awarded nation-wide recognition as a Leading Criminal Defence Lawyer. All of the solicitors at Robertson O’Gorman strive for quality and superior customer service and we are very proud of their commitment to excellence.



Protection orders are official documents made by a court or police service for the protection of one person (the aggrieved) against another (the respondent). They include domestic violence orders – visit our Domestic Violence page for more information.  Other examples of protection orders include:

  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders
  • Apprehended Personnel Violence Orders
  • Intervention Orders
  • Family Violence Intervention Orders
  • Personnel Safety Intervention Orders
  • Violence Restraining Orders
  • Misconduct Restraining Orders
  • Personnel Protection Orders
  • Family Violence Orders
  • Police Family Violence Orders

Protection orders can be for a temporary period pending a court hearing. They may also involve voluntary undertakings given by the person that has a similar restraining effect as a formally-imposed protection order. For information regarding the kinds of conditions that may be imposed in a protection order, visit our Domestic Violence page.

Weapons prohibition orders (WPOs) are protection orders that limit or restrain access, possession or use of a weapon, often in relation to a protection order.

Weapons licences will be affected by protection orders. Temporary protection orders suspend weapon licences and final protection orders cancel weapons licences.[1]  Within one day of the court making an order, the respondent must surrender their weapons and licences to a police officer. The respondent will also be prevented from applying for a weapons licence for five years from the date of the final protection order.


Where a Defence member becomes the aggrieved person in a protection order, they should notify their commanding officer where the circumstances are likely to influence their performance, duty or daily work routine. They should also notify their commanding officer where the respondent to the protection order is another Defence member or employee or where the order is likely to affect Defence business or reputation. Commanding officers are then to take all reasonable steps to support and assist the aggrieved person.


Where a Defence member becomes the respondent to a protection order, they must immediately report it to their commanding officer, who is to manage the Defence member as appropriate to the situation.

Notification must be in writing and provided within 24 hours of becoming aware of the protection order. For Reserve members not on duty, it must be provided within first period of duty after becoming aware of the protection order. Along with a copy of the protection order, the written advice must contain:

  • Details regarding the circumstances of the issue of the protection order;
  • Duration and conditions of the protection order; and
  • Any impact it may have on the effectiveness of the member in carrying out their assigned duties.

Where a WPO is issued, the member must also include whether information regarding any services weapons in their possession and any personal firearms and/or ammunition stored in any ADF armoury.

If the Defence member’s ability to perform their duties is restricted by the WPO, the commanding officer must consult with the member’s career management agency to consider if the member can continue serving in the ADF. The Military Personnel Policy Manual also outlines that any privately-owned weapons stored in an ADF armoury must not be released to the Defence member. If the WPO requires the weapons be surrendered, this must be carried out by the officer-in-charge of the armoury direct to the police, in the presence of the Defence member.

Where the Defence member is permitted to continue serving in the ADF, they are not permitted to gain unsupervised access to armoury or magazines.

ADF Recruitment are responsible for seeking declarations regarding any WPOs to which applicants are subject at the time of their application and any time after before their enlistment/appointment. Depending on the circumstances, WPOs may be sufficient for an applicant to be declined or deferred entry into the ADF. Failure to advise of a WPO prior to enlistment/appointment may result in termination at a later date.

[1] Weapons Act 1990 (Qld) ss 27A, 28A.

Legal Wise Seminar - Criminal Law: Hot Topics

Our Principal and Legal Director, Dan Rogers presented today at the Legal Wise Seminar - Criminal Law: Hot Topics.  He spoke about Criminal law and the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) with a particular focus on statutory interpretation and the right to a fair hearing; along with reviewing Sections 32 to 35 of the Act which set out certain specific rights that relate to those accused of a criminal offence.  Case Studies were examined to provide context to these important areas.  It is vital for anyone facing a criminal charge to get considered advice about how the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) may affect the best conduct of their case. Our solicitors are available to discuss your case.


Doyle's Guide 2020 Results - Robertson O'Gorman recognised again as a First Tier Queensland Criminal Defence Firm

We are pleased to announce for the sixth straight year, Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors has been recognised as a First Tier Queensland Criminal Defence Firm in the 2020 Doyle’s Guide..  The Doyle’s Guide is curated by fellow criminal lawyers and barristers, recognising the expertise of our firm’s criminal defence lawyers. The list can be accessed here.  Terry O’Gorman and Dan Rogers have also been named as Preeminent Queensland Criminal Defence Lawyers. As a result, together, Terry and Dan make up two of only six places on the highest individual category. Leigh Rollason was also among the list of Recommended Queensland Criminal Defence Lawyers.

Congratulations to Dan, Terry, Leigh and all ROG solicitors who continue to strive for excellence!