Legal Advice

Do you need legal help?

Most people are priced out of their legal rights. They earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to pay the hefty costs associated with full legal representation.

The PSA Legal Services Scheme can help you. 

Our scheme now offers EXPANDED services – providing members with one of the best Legal Services Schemes in Australia.

You can access FREE assistance in most legal situations.

Access to justice is a fundamental right. This Scheme helps guarantee that right.

For more information, follow these links:

What is the PSA/CPSU Legal Services Scheme?

Who is covered by the Scheme?

What does the fund cover?

What legal representation am I entitled to?

Important points to know

What is family mediation?

First consultation: helpful hints in using a solicitor

 

What is the PSA Legal Services Scheme?

The Scheme enables you to seek legal advice, assistance and family mediation services to protect your rights and property. To access the scheme

  • Call the PSA HOTLINE (8205 3227) for all employment, industrial and workers compensation matters

  • Call our partner law firm Johnston Withers (8231 1110 or 1800 088 572) for other legal services including

    • Free 24 hour telephone advice

    • Free first 1/2 hour interview with a lawyer

    • Discounted wills and conveyancing

    • Representation in worker’s compensation matters before the SA Employment Tribunal at no cost to PSA members.

    • Ongoing funding through the PSA Legal Services Scheme fund for approved matters

 

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What is the PSA Legal Services Scheme Fund?

The PSA Legal Services Scheme fund covers the legal and mediation expenses of members in some circumstances. It is designed to protect the rights of PSA members. To access the fund contact Johnston Withers on 8231 1110 or 1800 088 572. A lawyer there will give FREE initial advice and, if appropriate, help you apply to the fund.


Who is covered by the PSA Legal Services Scheme?

The services provided under this scheme are available to all financial members of the CPSU/SPSF (SA Branch) including Associate Plus members. Associate members are not covered.  

 

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What does the fund cover?


The following table sets out what is USUALLY covered by the scheme, but please note that the scheme funds on merit – so if you feel your matter deserves to be considered for funding please make an application.



PSA Legal Services Scheme Fund Guidelines

Motor vehicle claims

 

The fund covers advice and claims, defence of claims, counterclaims, and appeals relating to incidents involving a motor vehicles used by a member for

  • vehicles (including caravans and trailers) up to three tonnes

  • damage to vehicle or personal effects

  • personal injury or death

  • disputes relating to sale, purchase, hire purchase, hire, insurance, service or repair

The fund does not cover claims, defence of claims, counterclaims, and appeals relating to incidents involving a motor vehicle used by a member for

  • vehicles used in racing, rallying, or competitions

  • vehicles used for hire, reward or motor trade use

  • vehicles insured under Compulsory Third Party insurance

  • claims against family members

Criminal matters (Motor Vehicles)

 

The fund covers defence of prosecution for offences including

  • driving under the influence (alcohol or drugs)

  • Illegal use

The fund does not cover defence of prosecution for

  • driving while disqualified

  • causing death by dangerous driving

  • refusal to provide blood/alcohol/urine tests

Criminal

 

The fund covers defence of prosecution for criminal matters which are heard in the Magistrate’s Court (that is matters not involving a jury) including

  • Street offences

  • Unlawful possession

  • Assault

  • Shoplifting

  • Unlawfully on premises (this is the new Break and enter)

  • Theft (less than $2500)

 

The fund does not cover defence of prosecution for more serious offences such as

  • Murder

  • Rape

  • Indecent or sexual assault

  • Arson

  • Theft (more than $2500)

  • Robbery

  • Breach of bail, community service or probation order

  • Trafficking in controlled drugs

  • Cultivation and sale of controlled plants

 

Family

 

The fund covers Family Mediation including

  • a pre-mediation interview for you

  • a pre-mediation interview for your partner

  • a family mediation (up to three meetings)

all provided by trained mediators at Relationships Australia. This service is available in Adelaide and in the Riverland.

It also covers up to 4 hours legal advice (including to help you prepare for the mediation and document any agreement reached)

The fund does not cover family mediation services unless both sides are willing to submit to mediation.

Personal and consumer protection

 

The fund covers advice and claims, defence of claims, counterclaims, and appeals for disputes relating to

  • death or injury loss or damage to goods

  • the home (sale or purchase, loss of or damage to, loss of enjoyment of, fencing and encroachment disputes)

  • contracts (for services including insurance, sale, purchase, hire; purchase or hire)

  • defamation (for defence only)

  • entitlement under a will (up to 2 hours initial advice)

The fund does not cover claims, defence of claims, counterclaims, and appeals for disputes relating to

  • the conduct of any business or trade or profession

  • shares in a private limited company

  • the members appointment as a director, unless appointed in course of employment

  • construction (other than the home)

  • patents, copyright and trademarks

  • leases and tenancy issues

  • compulsory acquisition of property, closure of roads, etc

 

Major exclusions

The fund does not cover

  • Industrial matters, employment matters and workers compensation matters (which are dealt with at first instance through the PSA Members’ Hotlline 8205 3227).

  • Disputes arising prior to you joining the PSA

  • Disputes with the PSA

  • Disputes under this scheme

  • Disputes in matters of less than $500

  • Fines and penalties

  • Disputes reported 6 months after occurrence



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Important Points to Know

The PSA Legal Services Scheme Fund does not cover all legal matters. Details of what is, and what is not, generally covered are available on the PSA website www.cpsu.asn.au.

 

All funding must be applied for, and approved, before any costs are incurred.

Funding will only be granted if there are reasonable prospects of success.

 

A PSA member granted funding must take every reasonable step to recover costs. All recovered costs must be paid back to the scheme.

 

Funding is granted, and may be discontinued, at the sole discretion of the Trustees of the scheme including if:

    • the PSA member fails to give proper instructions in due time to their lawyer

    • the PSA member causes delay that is prejudicial to the outcome of the proceedings

    • the PSA member ceases to be a current financial member of the PSA

    • the legal matter no longer has reasonable prospects of success

    • the PSA member’s solicitor refuses to act for the PSA member

    • the PSA member withdraws his or her instructions from the solicitor.

The fund is limited. Funding will be continually reviewed and may also be discontinued if legal costs are likely to have a significant impact on the scheme as a whole.

If a PSA member is unhappy with a decision under the scheme, the PSA member may appeal to the Trustees. The Trustees’ decision will be final and binding.

The services under the Scheme are available to PSA members and Associate Plus members only. Associate members are not covered by the scheme.

Any funding is granted on the basis of continued full financial membership of the PSA. PSA members may be asked to provide a PSA member number. To be eligible to access services under the scheme, a member must be a financial PSA member at the time of the incident for which legal services are sought, and must remain a financial PSA member while legal assistance is provided. If at any time the PSA member discontinues membership, the scheme will discontinue funding from the date that the membership ceases. Any approved costs incurred up until this point, incurred in good faith, will be met. If the PSA member fails to notify his or her solicitor that full financial membership has ceased, the PSA member will be responsible for all costs incurred from that date.


 

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What is family mediation?

Family Mediation is a process where people are assisted by an impartial third party to reach a resolution of a dispute. Mediation is effective in helping separated couples find agreements concerning the future of their children, their finances and their property.

Family Mediation may be applied to all forms of family disputes, including conflict between relative, in-laws, etc.. Family Mediation is a process where people are assisted by an impartial third party to reach a resolution of a dispute. Mediation is effective in helping separated couples find agreements concerning the future of their children, their finances and their property.

Family Mediation may be applied to all forms of family disputes, including conflict between relative, in-laws, and others. Family Mediation is used for:

  • married or domestic partners

  • separating, separated and divorced persons

  • couples making decisions about separation issues

  • parents in dispute about residence and contact

  • people in dispute about finance and property matters

  • parties in dispute about child and spouse support


 

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First Consultation: helpful hints in using a Solicitor

  • Organise any documents you may have into date order

  • Be prepared to talk about the problem, focusing on the issues involved

  • Be punctual and aware of time restrictions

  • Do not leave without understanding the prospects of success and/or options available to you

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