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Grandmother sues electronics store, students to decide case


Zoe Satherley
6 May 2009

Grandmother Candice Bucket, 79, has decided to sue local businessmen Mario and Luigi because she tripped on an escalator and seriously injured herself when leaving their electronics store.

The drama is being played out tomorrow, Thursday, May 7, in a mock court (moot court) battle at Southern Cross University’s School of Law and Justice.

Mid North and North Coast senior high school students have been given all of the case details and a toss of the coin will decide whether they act for her, or for the storeowners.

Teams of students from schools in Lismore, Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour are participating in the inaugural Honourable John Dowd High School Mooting Competition. Winning teams in early rounds will compete in the grand final later in the day for a trophy and cash prizes.

The engaging battle will tease out the details about what Mario and Luigi knew about the faulty escalator and whether what they did to rectify the situation was enough to get them off the hook from being sued for breach of duty of care.

The region’s junior legal sleuths will have to take into account facts including that the slightly vain Grandma Bucket wasn’t wearing her prescription glasses at the time of the accident and insisted on wearing high heels, even though they were bad for her balance.

The saga begins after Justice James has ruled in the Supreme Court that Mario and Luigi do not owe a duty of care to Candice Bucket and she has launched an appeal.

Participating schools are Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, Coffs Harbour Senior College, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School, Lismore High School, St John's College Woodlawn, and Trinity Catholic College Lismore.

The preliminary moots will be judged by Southern Cross University Law Student Society members with Law School staff judging later rounds. The grand final will be judged by Southern Cross University Chancellor the Honourable John Dowd AO QC, Regional President of the Far North Coast Law Society Ms Clarissa Huegill, and former Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor Mr Nicolas Harrison.

The presentation of the mooting trophy and cash prize to the winner will be followed by the presentation of the Far North Coast Law Society Scholarship Awards to five commencing Law students.

Photo: Law students in the Moot Court at Southern Cross University. Media opportunity: Media are invited to attend any of the mooting sessions tomorrow, Thursday May 7. Preliminary moots are being held in the Moot Court, School of Law and Justice, Southern Cross University, between 10am and 2pm with the grand final moot at 3.30pm, followed by the presentation ceremonies for winners and scholarship recipients at 4.45pm.