The chairwoman of the bayreuth lawyers' association, ilona treibert, invited the federal minister of justice, sabine leutheusser- schnarrenberger, who was in bayreuth on the occasion of a visit to a festival, to a working lunch last week.
The associated legal policy discussion was also attended by thomas hacker, chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the bavarian state parliament, and bayreuth's member of the state parliament, regional court president prof. Dr. Jorn bernreuther, senior public prosecutor thomas janowsky, labor court director friedrich schutz and representatives of the bavarian judges' association, the bayreuth lawyers' association and the young liberals part.
Changes in the rules of procedure and their consequences
in the course of the discussion, the minister announced that an increase in lawyers' fees, which had not been adjusted for 17 years, was imminent as a result of the so-called cost law modernization act. She also pointed out the contrast between the interests of the federal government and those of the federal states, whose households have to bear a considerable amount of the costs of legal aid (court and lawyer's fees for insufficiently wealthy litigants).
Also discussed were the effects of the amendment to the code of civil procedure with regard to the dismissal of appeals in civil cases in written proceedings and the newly introduced possibility of a reprimand in the event of overlong proceedings. Because the new regulations had only recently come into force, the practitioners present were not yet able to provide valid figures, so that only initial impressions were given. Ultimately – according to the unanimous tenor – it will be necessary to wait and see what the high court's interpretation of the relevant provisions will be before making a final assessment.
Exchange of views to be repeated next year
Sabine leutheusser-schnarrenberger was also keen to discuss copyright infringements and the associated problem of warning letters issued by companies and lawyers, which can lead to considerable costs for those who receive warning letters.
This point becomes more topical in light of a recent ruling by the federal supreme court in april of this year that internet providers must hand over all names and addresses of users who post unauthorized music on online file-sharing sites, regardless of whether this is done for commercial purposes or not. Until then, only commercial users were affected.
The bayreuth lawyers were also interested in the opinion of the federal minister of justice on electronic legal transactions. Ambitious plans of the ministry of justice envisage the introduction of civil proceedings conducted only electronically – i.E. Without paper files – by 2019. The informal exchange of opinions of high professional value should take place again at the next festival next year.