Since she published her first episode in November 2022, Newcastle legal eagle Tanya Chapman has drawn hundreds of followers to her Just in Case Law podcast.
Through her 30-to-60-minute conversations about Australian legal cases she’s delved into, the experienced solicitor is managing to make legal advice both educational and interesting.
Her podcasts are based on true crime stories.
In each episode Tanya discusses the facts of the case, delves into the court proceedings and, finally, the outcome.
Her knowledge, enthusiasm and educational background mean her listeners don’t have to belong to the legal profession to appreciate the logistics of the case.
“It was always intended to be a bit educational so that people have a better understanding of the legal system and then also with a focus on the really fun, interesting dramatic cases,” she explains.
Just in Case Law was born off the back of a fear of public speaking.
“When I first went into legal practice back in 2015, I was absolutely terrified of public speaking,” she admitted.
“But, my colleague was very gung-ho about doing public presentations about wills, estate planning, powers of attorney and enduring guardians just because they’re so important and we need to talk to the community about it.
“I was absolutely terrified and then I was worried about being really, really boring so we brightened things up.
“I started talking about cases and saying, ‘look, this happened in this case, you don’t want it to happen to you’, and that’s when people started to love it.
“I would give presentations and people would gasp in horror or they’d laugh, or turn to each other and say ‘Oh, that happened in my family’.
“They don’t listen if it’s just boring law but if there’s an interesting case, they absolutely love it, and I do as well.”
Tanya specialises in wills, estate law and elder law.
However, her podcasts cover all aspects of the legal profession.
“Some of the cases I cover in the podcast might include someone who died without a will and what happens then,” she said.
“They might be poorly drafted wills that don’t make any sense, in some you’ve got to try to read a sentence when there’s no punctuation whatsoever.”
For Tanya, the Australian legal system is filled with fascinating cases she hopes to uncover.
Some cases she describes as “a legal soap opera”.
“Like the case involving a doctor who is a total wrongdoer,” Tanya said.
“He befriended a lady after he was the doctor to her elderly husband.
“When the husband died, he began having sex with this lady, the spouse, within a week and she was over 30 years older than him.
“He moved into her house, and she provided him with large sums of money. She even worked for free at his medical centre. Then she made provisions for him in her will.
“When she died, he wanted greater provision from the estate and the solicitors for the estate wanted some of the property back claiming that he had undue influence over her and abused his position of trust.
“There were also proceedings against him before the medical tribunal because not only did he have sex with several of his patients, but he also told other patients about it.
“You almost feel like you’re talking about a soap opera, and yet this all happened here in Australia.”
Tanya says she is already receiving requests for particular cases from her loyal followers.
The self-confessed legal story addict says she’s only too happy to oblige.
“My goal was to make legal advice more interesting, so if I’ve made it interesting and fun then I’m happy.”
For more stories like this:
- Your guide to markets in our region
- Top tips for creating the perfect summer garden
- Wallsend to mark 150 years
Get all the latest Newcastle news, sport, real estate, entertainment, lifestyle and more delivered straight to your inbox with the Newcastle Weekly Daily Newsletter. Sign up here.