Know your rights, says lawyer

A Samoan-born lawyer who now practices overseas has urged Samoans living in Australia to know their rights when involved in vehicle accidents.

Leota Sinaumea Taufao, who works for the Brisbane-based law firm Little’s Lawyer, said Samoans thinking of moving to Brisbane should know their rights in critical times like car crashes and accidents.

“A lot of people are involved in car crashes and incidents inside their organizations, but they don’t know the process we do here in Little’s Lawyer so we’re here to let them know that there is a place here for them,” he said, in an interview with Samoa Observer. 

Leota is the Pacific team leader in the Brisbane law firm and is the only one with Samoan/Polynesian background. 

When he was asked if he has had any experience representing Samoans in litigation, he said: “I settled my first case, a Samoan man who was injured at work, and wasn’t aware of his rights and his entitlements. I helped him get the compensation he deserved.”

As one of few Samoans currently practicing law in Brisbane, Leota said it is important people don’t forget their indigenous background. 

“E lele le toloa ae maau i le vai,” he added, saying he was proud of his heritage as a Samoan and a Pacific islander.

Leota has a bachelor of business and a bachelor of law and commerce from the Griffith University. He is a former president for the Association of Pacific Island Students at the Griffith University and is the son of Reverend Risatisone Taufao and Faitauga Taufao, who is a pastor for Inala Wesleyan Methodist Church in Brisbane.

He has families in Ti’avea, Magiagi, Salamumu and Faleasiu and was bestowed with his matai title (Leota) in December last year in Ti’avea, alongside his brother Uso Mose Taufao.

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