Stephen Warne on professional negligence, regulation and discipline around the world

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Entries Tagged as 'Discipline'

The Civil Procedure Act’s overarching obligation to keep costs proportionate

April 20th, 2017 · No Comments

The Civil Procedure Act 2010 applies to proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court, and Supreme Court but not federal courts or VCAT. Its overarching purpose is to ‘facilitate the just, efficient, timely and costs effective resolution of the real issues in dispute’: s. 7.

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Tags: Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) · civil-disciplinary interplay · Discipline · Ethics · litigation ethics · Party party costs · pro bono · Professional fees and disbursements · Proportionality · Wasted costs

Appeals from VCAT on the basis of inadequate reasons

April 19th, 2017 · No Comments

A failure to give reasons is an error of law.[1] Seriously inadequate reasons are corrosive of public confidence in the administration of justice and ought not to be tolerated by an appeal court, since justice must not only be done but be seen to be done. This is the first public policy informing the requirement […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Judges · Legal writing · VCAT · VCAT Act

$5,000 fines in lawyers’ disciplinary prosecutions

November 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

In this post, I noted the New South Wales Court of Appeal’s review of fines in solicitors’ disciplinary proceedings. I did my own little survey of Victorian cases recently in order to justify to the VCAT a joint submission as to penalty following a plea. How naughty does a lawyer have to be to cop a fine […]

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Tags: Discipline · VCAT

NSWCA surveys fines in NSW lawyers’ discipline decisions over a decade

November 14th, 2016 · No Comments

Russo v Legal Services Commissioner [2016] NSWCA 306 was the subject of my previous post. The Court engaged in a comparatively sophisticated review of disciplinary outcomes in like cases.  The purposes of this post is to reproduce that review and comment on the variables which ought to be taken into account in any proper survey of past outcomes. To […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Misconduct · Professional fees and disbursements · Professional regulation · Solicitor client bills of costs · The suit for fees · Trust money · Uniform Legal Services Council and Commissioner

NSW solicitor who didn’t pay counsel’s fees struck back on

November 13th, 2016 · No Comments

Salvatore Russo, a solicitor of 29 years’ standing, was struck off NSW’s roll of solicitors on 16 April 2016 by NCAT.  He had received payment from his client for counsel’s fees but not paid counsel for years. Then he was high-handed in response to the client’s entreaties when counsel sued the client directly.  The Court of Appeal found […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal writing · Misconduct · Professional fees and disbursements · Trust money · trust monies

Legal Services Commissioner’s new decision making powers

October 11th, 2016 · No Comments

The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner has published a report on his new proactive regulation of the profession.  It tells how risk profiles of practices are being constructed with the assistance of academics to target trust audits and audits of firms more generally (a new thing for law practices which are not ILPs).  It also tells […]

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Tags: costs disputes · Discipline · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · Professional fees and disbursements · Taxations

Applications to stay disciplinary decisions pending appeal

October 5th, 2016 · No Comments

I had to convince the Legal Services Commissioner to consent to a stay of orders suspending my client pending an appeal he has brought from VCAT the other day.  Happily the Commissioner consented.  For next time, I squirrel away this re-statement by the New South Wales Court of Appeal of the application to this class of […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal writing · Suspension

Judicial review of decisions to dismiss disciplinary complaints

October 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

A man was acquitted of criminal charges.  The prosecution’s appeal failed.  He complained about the police’s lawyers’ conduct to South Australia’s Bureau de Spank, the Legal Practitioner Conduct Commissioner.  The Commissioner dismissed the complaint.  There was a statutory right of appeal in respect of some but not all categories of decisions at the conclusion of a […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · judicial review · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law

Privilege and disciplinary investigations

August 8th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Lawyers have an obligation proactively to assert and protect the privilege enjoyed by their clients and former clients: Re Stanhill Consolidated Ltd [1967] VR 749 at 752. I wrote about it in this post about the Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic).  Lawyers have no implied or, I would suggest, ostensible authority to waive privilege belonging to former […]

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Tags: Client Legal Privilege · Discipline · Legal Services Commissioner · National Profession Uniform Law · Retainers

Yet more on the obligation on Legal Services Commissioners to plead their case properly and stick to it

August 7th, 2016 · No Comments

Legal Services Commissioner v AL [2016] QCAT 237 is a decision of a disciplinary tribunal presided over by Justice David Thomas, President of QCAT and a Supreme Court judge. It is therefore of high persuasive value, and treats Queensland provisions which are the same as the equivalent Victorian provisions. And it provides what I suggest with […]

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Tags: Alleging fraud & misconduct · Briginshaw · Discipline · Dishonesty · Evidence · fraud · gross overcharging · jurisdiction · litigation ethics · natural justice · negligence as disciplinary breach · procedure · Professional fees and disbursements · prosecutorial failures · prosecutors' duties · Taxations · Unsatisfactory conduct · Wasted costs