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

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Entries Tagged as 'mental illness'

What is the duty of care in tort of a man with florid paranoid schizophrenia?

March 19th, 2016 · No Comments

Some cases are just dead interesting.  Dunnage v Randall [2016] 2 WLR 839, [2015] WLR(D) 287, [2015] EWCA Civ 673 is one of them.  A man sued the estate of his late uncle for compensation for injuries he suffered when his uncle poured petrol on himself and set it alight.  Despite the man’s efforts to prevent […]

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Tags: defences · mental illness · Negligence

The permissible forensic uses of historical mental illness in professional discipline trials

March 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

Professor Dal Pont’s excellent text Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility (5th ed., 2013) suggests at [23.145] that mental illness will rarely provide a defence to a disciplinary prosecution, the purpose of which is protective rather than punitive.  He argues, in part, that the public needs protection just as much from the mentally ill who do bad things […]

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Tags: "disgraceful and dishonourable" · appeals · common law · Discipline · mental illness · Misconduct · negligence as disciplinary breach · Unsatisfactory conduct · wilful disregard for rules

Lawyers withdrawing ‘guilty pleas’ in disciplinary prosecutions at first instance and on appeal

March 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

BRJ v Council of the New South Wales Bar Association [2016] NSWSC 146 is the subject of this sister post about the permissible use of evidence of mental impairment.  Two aspects of it deserve their own separate post.  The respondent barrister changed her plea twice, once after the liability phase of the hearing but before the […]

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Tags: "question of law" · amendment · appeals · civil-disciplinary interplay · Discipline · mental illness · procedure

A case about a bipolar lawyer

June 15th, 2015 · No Comments

My practice has had me thinking a lot recently about the professional discipline of the mentally ill.  The legal profession has caught up with the medical profession by coming up with good policies which make clear that where mental illness can be managed in such a way as to protect clients and others to whom […]

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Tags: Discipline · Legal Services Commissioner · mental illness · Practising certificates

The Lawchestra’s second ever concert

September 18th, 2014 · No Comments

The Lawchestra, about which I have troubled you before, is playing again this Sunday after we totally nailed the last concert (photos from the brilliant young photographer and law student Sean R. Ali here). It was thanks to the good work of Robert Dora, the conductor.  Man does he have a hard job.  Orchestras like […]

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Tags: mental illness

A last-ditch argument

May 7th, 2014 · No Comments

A South Australian solicitor’s last-ditch argument in his brave but unsuccessful battle to stay on the roll of practitioners was: ‘Mr Prescott contends that this Court should not act on the false testimony finding in the strike off application because, even though his testimony in the 2011 hearing was false, he had deluded himself into believing […]

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Tags: Discipline · fraud · mental illness · South Australia · Striking off

The Lawchestra

March 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Indulge me while I go off message for a second.  Mind you, I am going to tell you about a band that is decidedly heavy with costs lawyers, since Liz Harris is on harp and I’m playing flute, so in my own mind I have a weak but arguable case for relevance.  This Saturday sees […]

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Tags: mental illness

WA disciplinary tribunal says it’s misconduct for a doctor passing a crash not to stop and offer assistance

February 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

Update: This decision was reversed on appeal: Dekker v Medical Board of Australia [2014] WASCA 216.  The Court of Appeal did not find that there was no duty to assist.  Rather, they found that there was insufficient evidence before the disciplinary tribunal for it to find the existence and acceptance in the profession of such a […]

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Tags: doctors · Duties to third parties · mental illness · Misconduct

More on solicitors’ obligations to pay counsel’s fees

April 3rd, 2013 · No Comments

Council of the Law Society of New South Wales v JAX [2012] NSWADT 283 is a case in which the solicitor was disciplined for paying himself out of fees provided to him by his client for payment of counsel’s fees.  Ultimately he went bankrupt and did not pay the fees. See also this earlier post […]

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Tags: Discipline · Dishonesty · fraud · mental illness · Professional fees and disbursements · prosecutors' duties · Trust money · Unsatisfactory conduct

Solicitor fined $3,500 for forgery

May 9th, 2011 · 6 Comments

A 27 year old solicitor working in family law twice lied about the existence of a document, and then forged it.  That was just one and a bit years after a harrowing admission application in which the Board of Examiners split on whether she should be admitted, as a result of what VCAT’s Deputy President […]

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Tags: Discipline · Dishonesty · fraud · mental illness · Misconduct