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

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Entries Tagged as 'Misconduct'

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

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

Solicitor’s correspondence with judge telling him how immature his conduct was doesn’t go down well in disciplinary tribunal

April 9th, 2016 · No Comments

Update, 5 October 2016: this decision is under appeal.  See this post. Original post: In Council of the Law Society of NSW v MAG [2016] NSWCATOD 40, a Sydney solicitor was disciplined for writing a private letter of complaint to a Federal Court judge the day after a decision was handed down, adversely to his client in […]

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Tags: common law · Discipline · Ethics · Judges · litigation ethics · Misconduct

VCAT finds practitioner guilty of conduct prejudicing administration of justice

April 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

I only learnt in the last few years that Melbourne is one of the world’s great Jewish cities, with a globally significant series of communities of orthodox adherents.  One of those orthodox communities has delivered up an interesting case.  In Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v AL [2016] VCAT 439, VCAT’s Acting President recently found a well known […]

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Tags: "disgraceful and dishonourable" · Briginshaw · common law · Discipline · duty to court · Evidence · litigation ethics · Misconduct · Rule of law · Vic Solis' Conduct Rules

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

Liability of directors of incorporated legal practitioners for wrongdoing of fellow directors

February 25th, 2016 · No Comments

Legislation regulating lawyers typically deals with directors of incorporated legal practices like Victoria’s Legal Profession Act 2004’s s. 2.7.11 as follows: ‘Each of the following is capable of constituting unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct by a legal practitioner director– (a) unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct of an Australian legal practitioner employed by the […]

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Tags: common law · Discipline · Duties to third parties · Misconduct · Unsatisfactory conduct

Suspensions which are not suspensions and orders which are not orders

March 25th, 2015 · No Comments

VCAT’s latest decision to come to my attention, of Member Elizabeth Wentworth, involved another solicitor who did not lodge tax returns over an extended period. He was suspended from practice for 12 months, but the suspension was suspended provided he did not breach certain conditions in the three years after the orders.  If he does, then […]

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Tags: amendment · common law · Discipline · Dishonesty · fraud · Legal Profession Act · Misconduct · Practising certificates · procedure · Suspension

Can an administrative agency determine that a crime has been committed?

March 4th, 2015 · No Comments

In Australian Communications and Media Authority v Today FM (Sydney) Pty Ltd [2015] HCA 7, the High Court considered when an administrative agency can make a determination of the commission of a crime.  The case arises out of the sorry saga of two Today FM presenters impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles in inquiries of the hospital […]

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Tags: Criminal liability · Discipline · Legal Services Commissioner · Misconduct · National Profession Uniform Law

Self-represented solicitor guilty of misconduct for breaching a rule expressed to regulate conduct when acting for a client

May 29th, 2014 · No Comments

A Western Australian disciplinary case, Legal Profession Complaints Committee v CSA [2014] WASAT 57 is interesting in a number of ways. A criminal lawyer was the manager of a strata corporation.  She owned two units and the complainant the third. The complainant affixed an airconditioner to a wall which impeded on a common area.  She […]

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Tags: Abuse of process · Briginshaw · Discipline · Dishonesty · duty to court · Evidence · jurisdiction · litigation ethics · Misconduct · procedure · The suit for fees