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

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Entries Tagged as 'procedure'

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

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

Admissibility of material relevant to penalty at the liability stage

October 7th, 2015 · No Comments

In my experience, the Legal Services Commissioner generally assumes that material relevant to penalty is inadmissible at the liability stage.  So, for example, the Commissioner applied recently for leave to re-cross-examine a practitioner in a disciplinary hearing, after the close of evidence, in order to adduce evidence relevant to penalty by reference to ‘disciplinary priors’, even though […]

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Tags: Discipline · Evidence · Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · procedure · prosecutors' duties

VCAT’s President’s extra-judicial views on Barbaro in VCAT disciplinary hearings

June 10th, 2015 · No Comments

In my last post, I briefly surveyed VCAT’s approach to the Barbaro principle in disciplinary proceedings against solicitors.  I just came across a presentation given by the Supreme Court’s Justice Garde, VCAT’s President which touches on this issue.  The presentation is titled ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution – Can it work for Administrative Law?’. It was given […]

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Tags: Discipline · procedure · prosecutors' duties · VCAT

Submissions on penalty in regulatory proceedings like ASIC and disciplinary prosecutions

June 8th, 2015 · No Comments

The Federal Court has given a landmark decision about regulatory prosecutions.  In federal jurisdictions and state jurisdictions which follow the new decision, professional disciplinarians like ASIC and Legal Services Commissioners will no longer be able to enter into plea bargains in the expectation that the court or tribunal hearing them will rubber stamp the agreed […]

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Tags: Criminal liability · Discipline · Legal Services Commissioner · Legal writing · Out of court settlements · procedure · Professional regulation · prosecutors' duties · regulators' duties · Rule of law

Summary judgment in a disciplinary prosecution?

May 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

I wrote about the test case on the application of penalties privilege to disciplinary prosecutions of solicitors brought by the Legal Services Commissioner here.  Now the Commissioner has made another novel application in the same case, which usefully provides some law on the appropriateness of prosecution applications for summary judgment in disciplinary prosecutions (Legal Services […]

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Tags: Discipline · Evidence · Legal Services Commissioner · procedure · VCAT Act

Legal Services Commissioner seeks to overturn privilege against penalties

April 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment

There is an old and well established privilege, the privilege against penalties, which is a relative of the privilege against self-incrimination.  It entitles solicitors facing disciplinary prosecution to stay silent throughout the proceedings until the end of the Commissioner’s case unless the Tribunal makes an order requiring provision of written grounds and an outline of […]

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Tags: Discipline · doctors · duty to court · Evidence · Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · litigation ethics · natural justice · Penalties privilege · procedure · prosecutors' duties

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 a legal regulator rescind a decision to bring disciplinary proceedings

March 21st, 2015 · No Comments

The Supreme Court of Tasmania has made an important ruling in  Legal Profession Board of Tasmania v XYZ [2014] TASSC 33 about the finality of decisions made by legal regulators at the end of disciplinary investigations.  The decision suggests that in those jurisdictions with similar statutory provisions, until a disciplinary prosecution is launched, such decisions […]

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Tags: amendment · autrefois acquit · Discipline · Legal Profession Act · Legal Services Commissioner · procedure · Professional regulation · regulators' duties

More on the constraints on the use of information obtained under statutory powers

February 10th, 2015 · No Comments

In Flori v Commissioner of Police [2014] QSC 284, a police sergeant was suspected of committing a crime: leaking to News Ltd footage of an incident in respect of which another officer was being investigated by a disciplinary authority for using excessive force.  A criminal investigation was launched as a result of the findings of […]

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Tags: Criminal liability · Discipline · Evidence · procedure · prosecutors' duties