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

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Entries Tagged as 'litigation ethics'

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

Lessons from a tome in the dome on the assignment of suits’ fruits

December 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

Cruelly, the Legal Services Commissioner prosecuted my client recently for disbursing monies from his trust account to the wrong person, albeit without the slightest dishonest intent, which he said would be regarded by competent and reputable peers as disgraceful or dishonourable.  I say ‘cruelly’ because he made me go to the Supreme Court Library, and […]

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Tags: litigation ethics · Trust money

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

The Bureau de Spank’s obligation not to publish about disciplinary orders until lawyers’ appeal rights are spent

June 19th, 2016 · No Comments

Parliament is considering a bill to re-instate the disciplinary register, and to prohibit the Bureau de Spank from trumpeting its successes before the respondent practitioners’ appeal rights are exhausted: Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Amendment Bill 2016 (Vic.).  Cl. 150E of the Bill proposes to prohibit the Legal Services Board from providing to the public information about disciplinary […]

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Tags: appeals · Discipline · Legal Profession Act · Legal Profession Uniform Law · Legal Services Commissioner · Legal writing · litigation ethics · National Profession Uniform Law · Professional regulation · prosecutors' duties · regulators' duties · VCAT

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 extended duration of the un-renewed practising certificate

October 8th, 2015 · No Comments

Under the Legal Profession Act 2004, if a lawyer applied for renewal of their practising certificate prior to the expiry of the old one, but a decision was not made before the old one runs out, the certificate is extended until either it is renewed or a decision to refuse renewal is finally determined by […]

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Tags: Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) · Civil Procedure Acts · Ethics · Legal Profession Act · litigation ethics · Non-party costs orders · Party party costs · Practising certificates · Professional regulation · Proportionality · regulators' duties

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

Executrixes’ denial of deceased’s alcoholism without any proper factual foundation results in indemnity costs order

October 15th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Hartnett v Taylor [2014] VSC 501 was a Part IV claim for testators’ family maintenance.  The defendant executrixes said that the plaintiffs’ conduct led to estrangement from the deceased and to the deceased’s alcoholism.  The plaintiffs said that the deceased’s alcoholism led to their estrangement, and that is what Sifris J found.  The defendant executrixes’ […]

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Tags: Alleging fraud & misconduct · Civil Procedure Acts · Ethics · litigation ethics · Party party costs

Client obtains Anton Piller order over solicitor’s hard disk in fees dispute

October 15th, 2014 · No Comments

Ho v Fordyce [2014] NSWSC 1404 is a decision in an ex parte application of which the solicitor had no notice and did not participate. There is a dispute between solicitor and client in relation to fees.  The client contended that costs agreements relied on by the solicitor were ‘a recent invention’.  Given that the client asserts […]

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Tags: Alleging fraud & misconduct · Costs agreements · duty to court · litigation ethics · Professional fees and disbursements · The suit for fees