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

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Entries Tagged as 'Evidence'

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

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

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

Jury verdict overturned by VSCA because of insinuation in cross-examination without adequate factual foundation

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments

In Green v Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority [2014] VSCA 207, the Victorian Court of Appeal today overturned a jury’s verdict following a nine-day trial. There had been a miscarriage of justice occasioned by the manner in which the plaintiff was cross-examined by the defendant’s trial counsel.  He had made an allegation of recent invention involving […]

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Tags: Alleging fraud & misconduct · duties regarding witnesses · duty to court · Ethics · Evidence · litigation ethics

R v Milat: A Case Study in Cross-Examination

September 6th, 2014 · No Comments

British backpacker Paul Onions got away from Ivan Milat on 25 January 1990, after Milat pulled a gun on him after giving him a lift.  He ran off, zigzagging to avoid being shot to death and managed to hail a passing motorist as Milat’s shot missed him.  The police did not do anything much in […]

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Tags: Evidence · Legal writing

To accept a reprimand or not to accept a reprimand?

June 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Update, 17 October 2014: K-R v Council of the Law Society of New South Wales [2014] NSWCATOD 115 provides an example of poor decision making when a disciplinary investigation was resolved by a reprimand imposed by the NSW Law Society instead of by disciplinary prosecution in NCAT (NSW’s VCAT).  The Council got the law wrong, and got another thing […]

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Tags: Discipline · Evidence

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

Clyne v NSW Bar Association: the leading case on unfounded allegations

February 11th, 2014 · No Comments

Clyne v New South Wales Bar Association (1960) 104 CLR 186; [1960] HCA 40 is a unanimous decision of the Dixon Court confirming the striking off of a Sydney barrister, Peter Clyne, for making unfounded and serious allegations on behalf of a husband against the wife’s solicitor in matrimonial litigation for the admitted purpose of […]

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Tags: "disgraceful and dishonourable" · Abuse of process · Alleging fraud & misconduct · Discipline · duty to court · Ethics · Evidence · Legal writing · litigation ethics · Misconduct · prosecutors' duties · Striking off

What is a signature?

July 14th, 2013 · 1 Comment

I have spent too much of the last couple of years considering what it is for a person to sign a document, as a result of a disciplinary prosecution of my solicitor client for forgery after he wrote his wife’s name on a guarantee pursuant to a written authority and then signed his name as […]

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Tags: Evidence