Solicitor prosecuted for breach of rule in Browne v Dunne

Bizarre man.  A Queensland solicitor has been found guilty of professional misconduct for not obeying the rule in Browne v Dunne (well, amongst other things): Legal Services Commissioner v MPD [2009] LPT 08. Here are the reasons:

‘[18] in July 2004, [Mr Dryland] retained the respondent to resist an application for an apprehended violence order.  [19] Mr Dryland’s case involved a denial of the incident of violence alleged against him.  [20] During the hearing, the respondent, who acted as advocate, failed to put his client’s case when cross-examining.  [21] The Court made an apprehended violence order against Mr Dryland.  [22] It is not alleged that there was a connection between a failure to comply with the rule of practice in Browne v Dunn (1893) 6 R 67 and the outcome of the hearing. Rather, the undisputed case is merely that there was a failure to cross-examine appropriately.’

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One Reply to “Solicitor prosecuted for breach of rule in Browne v Dunne”

  1. This kind of thing is why it is getting hard to take Ethical regulation in Queensland as seriously as we once did. To be fair, there was some trust account inefficiency involved as well, but Mr MPD is one of the ever shrinking minority of us who take on difficult Legally Aided matters and is constantly under funded as a result. To be punished for a simple error in cross examination (which, as a Solicitor he would have limited experience) is ludicrous, particularly where there is no discernible nexus between the error and the outcome. I made the same mistake myself on my second day of practice and do not think the less of this guy one whit. The only real message to take home here is (1) stick to easy clients and easy matters (2) the poor, the underfunded and the difficult are too much of a risk (3) Leave Pro Bono and Legal Aid clients as the subject of pompous speeches at dreary QLS functions and as a bit of a sideline dabble to keep touch with your socially progressive student days.

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