Misconduct in acting in face of duty and associate’s interest conflict

Legal Services Commissioner v JAF [2006] VCAT 581 (Cullity, Shattock, Hannebury) Acting for vendor and purchaser; conflict between duty and interest (of solicitor’s associate)

The Full Tribunal were not impressed with this solicitor who acted for the vendor and the purchaser which was a trust of which his wife was a beneficiary, but did the rule they relied on extend to prohibit acting in the face of a conflict between duty and the interest of an associate? Continue reading “Misconduct in acting in face of duty and associate’s interest conflict”

Demand for information “within 14 days” complies with s. 149

Law Institute of Victoria v MMM [2006] VCAT 182

Section 149(3) of the Legal Practice Act, 1996 says that a demand by the Law Institute under the power to compel information and documents must be in writing and “must allow at least 14 days to comply”. In a marvellously ambitious move, Rod Randall unsuccessfully challenged the Tribunal’s jurisdiction on the basis that a demand for information “within 14 days” did not allow his client at least 14 days to comply.

Continue reading “Demand for information “within 14 days” complies with s. 149″

Legal Profession Tribunal’s costs provision explained

Buxey’s Case [2006] VCAT 173

The decision is a simple illustration of three things:

  • a tribunal is not functus officio in relation to costs upon deciding a dispute;
  • a client can only have an order for costs if the Legal Practitioner behaved unreasonably in relation to the hearing, whereas the Legal Practitioner can have costs for unreasonableness in relation to a hearing of the Client or on the basis that the dispute is misconceived, frivolous, vexatious, or lacking in substance;
  • “costs of a hearing” extend to preparation for the hearing but not to the pre-Tribunal phase and not to settlement attempts (including the costs of conciliation) during the Tribunal phase. Continue reading “Legal Profession Tribunal’s costs provision explained”