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427 items matching your search terms

  1. Auckland Standards Committee 2 v Halse [2021] NZLCDT 7 (19 March 2021) [PDF, 177 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner admitted unsatisfactory conduct by failing to alert complainant and the complainant’s business entities that practitioner was personally contributing to loans from their client / appropriate penalty / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 5.4.1 / rule 5.4.2 / HELD / censure not appropriate, as oversight did not prejudice client / Tribunal had no underlying concern about practitioner’s professional practice / ordered $5,000 fine / permanent name suppression for provider, client and associated entities / costs hearing to follow

  2. Auckland Standards Committee 2 v Vujnovich [2021] NZLCDT 1 (5 February 2021) [PDF, 86 KB]

    Penalty / misconduct for providing regulated services to the public other than in the course of her employment / inadvertent but serious technical breach of s 9(1) / lawfully provided trust administration services prior to admission / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, section 9(1) / HELD / continued to carry on trust administration while employed as solicitor / mitigating factors include unintentional breach, conduct stopped in 2015, and otherwise blameless record / name suppression declined as threshold to displace presumption of open justice not reached / risk to current firm is slight / Tribunal ordered censure / practitioner to pay Standards Committee’s and Tribunal’s costs

  3. Nelson Lawyers Standards Committee v Stevenson [2020] NZLCDT 42 (15 December 2020) [PDF, 380 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner admitted misconduct in relation to threats towards police sergeant, conduct in court and from alcohol consumption / appropriate penalty / HELD / high end of misconduct spectrum / previous unsatisfactory conduct finding for similar issues / poor performance by practitioner required setting aside a conviction and retrial / adversely affects criminal justice system / has repeatedly attempted to achieve abstinence without success / admitted charges of misconduct and has already had lengthy suspension / Tribunal ordered 18-month suspension from date of hearing / practitioner must give undertakings and obtain a supervisor to report on sobriety / Tribunal recommended practitioner be required to show fitness for practice prior to being granted a practising certificate / practitioner ordered to pay 50 per cent of the Standards Committee’s costs and 50 per cent of Tribunal’s costs / medical and personal details suppressed

  4. Auckland Standards Committee 5 v Taia [2020] NZLCDT 39 (1 December 2020) [PDF, 107 KB]

    Penalty / unsatisfactory conduct for failing to rectify e-dealing issue in a timely manner / misconduct for failing to comply with investigator’s request for a client file and failing to comply with a costs order / practitioner has history of not engaging in a timely manner / HELD / Tribunal ordered nine-month suspension and censure / practitioner to pay Standards Committee’s and Tribunal’s costs / supporting arguments for name suppression advanced without evidence / name suppression refused

  5. Auckland Standards Committee 2 v Mason [2020] NZLCDT 38 (1 December 2020) [PDF, 87 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner admitted misconduct / unable to manage trust account by closing it when firm ceased, failing to pay out client funds and failing to appropriately record transactions / agreement that censure was appropriate / whether suspension required / HELD / practitioner had no capacity to pay a fine / seven previous disciplinary matters including two admissions of misconduct leading to suspension / Tribunal ordered censure and three-month suspension / no costs order against practitioner due to his impecuniosity

  6. National Standards Committee 1 v Peters [2020] NZLCDT 34 (27 October 2020) [PDF, 86 KB]

    Penalty / Tribunal previously found misconduct / practitioner breached duty of confidentiality to client by talking to media without client’s consent / whether practitioner should be suspended / HELD / profession’s reputation affected as a member of the public complained about the breach / no indication general deterrence required / practitioner will have a misconduct finding and suffer embarrassment of publication of his name in relation to a case of public interest / Tribunal ordered censure / practitioner to pay Standards Committee’s and Tribunal’s costs / interim suppression order discharged

  7. Canterbury Westland Standards Committee 2 v A Practitioner [2020] NZLCDT 32 (13 October 2020) [PDF, 117 KB]

    Penalty / unsatisfactory conduct relating to interaction with court security and failure to deliver file / misconduct relating to visiting a client in police cells with client’s partner, who practitioner represented as his assistant, and possession of methamphetamine / HELD / offending serious / mitigating factors include the practitioner not having practised for three years, that offending coincided with severe illness, and that he has re-engaged with Law Society regarding these proceedings and ongoing practice restrictions / fine inappropriate due to financial position / practitioner must provide undertaking for three years, practitioner only to practice as an employed barrister and solicitor by and under direct supervision of another barrister and solicitor / practitioner to pay 20 per cent of Standards Committee’s costs and half of Tribunal’s costs / name suppression granted / public interest in open proceedings outweighed by practitioner’s health and children’s interests

  8. National Standards Committee 1 v Young [2020] NZLCDT 30 (25 September 2020) [PDF, 183 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner negligently or incompetently represented client and tried to stop them from pursuing complaint / whether strike off justified / Hart v Auckland Standards Committee 1 [2013] 3 NZLR 103 / Otago Standards Committee v Claver [2019] NZLCDT 8 / HELD / practitioner demonstrated lack of insight / practitioner pursuing client for unpaid fees, refusing to acknowledge the services were not worth a fee / previous disciplinary history an aggravating factor / showed no insight, did not accept responsibility / no mitigating factors / conduct fell short of the accumulation of wrongdoings in Hart / on one file alone, strike-off would be harsh / ordered 30-month suspension, for practitioner to cancel all fees for work undertaken and withdraw claim against client / practitioner to pay Standards Committee’s costs and $7,253 of Tribunal’s costs / client should not have to pay costs for application for rehearing / copy of decision to be sent to Disputes Tribunal and client

  9. Wellington Standards Committee 2 v Harper [2020] NZLCDT 29 (11 September 2020) [PDF, 193 KB]

    Penalty / improperly witnessed and certified numerous documents / put client convenience before rules / no concealment of actions / firm’s internal controls failed to prevent conduct, including while practitioner was employed solicitor / HELD / survey of purposes of penalty and suspension in professional discipline / moderately serious misconduct / aggravating factors were the number of breaches and duration of conduct / numerous mitigating factors, including remorse and good character, no harm to clients and conduct not deceitful or misleading or for personal gain, and the offending is historical and not identified by practitioner’s employer, LINZ not suspending access to e-dealing, reputational damage, current regulatory compliance, and delay in disciplinary process / threshold for suspension not met / Tribunal ordered censure / practitioner must provide undertakings as to random file supervision / ordered to pay 80 per cent of Standards Committee’s costs and Tribunal’s full costs

  10. Auckland Standards Committee 5 v Barton [2020] NZLCDT 28 (10 September 2020) [PDF, 143 KB]

    Penalty / legal executive admitted misconduct for multiple occasions of copying signatures on to documents / whether employees should be held to lower standard than practitioners / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, section 3 / section 11 / Wellington Standards Committee 1 v Nalder [2015] NZLCDT 5 / Taranaki Standards Committee v Flitcroft [2010] NZLCDT 36 / HELD / legal executive initially denied allegations / subsequent acceptance of responsibility was “late, partial and grudging” / perceived workplace to be toxic and unsupportive, no evidence to that effect / actions taken to cover up documentation failures / Tribunal considered indefinite prohibition for law employment not appropriate / legal executive not in a strong financial position, fine not appropriate / Tribunal imposed 12-month prohibition on employment / ordered censure / no costs order against legal executive, as they were legally aided

  11. National Standards Committee 2 v Harker [2020] NZLCDT 27 (31 August 2020) [PDF, 161 KB]

    Penalty / charge laid under s 241(d) / two convictions for doing an indecent act / own-motion investigation by Standards Committee / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, section 241(d) / HELD / whether reasonable member of the public would regard convictions as reflecting on the practitioner’s fitness to practice law / conduct falls within “moral obloquy” / practitioner accepts convictions bring profession into disrepute / suspension would serve as further punishment / practitioner has taken steps to address reasons for offending and to mitigate risk / no public interest in preventing him practising law / Tribunal ordered censure / must provide undertakings / for five years, to obtain prior written approval from Law Society before practising, with it being satisfied practitioner will adhere to condition not to be in the presence of a person aged 16 years or under except in the physical presence of another lawyer / for two years, will continue to undertake therapy / costs reserved

  12. Hawke's Bay Standards Committee v Queenin [2020] NZLCDT 26 (25 August 2020) [PDF, 166 KB]

    Liability and penalty / practitioner charged with providing misinformation and/or omissions in job interview with a law firm, and breaching an undertaking to a Standards Committee / Tribunal determined practitioner waived their right to appear / HELD / dishonourable conduct by making a false declaration and deceptive omissions and falsehoods, and failing to disclose unsatisfactory conduct findings and supervision requirements for certifying e-dealings / alternatively, grossly negligent so as to bring profession into disrepute / conduct goes beyond “unacceptable” or “unprofessional” conduct / misconduct found / practitioner breached undertaking to Standards Committee to undergo further training / Tribunal ordered censure and three-month suspension / practitioner to pay $16,000 of Standards Committee’s costs and reimburse full Tribunal’s costs / Tribunal considered total Standards Committee costs of $22,315.20 somewhat higher than normal

  13. Auckland Standards Committee 2 v Miller [2020] NZLCDT 24 (7 August 2020) [PDF, 108 KB]

    Penalty / misconduct and unsatisfactory conduct / practitioner made arrangements to permit a struck-off practitioner to practise / what is the appropriate penalty and should practitioner be granted name suppression / HELD / ordinarily, permitting another practitioner to circumvent penalty would result in suspension or strike-off / practitioner’s specific circumstances allow a compassionate and proportionate response / unblemished record, health concerns, and has ceased practice / threshold for name suppression not met / Tribunal ordered censure and $10,000 fine / practitioner to pay reasonable contribution to Standards Committee’s costs and Tribunal’s costs

  14. Otago Standards Committee v Elder [2020] NZLCDT 23 (5 August 2020) [PDF, 118 KB]

    Liability and penalty / unsatisfactory conduct / trust account inspection orders / failure to comply with inspection order and education order / failure to note deadlines and prioritise tasks to comply with order / practitioner has since complied with orders / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, section 241(c) / HELD / conduct not disgraceful or dishonourable / by a fine margin, did not disregard professional obligations / partially complied with order as to fine and costs / conduct not negligent or incompetent per s 241(c) as conduct did not occur so frequently and was not so serious as to bring profession into disrepute / unsatisfactory conduct found / Tribunal ordered censure and $3,750 fine / practitioner to pay Standards Committee’s and Tribunal’s costs / ceased operating trust account on agreed basis

  15. Auckland Standards Committee 1 v Ravelich [2020] NZLCDT 22 (16 July 2020) [PDF, 112 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner’s plan to manage alcohol addiction, which was connected to offending / arrangements in place for regular support, counselling, monitoring and mentoring / HELD / Tribunal endorsed practitioner’s support arrangements and undertakings / goals of rehabilitation and safeguards met by arrangements / further matters considered include nature of offending, low probability of similar difficulties occurring in future, time since offending, previous disciplinary history, willingness to rehabilitate, and the area’s need for competent criminal barristers with practitioner’s enthusiasm / Tribunal ordered censure including final warning / practitioner to pay $20,000 of Standards Committee costs as agreed with the Committee and to pay 75 per cent of the Tribunal’s costs

  16. Wellington Standards Committee 1 v Gribben [2020] NZLCDT 21 (16 July 2020) [PDF, 143 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner misappropriated funds from clients / accepted four misconduct charges and consented to strike-off order / HELD / strike-off order proper / offending aggravated by clients residing overseas, two elderly clients residing in rest homes, and one client being an estate with charities as beneficiaries / offending mitigated by prior blemish-free disciplinary record / costs decision mitigated by quick admission of wrongdoing and cooperation with disciplinary process / Tribunal ordered practitioner be struck off / practitioner to pay 75 per cent of Standards Committee’s costs and 75 per cent of the Tribunal’s costs / permanent name suppression for practitioner’s clients

  17. National Standards Committee 1 v Young [2020] NZLCDT 20 (10 July 2020) [PDF, 289 KB]

    Liability / Standards Committee charged practitioner with negligence or incompetence / provided legal services without notifying employer or having the skills, experience or supervision to do so / not keeping a proper file, with adverse effects for client / later tried to persuade client to withdraw complaint / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 7 / rule 7.1 / rule 13.3 / HELD / client significantly hampered in managing their case due to lack of English language ability / practitioner and client accepted written terms of engagement, not “limited terms” suggested by practitioner / negligent or incompetent conduct in relation to file management, client representation at court hearing, advice on discovery, method of providing a non-English speaking deponent’s evidence, and failing to obtain adequate supervision / misconduct found / attempting to persuade client to withdraw complaint was unsatisfactory conduct

  18. Otago Standards Committee v Zhao [2020] NZLCDT 19 (6 July 2020) [PDF, 111 KB]

    Liability / practitioner previously ordered by Tribunal to complete trust account supervisor course / current charge for failing to comply with that order / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Trust Account) Regulations 2008, regulation 19 / schedule 1 / schedule 2 / HELD / Law Society runs two trust account supervisor courses, a beginner course with an exam, and a refresher course / Tribunal order was unspecific in face of two options / practitioner eligible under Regulations to take refresher course / Committee assumed attendance at refresher course was non-compliance / practitioner enrolled in beginner course but postponed for medical reasons / advised by Law Society that the Regulations permitted him to complete refresher course / in context of approaching the matter with some persistence, delay from November 2017 to February 2018 insufficient to establish offence / charge dismissed

  19. Auckland Standards Committee 2 v Burcher [2020] NZLCDT 18 (30 June 2020) [PDF, 145 KB]

    Penalty / misconduct and unsatisfactory conduct / practitioner performed legal work as a solicitor/trustee while suspended / breach of LCDT orders / High Court appeal confirmed four particulars as disgraceful or dishonourable / Burcher v Auckland Standards Committee 5 [2020] NZHC 43 / Central Standards Committee v Meyrick [2018] NZLCDT 28 / Auckland Standards Committees 3 and 4 v Banbrook [2017] NZLCDT 35 / HELD / no criticism of work performed for clients / harm to credibility of disciplinary system / suspended trustee lawyer must engage another lawyer to carry out legal work / not most serious breach of suspension order, but all breaches are serious / in context of dysfunctional partnership / did not charge for work / conduct occurred four years ago / aggravating feature: third appearance before LCDT / public protection not required / Tribunal ordered two-month suspension and censure / practitioner to pay two-thirds of Standards Committee’s costs and reimburse full Tribunal’s costs

  20. Auckland Standards Committee 1 v Arman [2020] NZLCDT 17 (22 June 2020) [PDF, 7 MB]

    Liability and penalty / misconduct or unsatisfactory conduct / criminal proceedings / practitioner did not appear or respond / Tribunal concluded service was properly effected and practitioner waived right to appear / practitioner charged for failing to serve client’s best interests in criminal proceedings / Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules 2008, rule 9.5 / rule 13.1 / HELD / wilful breach of  obligation to advise client on eligibility for legal aid / remaining charges established, to at least a reckless level / misconduct charge proved / High Court found miscarriage of justice requiring conviction to be set aside / high end of misconduct spectrum / practitioner previously suspended for 10 months for serious misconduct involving a client who was pressured into a guilty plea / Tribunal ordered practitioner be struck off / practitioner to refund $8,385 to complainant and to pay Standards Committee’s and Tribunal’s costs

  21. Auckland Standards Committee 5 v Ellis [2020] NZLCDT 16 (8 June 2020) [PDF, 98 KB]

    Penalty / practitioner previously struck off / outstanding charges dealt with by finding of misconduct by consent, on the basis of all other charges being withdrawn by leave of the Tribunal / Standards Committee did not seek further compensation in this jurisdiction / parties agreed that appropriate penalty was censure and costs / only remaining issue quantum of costs / HELD / Tribunal ordered censure / practitioner to pay Standards Committee’s and Tribunal’s costs / however practitioner should not have to pay costs for filing amended charges where Tribunal considered original charges to be “somewhat defective” / also costs should be reduced to reflect attendances for a compensation claim which was not ultimately pursued