Letter of demand for fees found to be professional misconductWarne notes that the Tribunal found misconduct.
A solicitor represented himself unsuccessfully before Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal in Legal Profession Complaints Committee v MLS  WASAT 135, being found guilty of three counts of professional misconduct and three of unsatisfactory professional conduct. ...
The solicitor told a Magistrate on an ex parte application for an intervention order against his client that the client had a criminal record, which the solicitor knew the client did not have. Hardly surprising that that conduct was found to be misconduct. More interesting, perhaps, is the finding that an unduly aggressive demand for fees was found to amount to professional misconduct. It said, in effect — If you do not pay me $2,000, I will sue you, get default judgment, and bankrupt you for 5 years. The problem was that the client had a rather good defence: the solicitor had not sent him a bill for the $2,000 disbursement.
26 October 2010
lawyers behaving badly
From Stephen Warne's Australian Professional Liability blog -