Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 06:23:02 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!  (Read 3333 times)

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« on: December 13, 2011, 01:36:57 AM »
Ok, fair warning, you may very well pee your pants laughing. This is beyond hysterically funny...

http://www.theage.co...-20111208-1olce.html

Quote
SOUTH Australia's Attorney-General, John Rau, says he cannot do anything about a lawyer cleared of unprofessional conduct by the Legal Practitioners Conduct Board despite his killing a cyclist in a hit-and-run.

Just to be clear... This lawyer is driving. He hits a cyclist. The cyclist dies. He runs aways. He's not guilty of "unprofessional conduct".

Hmmm... What do you need to do to be guilty of "unprofessional conduct"? Kill someone? Ooops. Nope. It's ok to kill people~!

Bwahahahahahahahaa~! ;D

Like just how much worse does it need to be? Would serial killing or mass murder count? :P

I just can't stop laughing at how utterly ridiculous it all is~!

Killing people? Nope. That's ok~! WTF? Hahahahahah~! ;D



Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

eleman

  • Spam Killer
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 393
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 01:42:49 AM »
I find myself more and more as the devil's advocate or hopeless opposition but...

Assume that you hold a scuba diving license. You hit a cyclist and run away. The cyclist dies. Should your scuba diving license be revoked?

It's not OK to kill people, the lawyer in question will almost certainly be jailed for negligent homocide or something like that. And he will be in jail for a long time, but what does this event have to do with his law degree and success in bar exams?

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 02:10:50 AM »
I find myself more and more as the devil's advocate or hopeless opposition but...

Assume that you hold a scuba diving license. You hit a cyclist and run away. The cyclist dies. Should your scuba diving license be revoked?

It's not OK to kill people, the lawyer in question will almost certainly be jailed for negligent homocide or something like that. And he will be in jail for a long time, but what does this event have to do with his law degree and success in bar exams?


Devil's advocate is the best one to be~! :D


Quote
Mr Rau sought legal advice on the board's decision after a public backlash over its finding that Eugene McGee was not unprofessional when he hit and killed Ian Humphrey in 2003, left the scene of the accident, made several phone calls and arranged legal representation before going to police.

...

McGee was not breath or blood-tested for alcohol after the crash and was later fined $3100 for driving without due care.

Killing cyclists is only a $3,100 fine.

Yeah... I know... I'm pandering to the populist drivel of oversimplifying and confusing issues. It's much funnier that way. ;D :P

But seriously, actually not breaking the law in major ways might be a bit of a standard that you'd want those in the judicial system to uphold. That could just be me though. :P

Sorry - I have a very difficult time approaching this topic with any semblance of seriousness. It's just so wonky.




Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,137
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2011, 03:47:11 AM »
It seems to make a lot of sense.

I gathered that the lawyer who killed the cyclist was not acting for or against the cyclist in any way - i.e., the cyclist was not known to the lawyer, and was not a client or otherwise involved in some case the lawyer was acting on.
If the lawyer had run over a client, then that might have been deemed to be unprofessional - depending on the motivation and circumstances - but killing someone on a bicycle with whom he had no connection with and quite accidentally (which seems to be the case here) was not adjudged to be unprofessional per se, in this case.
Indeed, why should it be?
That is a rational approach.

This was a hit-and-run, I gather. Running away from the scene to (say) get his affairs in order for his defence would seem to be a professionally prudent thing to do, though a potential breach of traffic law in some countries.
He was apparently not drunk (or not proven to be, at any rate) and only charged with driving without due care - a relatively minor traffic offence. It was an accident.

If he had been charged and found guilty of a criminal offence, then he could could almost certainly have been adjudged unprofessional and been disbarred, but that was not the case here.

My law lecturer (a barrister) used to regularly remind us - when we were studying complex judgements - to remember that "The law's an ass".

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 04:04:34 AM »
Not sure but I think in the UK a lawyer with a criminal conviction can't practise - even if the conviction is unrelated to their work.

Ironic really as most lawyers seem to work on the principle of getting as close to being illegal as possible without getting convicted in order to ensure their clients avoid taxes or avoid justifiable conviction.

I know there are codes of conduct but a lot of lawyers get as close as possible to breaking the rules without actually doing so - hardly in the spirit of the thing but when societies law is based on arbitrary irrational rules what can you expect?

Its a bit like the National Health Service employing doctors from other countries when it is know they were stuck off for malpractice (or even incompetence) but that doesn't apply in the UK because it happened overseas! One local example was finally struck off after years of incompetent gynaecology even though his bosses and the medical board knew he had been struck off in Canada when they employed him.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2011, 04:29:18 AM »
We can always rationalise anything (away). That's the benefit of having an inconsistent belief system, which we all have! :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,137
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2011, 04:46:37 AM »
We can always rationalise anything (away). That's the benefit of having an inconsistent belief system, which we all have! :)
It would not seem to be correct to call the "no professional misconduct" conclusion a rationalisation - if that's what you were intending to do.
A rationalisation is defined as:
Quote
- to justify (one's actions, esp discreditable actions, or beliefs) with plausible reasons, esp after the event
So it seems to have been by definition a purely rational conclusion, and if you rip it apart using critical thinking, then it stands up to scrutiny and does not rely on fallacy, irrationality or "belief".

As Carol says:
Not sure but I think in the UK a lawyer with a criminal conviction can't practise - even if the conviction is unrelated to their work.
I think that would probably be in common practice in most Western legal systems.
And this lawyer in this case did not receive a criminal conviction - did he? (Maybe I have it wrong.)

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2011, 04:46:33 PM »
Okay... So why are politicians so worried about sex scandals?? Logically who they're screwing has no bearing on their professional conduct/performance ... Yet it always seem to be such a big deal when it hits the press.

Is this because they're - on some level - expected to be "pure" before they screw us??

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,137
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2011, 06:25:42 PM »
Okay... So why are politicians so worried about sex scandals?? Logically who they're screwing has no bearing on their professional conduct/performance ... Yet it always seem to be such a big deal when it hits the press.
Well, I guess it would be a big deal, probably because politicians (e.g., MPs in the UK) are public servants, lawmakers, and elected representatives, and the public would presumably expect them to uphold the highest moral and professional standards. Otherwise they'd lose their vote come the next elections.

You seem to be trying to compare apples and eggs, in your question, but they are quite different.
For example:
  • lawyers (e.g., solicitors or barristers) are not in the same group as elected politicians at all - they are not elected, not public servants, and they are not lawmakers.
  • lawyers (in the UK at least) are elected by a select minority of other lawyers for acceptance to the bar if/when they apply to "take silk" and become barristers.
  • lawyers  (in the UK at least) otherwise only need to pass their bar exams/LLB to be qualified to be articled or start to practice in Chambers on a client's behalf.

If you wanted to be represented by a lawyer in a court case, you would presumably be interested first and foremost in his professional capability to act on your behalf and win the case. Thus, whether (say) he was married and had seduced several other men's wives to become his mistresses and was a noted careless driver who had had accidentally run over and killed a cyclist would be largely irrelevant to you - if he was very good at his profession - though it might be prudent to avoid introducing your wife to him or riding your bicycle to and from his offices.

tsaint

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
  • Hi from the a*** end of the earth
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 08:33:00 PM »
Many, if not most, professional bodies seem interested in applying sanctions to members for bringing their profession into disrepute.
The lawyer in question has certainly done this and it is not only surprising, but alarming to me, that the South Australian Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has not been able or willing to see that too.
 

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2011, 09:13:49 PM »
I can see the distinction between a "professional" and a "personal" capacity/conduct, but still... Meh... Whatever. They can make any rules that they want.

It's just funny to see the brutal disparity between the two brought to light.

I wonder if anything will change because of it...  :huh:
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,294
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2011, 09:42:55 PM »
The key here is the guy left the scene of the accident. That a major no-no here in the US. And it speaks volumes (at least to me) about his character (or the lack there of), and his skills...or the lack there of based on his behavior (nobody runs from a fight they can win).

Politicians, lawyers, judges, or cops are all part of the machine referred to as the legal system. If someones character cannot be counted on an trusted. Then they have no credibility and they're "skills" are irrelevant. I'll make this nice and simple. Say we have a lawyer, and he just so happens to be the best-est lawyer that ever was. His skills are known world wide and he bills at a rate of a million dollars an hour ... Which is a bargain (at twice the price) because he never loses. However... He's also a fickel prick, and he doesn't like you. Do you trust him to defend you? I wouldn't. Because he could go for the win-win (plea deal) which comes out as a tie (not a lose for him per se...). And a win for the prosecutor, because you gonna be locked up for awhile... All because he decided to scrape you off on a rock (because he could).

Heres another fun little ditty: How far would you trust a traffic court judge, with a bad driving record?? We've got a judge here locally that is well known as a "Hanging Judge" for DUI cases. Everyone that is convicted of a DUI must take the extremely expensive and compulsory DUI School. And you know what the fun part is?!? His daughter owns the F'ing DUI School (Don't-cha just love a good ol' fashion family business?). Did I mention he's also a notorious drunk?

Sure in the sterile light of academic debate there are many subtle distinctions. But out in the real world, when the whole shebang gets rolling...Not so much.

IainB

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,137
  • Slartibartfarst
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 10:50:45 PM »
Quote
SOUTH Australia's Attorney-General, John Rau, says he cannot do anything about a lawyer cleared of unprofessional conduct by the Legal Practitioners Conduct Board despite his killing a cyclist in a hit-and-run

Typical and pathetic "My hands are tied" blind justice response. The law's an ass.

Of course they are "tied". Just to be clear: legal membership bodies in most countries seems to have the potential to "get in behind" and support their members better than any trade union. They are autonomous and self-regulating to a large extent. It's arguably a pernicious and impenetrable form of corruption.

Though leaving the scene of an accident where a person has been injured/killed is certainly a traffic-related offence in most countries, it doesn't seem to have been applied to this Australian lawyer - does it?
And he's not been charged/convicted of any criminal offence.
So the legal position can seem quite clear - that is, if you choose not to muddy it with the peripheral context.

That doesn't necessarily mean that he's not a scumbag though.
Nor does it necessarily mean that he's been unprofessional. In fact the Legal Practitioners Conduct Board seems to have found that to be quite clear-cut. So he must have met the test for whatever professional standards they measure lawyers by.
And that is perhaps the real issue.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2011, 04:14:02 AM »
legal membership bodies in most countries seems to have the potential to "get in behind" and support their members better than any trade union.

I find this really insidious - I used to be a teacher in the UK and UK law now required teachers to be members of the state sponsored professional body - even to the point that the state pay the fees for teachers in full-time permanent contracts (it always annoyed me that I worked mostly on temporary contracts so I had to pay the bill personally).

Most professional bodies are little more than trade unions by another name - except that conservative politicians perceive them differently and encourage them (mainly because they become rich and power conservative bodies).

The main difference is that a trade union should (and I emphasise should because it rarely happens) represent their members' interests - in fact they usually represent some sort of political agenda more than their members, and are often part of the gravy-train syndrome.

Professional bodies are supposed to represent their profession - but what that boils down to is protecting the reputation of all lawyers/doctors etc (delete as appropriate) so that they end up defending almost any behaviour to avoid a scandal. It takes some extreme behaviour to get professional bodies to admit that a member has done something wrong and sanction them.

Ultimate both started from good and similar places but both have become corrupt because they are dominated by people who want power.

Renegade

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 13,220
  • Tell me something you don't know...
    • View Profile
    • Renegade Minds
    • Donate to Member
Re: Lawyer Professional Standards - HILARIOUS~!
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2011, 05:22:20 AM »
legal membership bodies in most countries seems to have the potential to "get in behind" and support their members better than any trade union.

I find this really insidious - I used to be a teacher in the UK and UK law now required teachers to be members of the state sponsored professional body - even to the point that the state pay the fees for teachers in full-time permanent contracts (it always annoyed me that I worked mostly on temporary contracts so I had to pay the bill personally).

Most professional bodies are little more than trade unions by another name - except that conservative politicians perceive them differently and encourage them (mainly because they become rich and power conservative bodies).

The main difference is that a trade union should (and I emphasise should because it rarely happens) represent their members' interests - in fact they usually represent some sort of political agenda more than their members, and are often part of the gravy-train syndrome.

Professional bodies are supposed to represent their profession - but what that boils down to is protecting the reputation of all lawyers/doctors etc (delete as appropriate) so that they end up defending almost any behaviour to avoid a scandal. It takes some extreme behaviour to get professional bodies to admit that a member has done something wrong and sanction them.

Ultimate both started from good and similar places but both have become corrupt because they are dominated by people who want power.


I must admit... I have a problem with some professional organisations. e.g. I fail to understand how legal "bar associations" are little more than criminal guilds. Similarly for the analogues in the medical professions. They seem seedy and underhanded to me. They are very far from appropriate in an open and free society. Ooops. Our society is neither open nor free. My bad. :P ;D

I don't believe that medical guilds should represent their members' interests first. They *should* represent the well being of the "patient". But I suppose that's just my naive idealism.

Then again, I also think doctors should be paid for patients' good health, and not their bad health, which is what happens now.

So, just write me off as a kook or loon there, as my ideas are simply incompatible with what we have now.


But back on topic, sort of...


I suppose that it would be preferable for professional organizations to actually take an ethical stand, but then again, ethics is a big field and encompasses a lot. I can perfectly well see why the lawyer wasn't "punished" because the organization needs to limit what it applies to.

e.g. Is it "immoral" or "unethical" or "unprofessional" for a lawyer to be gay, or a gambling addict, or to have an abortion, or drink a lot, or...

So, that gets very murky very quickly.


For this instance, I can well see why no action was taken against the lawyer as he wasn't convicted of a criminal offense. Still... it seems bizarre.

I think this sort of illustrates how "rules" and "laws" have limits and can fail us in horrible ways.

I remember playing games when I was a kid, and I'd know the rules of the game inside and outside and upside down, and man... Did I ever abuse them. (Old role playing games like AD&D or Rifts/Palladium.) At some point, the rules just stop working.


Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker