02 May 2014

Livesey QC to be investigated by SA legal standards body

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Mark Livesy QC, the newly annointed president of the Australian Bar Association, is to be investigated by the South Australian Legal Practitioners Conduct Board.

Michael West, Sydney Morning Herald contributor, has reported that in a judgment published on 16 April 2014, Justice Kevin Nicholson of the SA Supreme Court has given the green light for a judicial review into the conduct of the Legal Practitioners Conduct Board. This opens the door for orders to the board to ”perform its public duty to make an inquiry into the conduct of Mr [Mark] Livesey QC”.

In that case (Viscariello v Legal Practitioners Conduct Board [2014] SASC 53) Mr Viscariello complained that the Legal Practitioners Conduct Board had received complaints about the conduct of a number of legal practitioners including Livesey QC, but in breach of its legislated duty had failed to act upon those complaints by investigating the conduct of the lawyers.

West reported that, the conduct complained of arose from the actions of “John Viscariello, a small businessman, whose business had collapsed and whose liquidator had then spent $500,000 of company funds chasing a debt of $28,000 said to be owed by his girlfriend. Long after the estate was exhausted, the fees dragged on.”

In a separate decision in 2012, the SA Chief Justice, Chris Kourakis said: ”I have formed the view that the proceedings [against Viscariello and Hamilton-Smith] were prosecuted recklessly, indifferent to the possibility that they might be an abuse.”

Read the full article here: Life’s no picnic when the law is in the hands of lawyers

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