Law Society demands Hart goes
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 6:16p.m.
By Amanda Gillies
One of the country's top defence lawyers, Barry Hart, faces being struck off after the Law Society today demanded he should go.
Last month, the 71-year-old called in sick and failed to show for his hearing before the Lawyers and Conveyances Disciplinary Tribunal, but despite his absence the tribunal found him guilty of professional misconduct, including overcharging a client by $35,000.
The Law Society now says he's got to go.
“The respondent appears to completely lack insight to his wrongdoing and to the harm that he has caused,” says Law Society lawyer Paul Collins. “Striking off is required. Suspension or anything less would be inadequate to ensure the maintenance of public confidence in the legal profession.”
But Mr Hart isn't going without a fight, and has even hired Ewen Macdonald's defence lawyer Greg King to go into battle for him.
“In the case of a man who has given 46 years service to the profession this is obviously a terrible way for his legacy to be left,” said Mr King.
Mr King described Mr Hart as a people-person who did pro bono work, and who often let clients stay on his property for bail and parole purposes.
The court heard Mr Hart was an experienced lawyer who was admitted to the bar in 1966. Since then he has represented thousands of clients. Many of the cases have been high profile and complex, he's been to the Privy Council eight times and to the Supreme Court, and so, the Law Society argued, he should know better.
Mr Hart now has to wait a week for the decision on his future.
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30/08/2012 10:55:55 a.m.
wendy caldwell wrote:
Well what goes around comes around Mr Hart. It is called Karma.
30/08/2012 7:52:19 a.m.
As a lawyer I say he is a disgrace to the legal profession and must go
29/08/2012 7:32:52 p.m.
In all those 46 years he has made a name for himself. He so deserves to be struck off, 30 years late.
27/08/2012 9:55:07 p.m.
And I hope if he really did over charge a client $35,000 he not only goes but he gets his a*s kicked on the way out. Price gouging people in need of legal support is a disgrace. It is blatant exploitation of someone in need.
27/08/2012 8:00:24 p.m.
hope the judgement about him is compassionate equaling the compassion he has undoutedly shown himself in the wide time he has practised law.
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