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Are the Legal Services Commission (LSC) taking you to QCAT?

SELF REPRESENTATION A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. An important part of the procedure at QCAT is enshrined in section 32 of the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal 2009 (Qld). This permits proceedings to be conducted ‘on the papers’ without resort to usual court procedures such as witnesses being cross-examined […]

Are the Legal Services Commission (LSC) taking you to QCAT?

Are the Legal Services Commission (LSC) taking you to QCAT?

By Aylward Game - Sep 5, 2016 Courts, Employment Law

SELF REPRESENTATION

A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

An important part of the procedure at QCAT is enshrined in section 32 of the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal 2009 (Qld). This permits proceedings to be conducted ‘on the papers’ without resort to usual court procedures such as witnesses being cross-examined and the like.

Quite often legal disciplinary proceedings are conducted pursuant to section 32. This has the obvious benefit of being less time-consuming, saving on legal fees. However, by preparing your own submissions are you falling into the trap of being a lawyer who represents himself and thereby having a fool for a client?

PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE LAWYERS

Lawyers should not represent themselves (or their close friends and family) unless they are Perry Mason.

‘In the dilemma of Paul Drake’ , Paul Drake, Perry’s able private eye ends up on the wrong end of a murder charge, until Perry Mason sent the prosecutor scampering away with his tail between his legs.

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Fast forward a quarter of a century in Perry Mason Returns, Perry Mason successfully defended his loyal secretary Della Street on a murder charge. (He even resigned his commission as an Appellate Judge of California to do so). Quite literally, Della’s date with the California gasman went up in smoke. Della was never to know the confronting, but stifling, palate of San Quentin Rose. All thanks to good legal representation.

Levity aside, the point is that defending against the loss of a lawyer’s livelihood requires a Perry Mason performance.

The first question to be asked by you is whether representing yourself at QCAT is a false economy?

An independent lawyer can assess the evidence against you, craft submissions for you and, most importantly, negotiate dispassionately with the LSC to secure a realistic and career saving outcome for you.

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Perry Mason is an unusual lawyerly name – so is Aylward Game.

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