27 Aug 2012

Hearing told lawyer should be struck off

3:21 pm on 27 August 2012

The Law Society has told a hearing in Auckland that defence lawyer Barry Hart should be struck off the register.

The Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal is considering penalties for Mr Hart, who was found guilty earlier this year of professional misconduct.

Mr Hart is charged with failing to pay a private investigator, obstructing the society's investigation into his behaviour and over-charging a client who was facing criminal charges.

For the Law Society standards committee, lawyer Paul Collins told the tribunal that striking off would be the most fitting consequence: to protect the public and to maintain the reputation of the legal profession.

Mr Collins also said the tribunal must consider the risk of re-offending, and a lack of remorse by Mr Hart for his actions.

Mr Hart's lawyer, Greg King, told the tribunal his client shouldn't be struck off because publicity about the case is punishment enough.

The tribunal has asked for further submissions from both parties to be filed within a week, before it makes a decision.