Michael Louis Karus
A Complaint was made by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Michael Louis Karus, Solicitor, 14 Gloucester Place, Edinburgh (“the Respondent”). On 23 May 2001 the Tribunal found the Respondent guilty of professional misconduct in respect of his breach of Rule 5(2) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Practice Rules 1986, his failure to record timeously a conveyance and security deed and his breach of various provisions of the Solicitors (Scotland) Accounts Rules 1995 to 1998.
The Respondent was censured and the Tribunal directed in terms of Section 53(5) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 that for a period of five years, any Practising Certificate held or issued to the Respondent should be subject to such restriction as will limit him to acting as a qualified assistant to such employer as may be approved by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland and thereafter until such time as he satisfies the Tribunal that he is fit to hold a full Practising Certificate.
Alan Alexander Craig
A Complaint was made by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Alan Alexander Craig, Solicitor, formerly of Room H, Town Hall Business Centre, Town Hall, High Road, Motherwell (“the Respondent”). The Tribunal found the Respondent guilty of professional misconduct in respect of his misleading clients, failure to keep clients advised, his failure to timeously respond to fellow agents and the Law Society, his failure to timeously implement a mandate, his delay in completing work and delay in issuing a cheque. The Tribunal further found that the Respondent had provided inadequate professional services in respect of his failure to submit Legal Aid Applications, his failure to raise Court proceedings, his failure to ensure titles to property were transferred, his failure to progress transactions and his failure to communicate with clients.
The Respondent was suspended from practice for a period of two years and the Tribunal determined in terms of Section 53(2)(a) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 that the Respondent shall not be entitled to fees for the relative work in respect of which fees had not already been charged or having been charged had not already been paid and directed that the Respondent waive his entitlement to recover fees for such work.
The Tribunal was concerned by the number of instances of misleading clients, failure to complete transactions and failure to respond and also took account of the fact that the Respondent had previously been found guilty of professional misconduct for an analogous matter in 1989.
Michael Charles Maguire
A Complaint was made by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Michael Charles Maguire, Solicitor, 9 Budhill Avenue, Springboig, Glasgow (“the Respondent”). The Tribunal found the Respondent guilty of professional misconduct in respect of the circumstances which gave rise to a conviction at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 7 February 2000. The Tribunal Censured the Respondent and ordered that he pay a fine of £500.
The Respondent had pled guilty and was convicted of two charges of assault by Glasgow Sheriff Court and was fined a total of £400.
These charges related to an incident, which took place on 28 August 1999. The Respondent assaulted his mother in law by kicking her on the leg, causing her to fall down a set of steps whereby her head struck the ground and repeatedly kicking her on the body and assaulted his wife by punching her on the head to her injury. The Tribunal had to consider whether or not the Respondent’s actings amounted to professional misconduct. In the Respondent’s case none of the circumstances giving rise to his conviction involved even remotely his practice or a legal process. However, the Tribunal considered that a solicitor is a person of standing in the community and that it is wholly unbecoming for a solicitor to be convicted of a serious offence. One of the essential qualities of a solicitor is integrity which extends to the personal as well as professional conduct of a solicitor. The Tribunal was concerned with regard to the repeated kicking and the fact that one of the assaults led to an injury.
It does not follow that every conviction of a solicitor necessarily gives rise to what might be regarded as a professional misconduct, it is a matter for considering the whole circumstances in each case.
In this issue
- Judicial appointments system still opaque
- Lay input fundamental to judicial appointments
- Simplifying the maintenance formula
- Time to reinvent the law degree?
- Defining distance contracts 2002 (3) 34
- London still the holy grail for Scots firms
- Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal
- Website reviews
- Achieving client Nirvana
- Restriction of liberty orders
- Diligence on the dependence under threat?
- Where there’s a will there’s a right way
- Second(ed) thoughts on way to Brussels
- Book reviews