Respecting others in the profession - My Law Society

Cur Adv Vult
C Otago Library’s heritage collection
27 MARCH 2015
Respecting others in the profession
ecently I wrote the NZLR headnote for the
decision of the High Court in Orlov v New
Zealand Lawyers & Conveyancers Disciplinary
Tribunal [2014] NZHC 1987.
The case relates to a fairly extreme response by a
barrister to perceived criticism of him by a senior High
Court Judge.
The practitioner found himself before the Disciplinary
Tribunal on charges relating to criticisms of the Judge
made in various complaints to the Head of Bench, in
Court applications and in a complaint to the Judicial
Conduct Commissioner.
In essence, the practitioner complained that the Judge
was biased, and held certain prejudices.
The Tribunal held that such conduct amounts to
professional misconduct, and he was struck off. Mr
Orlov appealed to the High Court and sought Judicial
Review of aspects to the Tribunal’s procedure.
Sophia Wang singing at the farewell lunch at the Dunedin Legal
Aid office. Rebecca Farquhar is holding the music.
See page 2.
In allowing the appeal against
striking off (but upholding findings
of professional misconduct), the
Court held that while freedom of
expression was an important part
of our law, it’s not an absolute that
allows practitioners to say what
they want about judges.
The decision noted that lawyers
of good standing (an aspect of the
test for professional misconduct)
would recognise the importance
of freedom of expression, and
not be unduly concerned with
condemnatory and extravagant
language and misguided
opinions as long as there is no
bad faith, and the comments do
not undermine the dignity of the
David Robinson
judiciary. Mr Orlov’s comments,
however, went too far.
The same can be extended, in my view, to comments
we might make about fellow practitioners. Respect for
our colleagues is an important part of our professional
obligations, and perhaps it’s timely to reflect on the
Orlov decision as a reminder of the standards we need to
adhere to both in our comments about the judiciary, and
about other practitioners.
It’s easy to criticise a practitioner for what you think they
ought to have done (or ought not to have done) but any
criticism should be balanced against the fundamental
professional responsibility to show proper respect.
David Robinson
Otago branch President
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Otago-Southland Branch
Legal aid lawyers were invited
to attend a farewell lunch at the
Dunedin Legal Aid Office on 25
This event was well attended by
practitioners, Judge Farnan spoke
on behalf of legal aid practitioners,
Michelle McReadie and Diana
Warren spoke on behalf of the
Ministry of Justice.
Attendees were then treated to a
song by the very talented Sophia
All who spoke commented on the
professionalism of the Dunedin
legal aid staff. They will all be
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He has conducted over 50 Family Court mediations with a 90+% settlement rate and is now
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John will:
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Cur Adv Vult | 45 | 27 MARCH 2015
Russell Hyde Ibbotson, 1952-2014
By Warwick Cambridge
ussell Hyde Ibbotson died
on 8 December 2014 aged
62. Russell had a long
career in the Southland and
Queenstown Region and over that
time made a significant contribution
to the legal profession.
I had the privilege of knowing
Russell since our days together at
Southland Boys’ High School and
at Otago University and as a legal
partner for some 33 years.
Russell graduated from Otago
University in 1977 and was admitted
on 10 December of that year. He
first practised law in Auckland with
Sellar Bone and Partners where he
undertook a wide variety of work.
Some years later he returned to
Invercargill, primarily because of
his passion for the outdoors and,
in particular, hunting, shooting
and fishing in Fiordland and
Stewart Island. This passion for
the wilderness and outdoors
never diminished and is amply
demonstrated in his catalogue of
wildlife photography.
Russell joined Preston Evans Noble
and early in 1981 and become a
partner in the Invercargill office in
1985. At that time his work included
prosecuting for the Ministry of
Fisheries, Ministry of Transport,
New Zealand Police and the Crown
Missing Will
Arthur Robert Cope
Would anyone holding or having any
record of having held a will for the
above-named, retired motor mechanic,
late of 20 Aytoun St, Shiel Hill, Dunedin,
born 23 January 1949, who died on 8
December 2014, please contact Elvie
Mooney, of Public Trust, PO Box 4549
Christchurch, email [email protected]
and included appearances in the
District Court, High Court, and the
Court of Appeal.
Russell was always meticulous in his
preparation, presentation (and let’s
not forget his appearance) when he
appeared before any tribunal or court.
Over the last 20 years of his practice
he concentrated more on issues that
had a real conservation element, for
example advising on reviews of the
National Park Management Plans
and Conservation Management
strategies, advising New Zealand
Fish and Game Council, New
Zealand Royal Forest and Bird
Society and the Department of
Conservation in its review of
the Fiordland National Park
Management Plan. His interest in
this area of law was not confined
to the Mainland as he also acted
in matters relating to the SubAntarctic Islands Conservation
Management Plan Review and
the Whenua Hou (Codfish Island)
Management Plan.
All of the above are a far cry from
President: David Robinson
Branch Manager: Debbie Ericsson
Street address: Level 4, John Wickliffe House, 265
Princes Street, Dunedin, 9016
Postal address:
P O Box 1901, Dunedin 9054
Phone: (03) 477 0596
General inquiries email: [email protected]
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Phone: (04) 463 2905 [email protected]
A valedictory hearing for the late
Russell Ibbotson will be held at
a sitting of the Environment
Court on 28 April. The hearing
will be held in Courtroom One,
District Court Queenstown, at
4pm followed by refreshments
arranged by the Resource
Management Law Association.
what was no doubt perceived as the
exciting times appearing as junior
counsel to the then Crown Solicitor
Graeme Noble in the famous Alister
Barr bank robbery at Lumsden.
Russell moved to Queenstown in
2004 to establish the Queenstown
office of Preston Russell Law and
was known in the Wakatipu Basin
for his expertise in planning tribunal
and environmental work including
appearances at the Planning
Tribunal and Environment Court.
Continued on page 4
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Lithoprint, Wellington
Unless it is clearly indicated, the views expressed in Cur Adv Vult are not to be taken as those of, or endorsed by, the New
Zealand Law Society or its Otago branch. No responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the New Zealand Law Society for any
opinion, information or advertisement cointained in Cur Adv Vult.
Partnership Notice
Stuart Anderson, Grant Dowland and Chris Burke wish to announce that Stuart Anderson will be retiring as a partner at Race & Douglas as at 31
March 2015. Race & Douglas will merge with Burke Law as from 1 April 2015. The name of the new partnership will be Race Douglas Burke.
The partners will be Grant Dowland and Chris Burke. The firm will operate from the offices on the 2nd floor of the Savoy Building, 8 Moray Place,
Dunedin. Stuart will continue to be employed by the new partnership up until 30 June 2015.
The contact details from 1 April 2015 will be:
PO Box 538, Dunedin 9054
Phone: (03) 477 3947
Fax: (03) 477 0624
Email: [email protected]
Trust Account: 020900 0255252 02
Cur Adv Vult | 45 | 27 MARCH 2015
Prosecution update
Further to the article in the last
issue outlining the changes within
the prosecutions unit in relation to
the management of files through
the Case Management process. The
aim of this new system is to allow
for better CMM discussions in the
hope that there will be a reduction in
matters unnecessarily going to trial.
Counsel need to note that it
is counsel’s responsibility to
make an appointment for a Case
Management Meeting. On each list
day the CMM diary will be at court
for counsel to enter an appointment
time. This should be done at the
time of entering a not guilty plea
with the CMM meeting booked
Russell Hyde Ibbotson – continued from page 3
others share this view. He cared
always about people and would
always give his fullest attention to
his client’s interests.
He always believed the best things
in people. He was always generous,
caring and always true and faithful
to all those who knew him for whom
he acted. He was also immaculate
in his conduct and his personal
presentation, having an extensive
wardrobe, a ready smile, chuckle
and helpful comment.
Russell served the profession with
great distinction and will always
be fondly remembered by all who
knew him.
Russell is survived by his wife Sally
and his two children Thom, who
shares his passion for hunting, and
Prue his interest in photography.
“The Hunter is home from the
None of this hard legal work prevented Russell from contributing to
the community where, like many in
the profession, he involved himself
significantly in assisting or being
involved in a number of community
groups including the YMCA, New
Zealand Clay Target Association
and, interesting enough given his
conservation bent, the New Zealand
Jet Boat Association. In fact, this was
often a topic of some mirth how these
two interests could be reconciled.
Russell was also a founding member of
the Forest Hill Foundation which is a
trust established to create a mainland
island from a forest scenic reserve
around 540 ha. Russell also served
as a Southland Conservation Board
member appointed by the Minister of
Conservation, serving three terms as a
member or as its chair.
To my mind Russell was always
one of life’s gentlemen and I know
for two weeks before the CRH
date. Any particular issues can be
identified at this time. If counsel
do not make a CMM meeting
appointment on the date when a not
guilty plea is entered, they can book
an appointment in the diary on any
list day. CMM Meetings are now
held on Mondays and Fridays.
Kate Saxton and Stewart Sluis are
managing all CMM matters as well
as diversions and limited licences.
All other matters are being dealt
with by the other prosecutors.
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