Barry Hart plays for time
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Struck-off crime barrister Barry Hart wants to be able to continue working as a lawyer until his appeal is heard in December.
Mr Hart was struck off by the lawyers and conveyancers disciplinary tribunal earlier this month for professional misconduct.
Until his appeal is heard he remains suspended and cannot work as a lawyer.
Mr Hart was present at the Auckland High Court today where his lawyer Jeremy Bioletti told the court Mr Hart wants to continue his work with existing clients until his appeal hearing.
“He’s not seeking an ability to represent new clients.
“He’s seeking a dispensation to allow him between now and December 10 to be able to move those cases forward or complete them.”
Mr Bioletti argued if Mr Hart cannot practise even with his existing cases for two months, it would have a detrimental effect on his future as a lawyer.
“Any barrister who can’t appear in court for two months has no career,” he told the court.
However, law society standards committee’s lawyer Jan McCartney says that is not so.
“Practitioners become sick, are required to leave their practice for a number of reasons and are known to take holidays for several months,” she told the court.
Ms McCartney also argued that on examining Mr Hart’s upcoming schedule the events were all rather minor and “readily able to be managed by other counsel”.
She says it has been a month since Mr Hart has known he could be struck off and he should have made arrangements to ensure his clients were managed by other lawyers.
Because the aim of striking off is to protect the public, Ms McCartney argues it would be inappropriate for Mr Hart to continue practising even for two months.
Justice Graham Lang reserved his decision.