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Barry Hart plays for time

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.

More by Caleb Allison

Comments and questions
11

The Law Society is doing an excellent job enforcing the benchmark for ethical behaviour by its members, regardless of personalities. What a pitty for New Zealand that the Judiciary is excluded from scrutiny and therefore may act incompetently, with impunity, and until they retire.

Are you not aware of the appeal system?

Innocent until proven guilty and until all avenues for appeal have been extinguished.... Get real buddy, the evidence against him is palpable...

Barry sure has got a brazen way about him. Does the arrogance of the man have no bounds? The system seems to be weeding out dross, so the it must be working to a fashion. Thing amazes me with this, is to get struck off, he must have done other things which are kept hush, hush, because other lawyers have been let off for far worse.

This guy is utterly shameless and totally unable to accept how shoddily he has behaved and how shabby he looks.

I agree. What is worse he has ripped off a family in crisis who can't afford to be. This story is typical of what sometimes goes on with lawyers who act on family matters and particularly in the family court; it's a money tree and anything goes. Corporate lawyers are accountable because generally companies can afford to hold them to account, but families like the one in this story are helpless unless the Law Society acts. Well done the Law Society.

The manner in which Hart treated his neighbours, when they brought his farm at mortgagee sale -- by moving his animals on to it and employing a "heavy" -- speaks volumes as to his character and ethics.

How on earth was he forced into a mortgagee sale when he bills at $1K per hour?

That is why, they say there are no lawyers in heaven,they get stopped at the gate.

#9 Unless they become Judges and then they are Gods.

A 50-year-old lawyer who had been practicing since he was 25 years old died and arrived at the pearly gates of heaven. The lawyer said to St. Peter, "I am surprised I died so young. I was very active and always ate well. And I'm only 50 years old!"

St. Peter looked at his book and looked back down at the lawyer. "Fifty years old, you say? According to your billing records, you should be 85."