‘Ostrich-like approach’ leads to lawyer’s censure

by Sol Dolor17 Nov 2017

A barrister and solicitor is in deep trouble with the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal for refusing to face the consequences of his actions.

John Campion has been censured by the tribunal for failing to fully comply with an order from the lawyers’ standards committee.

“It is clear that Mr Campion has adopted an ostrich-like approach to this dilemma in which he finds himself,” the tribunal said. “It is also clear that Mr Campion has not addressed the important professional obligations that he has, to abide an order of his professional body, and as a result has found himself facing a serious charge before the tribunal, right at the end of his career.”

On 14 September 2014, the Hamilton lawyer was ordered by the committee to refund a client $15,191.57 in fees. Campion appealed and the Legal Complaints Review Officer reaffirmed the committee’s decision. He received the decision on 1 March 2016.

Campion’s repayments were substantially delayed and he still owed $2,171 when the tribunal heard his case.

The tribunal acknowledged that Campion’s health problems affected his ability to earn, but said he showed a lack of remorse and failure to prioritise his professional obligations.

Campion has been ordered to pay the New Zealand Law Society costs of $12,047. He was also ordered to complete his payments to the client, along with an additional $1,161 in compensation.

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