An Australian Solicitor was charged by the Legal Services Commissioner with engaging in conduct to a material degree to bring the legal profession into disrepute over the posts he made in April 2021. 

Understanding the Law 

The Legal Services Commissioner stated that the comments contravened Rule 5.1.2 of the Australian Solicitor Conduct Rules 2012, resulting in unsatisfactory professional conduct. The posts included commenting on a client’s Facebook post such as “not going to jail on my watch”, “too pretty for jail”, and “In the hoods where I’ve run people know…. keeps all the boys out of jail”. 

The Australian Solicitor Conduct is an ethical code applying to all lawyers in the legal profession. It sets out guidelines and a comprehensive framework for how lawyers are to act after being admitted into practice. These rules are in place to ensure that lawyers comply with and adhere to ethical obligations that demonstrate professionalism and respect for the legal system. 

A Reasonable, Competent Legal Practitioner 

The Legal Services Commissioner reasoned that an individual of competent and reasonable authority would not publicly name clients on social media websites, demonstrating a lack of respect and understanding for principles of confidentiality. Further, he reasoned that discussing specific details in relation to a client’s criminal law matter on social media showcases a lack of appreciation for the stringent rules in place intentioned to maintain respect the justice system. 

When you retain a lawyer, you expect a high level of professionalism and conduct. 

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