New Zealand Law Society - Anthony Bernard Joseph Morahan suspended

Anthony Bernard Joseph Morahan suspended

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Auckland barrister Anthony Bernard Joseph Morahan has been suspended from legal practice for three months from 2 November 2015 following three misconduct findings against him by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

One misconduct finding was for misleading the Court, opposing counsel and the New Zealand Law Society's standards committee that Mr A was his instructing solicitor when that was not the case.

Another finding followed from Mr Morahan's use of the name of Mr A on court documents without Mr A's knowledge, consent or authority.

The other misconduct finding related to his breach of the Intervention Rule, which requires barristers to be instructed by a solicitor in certain circumstances.

"The coverage of the intervention rule was changed recently. The tribunal noted that while Mr Morahan turned a blind eye to its requirements, his conduct in this matter would not have normally resulted in suspension," New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore says.

"However, as the tribunal said, his response to the charges and lack of co-operation with the investigation gave it no option but to suspend him.

"Misleading the court, other lawyers or the legal profession's regulator is a fundamental breach of the rules governing the practice of law."

As well as suspending Mr Morahan, the Tribunal ordered him to pay $5,502 in costs to the Law Society and to reimburse hearing costs of $6,916.

The High Court has granted an interim stay of Mr Morahan's suspension order after he filed an appeal against the penalty decision the suspension.