New Zealand Law Society - Christchurch lawyer censured

Christchurch lawyer censured

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Christchurch solicitor Julica Louie Carmichael has been censured by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal after admitting a charge of misconduct.

The tribunal said Ms Carmichael created a false document and then falsely certified it in order to shortcut a transaction.

This involved falsely completing an Authority and Instruction (A&I) form in a client's name to transfer a property to her client from a company which had been owned by her client but which had been removed from the Companies Register.

Ms Carmichael backdated the A&I to a time when the company was still registered. She cut the client's signature from an A&I already held for the client and glued it on to the false A&I. The client was obtaining a finance facility from a bank and the corresponding certifications made to Land Information New Zealand were also false.

In deciding on a penalty, the tribunal had particular regard to Ms Carmichael being a young practitioner and the support she has had from her new employer, a senior practitioner. It took into account that there was no personal gain and her focus was on achieving an outcome for her clients.

As well as censuring Ms Carmichael, the tribunal made an order that she not practise on her own account until authorised by the tribunal to do so. She was ordered to pay the New Zealand Law Society costs of $4,275 and to reimburse hearing costs of $2,820.