Serious negligence and incompetence has resulted in an Auckland lawyer being suspended from practice as a barrister or solicitor for 15 months.
Jinyue (Paul) Young was found guilty of four charges by the Disciplinary Tribunal at different levels including misconduct, negligence and unsatisfactory conduct.
The offending relates to a dispute between his wife’s company and the complainant.
The charges included that Mr Young swore an affidavit of documents confirming that he had discovered documents he was required to, when in fact there were relevant documents not listed in the affidavit.
The other charges included threatening to use the complaints process for an improper purpose, incompetence and negligence to such a degree as to bring the profession into disrepute, pursuant to s 241 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006. He was also charged with misconduct for making serious allegations against the plaintiff and her counsel in the underlying civil proceedings without clear evidential foundation.
Jinyue Young who was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 2013, but began practising law in 2014, denied all charges.
In relation to the negligence finding, the Standards Committee submitted at the hearing that Mr Young was repeatedly put on notice by both the High Court and Court of Appeal that the grounds of his application were irrelevant or unsustainable such that his application was ‘doomed’. He was also put on notice that his legal pleadings were wholly inadequate and improper, such that ‘grave doubts’ were raised as to his professional competence.
“Mr Young was clearly warned about his conduct and failed to take any notice of those warnings.This should serve as a reminder to all lawyers to reflect on their practice and to seek help when struggling,” says New Zealand Law Society President, Kathryn Beck.
The Disciplinary Tribunal found Mr Young’s overall level of offending serious and of particular concern in respect of protection of the public, given the negligence and incompetence findings.
Along with a 15 month suspension from practice, it ordered Jinyue Young to pay costs of $45,783.80. It also ordered him to reimburse the New Zealand Law Society the costs of the Tribunal, $11,760.