New Zealand Law Society - Peter James Morahan suspended from practice

Peter James Morahan suspended from practice

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The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has suspended Lower Hutt lawyer Peter James Morahan from practice as a barrister and solicitor for four months effective from 4 December 2017.

Mr Morahan was found guilty of two charges of negligence or incompetence in his professional capacity that have been of such a degree or so frequent as to reflect on his fitness to practise as a barrister or solicitor or as to tend to bring the profession into disrepute.

The Tribunal said Mr Morahan's conduct involved breaches of a number of rules of conduct and client care over a number of years.

It said he allowed his longstanding client relationship with one person to overlook his obligations to others involved. He was also found to have breached 13.5.1 and 13.5.3 of the Rules of Conduct and Client Care in respect of his acting in Family Court proceedings, by allowing the filing of pleadings that were false and/or misleading, and being in breach of his obligations relating to discovery.

In addition to the order for suspension, the Tribunal required Mr Morahan to pay costs of $37,171.63 to the New Zealand Law Society and to refund the Tribunal's hearing costs of $12,272 to the Law Society.

Mr Morahan has appealed the decision and the suspension has been stayed pending resolution of the appeal.

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