New Zealand Law Society - Yoon Boo Lee censured

Yoon Boo Lee censured

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The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has censured Auckland lawyer Yoon Boo Lee after finding him guilty of unsatisfactory conduct.

In addition to the censure, the Tribunal fined Mr Lee $2000, ordered him to pay the New Zealand Law Society costs of $5535 and to reimburse hearing costs of $3914.

The findings arose after Mr Lee breached an order of a District Court Judge.

While he was acting on behalf of a client during lengthy litigation proceedings, a costs order was made against him and his client. A further order by the Judge in question prevented Mr Lee and his client from taking any action in the proceeding until the costs were paid.

Contrary to the orders, Mr Lee contacted a lawyer representing another party who had involvement in the litigation proceedings.

The Tribunal considered Mr Lee’s “overly literal and self-serving interpretation” of the order to be “a misguided attempt to skirt around the terms of that order”.

Although the order regarding costs was later set aside on appeal, the Tribunal said that as a legal practitioner and officer of the Court if was not for Mr Lee to second-guess an order of the Court. The proper process was to appeal the order, or seek judicial review.

Failing either of those avenues, Mr Lee was obliged to comply with the order made against him and his first duty was to the Court, the Tribunal found.