Auckland lawyer Brett Dean Ravelich has been censured and ordered to pay $28,000 in costs at a penalty hearing for “conduct that fell below the standards expected”.
The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal had previously found that misconduct had been established in respect of Mr Ravelich’s dealings in personal litigation proceedings. The Tribunal also made findings of unsatisfactory conduct in respect of his conduct connected with the running of licensed premises and his interactions with the relevant regulatory authorities. The Tribunal found that Mr Ravelich’s conduct had been influenced by alcohol abuse.
In taking a rehabilitative approach to penalty the Tribunal recognised that Mr Ravelich is doing important duty lawyer work in the South Auckland courts, as well as making serious attempts to deal with his alcohol problems. It also stated that suspension would have been a likely outcome, were it not for the arrangements made to re-establish himself. These included a mentoring relationship with another practitioner and enrolment in a support programme operated by Community Alcohol and Drug Services.
“We accept that the conduct occurred at a time in your life when you were at a low ebb and that was not necessarily of your making.” the decision said.