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Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

including wills and probate
Elvisbarney
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Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#193901

Postby Elvisbarney » January 16th, 2019, 7:56 am

I have an ongoing formal complaint against the conduct of a solicitor.
As part of their defence they submitted a 'bundle' of documents to the adjudicator.
I requested and was subsequently provided with, full disclosure of the bundle by the adjudicator.

Two internal communications within the bundle raised serious concerns and evidence that the solicitor had been economical with 'l'actualite.'
I have updated the adjudicator with those concerns.

In the meantime I have made an application to the solicitor to have all internal communications relevant to the retainer to be disclosed, as I suspect further revelations will undermine the solicitor case.They have refused.

My question: Can I legally request those communications to be disclosed -if so, under what power and what is the legal procedure? Or should I perhaps be requesting the adjudicator to consider that course of action?

Any assistance gratefully received in advance.

Clitheroekid
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#193991

Postby Clitheroekid » January 16th, 2019, 1:29 pm

To some extent it depends on the adjudication mechanism you're using. Is the complaint being handled by the Ombudsman? If not, who is the adjudicator?

Elvisbarney
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#194016

Postby Elvisbarney » January 16th, 2019, 2:56 pm

Ombudsman

dspp
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#194039

Postby dspp » January 16th, 2019, 4:37 pm

One thing I discovered about disclosure in respect of solicitors is:

The content of a client<>solicitor communication may be privileged and confidential. However the existence and date of the communication is not.

I do not know if that will help you.

regards, dspp

Clitheroekid
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#194537

Postby Clitheroekid » January 18th, 2019, 2:53 pm

dspp wrote:One thing I discovered about disclosure in respect of solicitors is:

The content of a client<>solicitor communication may be privileged and confidential.

Yes, but this is a dispute between the solicitor and his former client, so privilege doesn't apply.

As it's being dealt with via the Ombudsman, who has the power to compel solicitors to release documents, you should tell them that you want such documents to be released.

Elvisbarney
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclosemal

#194635

Postby Elvisbarney » January 18th, 2019, 7:21 pm

Thankyou Clitheroekid.

I have already submitted several evidential pointers to said adjudicator and am not sure they would welcome the opening up of a new chapter of investigation. Two "outcomes" have already been delivered, the score is presently 1-1 and, perhaps like Brexit, will be the best of three! The process of attrition continues.

On a more general point I would like to know whether I could demand the disclosure of any such internal communications relating to my complaint. The solicitor says not on the dubious grounds that such discussions did not form part of the formal response to my complaint.
I am interested in what legislation if any, covers the terms of such disclosure to a client.

Thanks again.

Lootman
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#194640

Postby Lootman » January 18th, 2019, 7:28 pm

Clitheroekid wrote:
dspp wrote:One thing I discovered about disclosure in respect of solicitors is:

The content of a client<>solicitor communication may be privileged and confidential.

Yes, but this is a dispute between the solicitor and his former client, so privilege doesn't apply.

I would never doubt your word on such a matter, of course. But I recall once that a solicitor told me that he could not act on my behalf because the other party to my action was a former client of his. There would have been a conflict of interest because the solicitor might know "dirt" on the former client which could be used against him.

I took that at face value and hired another lawyer, since it seemed reasonable to me that some kind of privilege must extend beyond the formal ending of a case. The privilege cannot surely end just because a case is settled?

I suppose it depends how you define "client". My relationship with a doctor endures for years even if I never see him. But typically with a lawyer I hire them only for one matter and only for that duration. Even so I don't expect him to later blab about what we discussed in private with a reasonable expectation of confidentiality.

Elvisbarney
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#195383

Postby Elvisbarney » January 21st, 2019, 7:52 pm

Thanks for the limited response to my question.
I can't help but note that when asking a question which touches the potentially thorny subject of wrongdoing by a solicitor, then the might of the legal minds who contribute on this site from time to time become overwhelmingly quiet.
It's good to know the cosy club still knows when to look after their own. Excepting Clitheroe Kid of course.

Thanks anyway, I will jog on.

staffordian
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#195403

Postby staffordian » January 21st, 2019, 8:40 pm

Elvisbarney wrote:Thanks for the limited response to my question.
I can't help but note that when asking a question which touches the potentially thorny subject of wrongdoing by a solicitor, then the might of the legal minds who contribute on this site from time to time become overwhelmingly quiet.
It's good to know the cosy club still knows when to look after their own. Excepting Clitheroe Kid of course.

Thanks anyway, I will jog on.

A little unfair, IMHO.

I suspect most of the legal minds to which you refer are solicitors of the armchair variety, who would therefore not have any knowledge or opinion in what is a very specialised area.

AFAICS, there is only one true legal brain on here, and you've heard from him.

Lootman
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Re: Compelling a Solicitor to Disclose

#195407

Postby Lootman » January 21st, 2019, 9:05 pm

staffordian wrote:
Elvisbarney wrote:Thanks for the limited response to my question.
I can't help but note that when asking a question which touches the potentially thorny subject of wrongdoing by a solicitor, then the might of the legal minds who contribute on this site from time to time become overwhelmingly quiet.
It's good to know the cosy club still knows when to look after their own. Excepting Clitheroe Kid of course.

Thanks anyway, I will jog on.

A little unfair, IMHO. I suspect most of the legal minds to which you refer are solicitors of the armchair variety, who would therefore not have any knowledge or opinion in what is a very specialised area.

AFAICS, there is only one true legal brain on here, and you've heard from him.

I suspect the truth is somewhere between those two extremes.

There is little doubt that lawyers will tend to stick together, draw rank and hold back if their professional integrity is being impugned. As was explained to me many years ago, lawyers are first and foremost officers of the court. Even though they represent you, they have a higher calling - to uphold the integrity of the court and the justice system. And, more pointedly, to protect their law license which is the key to their ability to earn a living.

So if your best legal strategy is to lie through your teeth, and it may be, don't expect a lawyer to support that.

Secondly, I personally welcome legal advice here that is not from lawyers. And the reason is as stated above - a lawyer can't give you the full range of options available to you because his membership of a profession constrains him from offering all the options. So for example I suspect that John "the teflon don" Gotti would not have stayed out of prison for decades if he had been represented by the average lawyer. Not so sure about OJ but it is possible. Those guys hired a dream team and it worked. Ethics optional. Not all legal problems have legal solutions.

For my part I am not a lawyer. But I have been involved in 8 court cases, both civil and criminal, both as a claimant and as a defendant. I've also been on a jury three times. I'd like to think my views on the law are deemed valid based on those experiences, which have taught me both the value of lawyers and their limitations.

That said, none of the foregoing should be construed as devaluing CK's offerings here. I see him as one of the good guys, as Elvis said.


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