REVEALED: The millionaire Legal Aid lawyers?

SIX FIRMS of solicitors were paid more than $1 million each in taxpayer-funded legal aid in a year while 20 others each raked in more than $500,000, startling new figures reveal.

In a graphic illustration of the legal aid gravy train, the Ministry of Justice figures show total payments to legal aid providers in the year to 30 June 2015 were up 4.5 per cent on the previous year to $130.216 million, from $124.58 million paid in the previous year.

Payments made in the latest year were just behind the total payments in the year to 30 June 2013 ($130.259 million) and a long way behind the total payments made in the year to 30 June 2012, when they totalled $148.3 million.

The payments – which are GST exclusive – include the fees of listed providers, including those claimed on behalf of other listed providers, and disbursements for general office costs, travel costs, and special disbursements, which include fees for agents, expert witnesses, forensic tests, interpreters and special reports, such as medical or valuation reports.

During the year to 30 June 2015, payments were made to 1224 listed providers – down slightly from the 1240 in the previous year. This meant the average payment per provider was $106,385.58, compared with $100,467.92 the previous year.

The median payment (received by the middle provider) was $68,147.22. Six providers received payments totaling over $1 million, and 20 received payments totaling between $500,000 and $1 million.

There were 793 providers ? 65 per cent of the total – who received payments of less than $100,000, and 345 of these (28 per cent of all providers who received a payment) received payments of less than $30,000.

The highest payment was to Wellington firm Cooper Legal who received a staggering $1.373 million for the year to June. ? Read more »


Would you eat the soup?


David Fisher is having to pull Easter Duty as part of his own rehabilitation, and is digging deep into the foibles of … catering.

Female inmates will be cooking food and serving staff at New Zealand’s busiest court in a plan being worked on by justice and prison bosses.

The prisoners, from Auckland Women’s Prison, would be paid 20c to 60c an hour to work in the Auckland District Court canteen. Read more »

Not a good look

? NZ Herald

Beats me why anyone would blow $800k on lawyers but I guess when you and your dogs need name suppression there is something dreadfully wrong in the thinking department….especially when you ditched the old missus for a recycled footballers wife while you were also running one up the secretary.

He has been ordered to pay $1800 a week in cock-tax which seems rather light given his share in $600 million.

Among the assets needed to be split are an extensive art collection and $200,000 worth of fine wines.

He also ordered the couple to sell their $3.25 million Auckland home. The couple also share custody of their two dogs, whose names and types are not allowed to be published.

The order came after one of the family dogs was allegedly kidnapped from the street.

Since the breakup, Mr B, who holds a senior political position, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on romancing his new girlfriend.

The pair have enjoyed holidays in Europe, a cruise in the Pacific and shopping trips to Asia.

A final settlement is expected to be reached next year.

Both parties declined to comment.

Funny he seems happy to comment in other media about other matters, but not this?


Are lawyers dodgier than Politicians, Ctd

Politicians generally are pretty dodgy but there is building evidence that lawyers are dodgier than them:

A Hawke’s Bay lawyer has been charged with disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest and performing an indecent act to insult a police officer.

The woman, who cannot be named, is alleged to have committed the offences on New Year’s Eve on Breakwater Road in Napier.

The woman was to have appeared on the criminal list in Napier District Court this morning but her appearance was adjourned on the papers by a registrar.

She will appear before Judge Lindsay Moore next week.


Lawyers vs Wharfies

Continuing my series of comparisons of pay rates between various occupations it is time for something a little different. Comparing lawyers pay rates with Wharfie pay rates.

Ironically both professions have had their pay rates released via Cactus Kate, just a week or two apart. The wharfies and their assorted apologists have screamed and moaned despite all the evidence supporting what Cactus said all along.

It would seems that spending years at University studying, copping student loan sitting bar exams gets you nowhere near what a wharfie gets paid. Worse still you have slave for hours and hours in a law firm removing staples and exposing yourself to the carcinogenic properties of the photocopy room for years on end before you get noticed.

Only after 7 years of 80 hour weeks photocopying law books and judgments will you be approaching anywhere near what a wharfie gets.

I would hazard a guess that wharfies get far more than partners at third rate flea lawyers in West Auckland. Which is probably why Greg Presland has been trying desperately and futilely to discredit the facts of wharfie pay. As a top level Labour functionary he is mortally embarrassed now that he has died I a ditch for rich prick labourers who earn more than him.

The hard pressed qualified lawyer has to slave for far more hours than the 28 hours a wharfie gets paid for. Bearing in mind that the wharfie gets paid 43 hours for every 28 hours they work. They on average get paid for 35 of the time they actually have nothing to do.

No staff lawyer I know enjoys 5 weeks annual leave, a full medical?insurance?benefit and I seriously doubt that any staff lawyer enjoys 6 months redundancy provisions for permanent staff or a generous super scheme like the one at the Ports.

I have a word of advice for the average student contemplating studying law. Don’t. Get a job at the Ports of Auckland and after 9 years working you too could have amassed a fortune most people would only dream of to retire on. You won’t have a student loan, you will be getting on average $91,000 p.a.. Enjoy sweet holidays, full medical benefits, gold plated super scheme and only have to work 28 hours a week.

Are lawyers dodgier than politicians? Ctd

Continuing my series about lawyers being dogier than politicians is this news from Australia:

SEVENTY-SIX solicitors were convicted of criminal offences in one year – including 12 who were guilty of serious charges including child pornography, indecent assault and fraud.

But most continue to practise.

Another 12 solicitors and two barristers became bankrupt and two solicitors faced tax offences, according to annual reports for the last financial year. Those 64 solicitors convicted of lesser offences faced mainly driving charges, including drink-driving.

For the past decade, lawyers have been required to disclose charges, bankruptcies and other ”show-cause events” to their professional associations. The number of those convicted of serious offences has fallen from a high of 23 two years ago.

Last financial year, only four of the solicitors on serious charges and one who committed a tax offence had their practising certificate suspended and the Law Society took no further action in the other 85 cases, deciding ”the offence did not impact upon the solicitor’s fitness to practise”.

But, says the Legal Services Commissioner, Steve Mark, for legal reasons it is very difficult for the professional bodies to stop lawyers from practising. In 2004, a High Court case ruled a solicitor convicted of aggravated child sexual assault be allowed to practice, finding that his conviction did not amount to professional misconduct.

I’d say the evidence is pretty conclusive that lawyers are dodgier than politicians.


Protecting their own

Surely the good people in Canterbury-Westland are entitled to know just which lawyer has been found guilty of serious unsatisfactory conduct. Surely they would want to direct their legal business elsewhere rather than risk it to someone described as reckless.

But no, we can’t know who because the legal fraternity protects their own…just like teachers.

A lawyer found guilty of serious unsatisfactory conduct by a legal complaints body has been granted name suppression.

The Law Society’s Canterbury-Westland branch lawyers’ standards committee made the ruling last month. The complainant was one of four brothers who argued over their father’s wishes after he died.

The lawyer, who represented the estate, swore an affidavit in support of High Court proceedings against the complainant and his brother on behalf of the other two brothers, while continuing as estate solicitor. He ignored the complainant’s requests to remove himself as the estate solicitor, before eventually ending his role after High Court proceedings began. He also deducted legal fees from an estate trust account without the permission of all four brothers, the trust’s executors.

The committee found the lawyer should have stopped representing the estate when requested, and “well prior to” the High Court litigation.

His decision to continue acting as estate solicitor was a “reckless contravention” of the rules of conduct and tantamount to serious unsatisfactory conduct, it said. The committee also said he should not have taken legal fees without the permission of all executors.

I for one wouldn’t want ot be working with a lawyer who acts in “reckless contravention” of the rules of conduct.

Pedobear Power and his tame churnalist

Simon Power - Pedobear Justice MinisterI used to have some respect for Colin James. Now I have nothing but contempt for the sad little man. The reason is because Google has revealed an uncanny coincidence that Colin James seems to run stories for and on behalf of Simon “Pedobear” Power.

In fact the articles are sick inducing and provide proof positive that Pedobear Power, the friendly politician of pedophiles and criminals should not only and in his man card but also his National party credentials. The man is a bleeding heart pinko sooky liberal and a disgrace that he ever got selected as a National party candidate in the first place.

Back in February, Colin James wrote a puff piece on Pedobear Power and how he is the savour of our justice system. It is buckets full of vomit bad.

In the end laws get changed because politicians in parties change them (judges have a hand, too, at times). The best citizens can expect is that politicians respond.

Hence Power’s interest in what he calls the legal system, which he thinks is too much the legal priesthood’s preserve.

Citizens can directly influence the administration of the law only by becoming part of that priesthood themselves. Some are dragooned on to a jury where judges and lawyers belittle them by deciding what evidence they can hear and what of the evidence they do hear they are allowed to take seriously.

That legal system is not for ordinary folk.

Power, a lawyer by training but with a leavening of academic politics, has set out to make some changes. (Though not for the belittled juries.)

He has pushed victims’ rights on to courts’ agendas, marginalised when criminal law muscled into tort law, and procedural changes to the way sexual violence cases are treated in court. The aim is better justice — or just some justice. The law and justice do not always coincide.

Yes Simon “Pedobear” Power’s solution for victim’s rights is actually protecting the rights of pedophiles and criminals from real justice. He doesn’t care about victims int eh traditional sense, he cares about ‘victims‘ that are actually criminals ‘let down by society’. And he cares for the pockets of his lawyer mates.

His office has also been sitting on the report from the Law Commission about name Suppression with nary a peep out of him despite the report being written by fellow judicial, liberal, pinko, meddler Geoffrey Palmer. Instead of following what the public wants Palmer and Pedobear claim that the solution to the name suppression issue is tougher penalties for people breaking name suppression. Reality would actually beg to differ. The problem with name suppression is that liberal judges and lawyers like Palmer and Pedobear ignore the wishes of real victims and continue to hide pedo teachers, lawyers, sports stars and the like from actually facing up to their despicable crimes.

They prefer the burqa of justice, name suppression, to veil the ugly, heinous criminals when publicity and vitriol should instead be used. Today is no different. Colin James has again enabled the Pedobear and today’s Dompost article (not online) is even more sick inducing.

Ready your sick bags.

SIMON POWER wants to reclaim the justice system for the people. He has made a start. He reckons it will take him another two to three years. He will outline his next steps in a speech to the law profession and academics at Otago University this month (planned for Wednesday but postponed because the funeral of Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell, a constituent, is that day). The law industry is unlikely to rush to congratulate him.

The Government is known more for its law-and-order hard line. Last month Corrections Minister Judith Collins celebrated the economic value of the new South Auckland prison: $1.2 billion over 30 years. Social and human defeat is trumpeted as economic victory. And just in time: the construction sector is in a parlous state.

Oh the old Judith bad, Pedobear good lines. Simon Power must have been taking a shellacking in caucus and cabinet recently, so much so that he has resorted to little whispering campaigns and pet churnalists writing puff pieces. Pedobear Power is a legend in his own mind and those of his captured and sycophantic staff who have so far spectacularly failed to deliver anything and had to leave it to the only minister who has achieved real successes to deliver in his portfolio. Pedobear is too busy protecting pedophiles and criminals to implement real law changes, instead he focusing on denying accessible legal support to the poor and broken of South Auckland in order to protect the revenue streams of the high street lawyers who like to think they know best.

The Justice Wilson email saga shows clearly just how out to lunch most of these liberal elite are. It is no surprise then for me to see that in amongst those email conversations is a link to my own cases before the courts on page 22. Does this saga and the revelations that our legal fraternity are in reality a cosy little club and the fact that I named one of the members of this little club mean that my case and Pedobear’s reluctance to address the name suppression issue show there is some sort of nudge-nudge-wink-wink carry-on involved. That could be just craziness on my part, but the dots have been joining for some time. Right enough with the conspiracy theories, and back to Simon Power Colin James’ article about our heroic but little understood justice minister (I used little letters on purpose, he doesn’t deserve capitals).

Mr Power has gone along but, as a liberal, he has a stronger interest in reform than repression. He wants courts to be more expeditious and more solicitous of victims and witnesses. He has perturbed and angered practitioners whose reverence for tradition and precedence favours incremental change as a cornerstone. Critics – uncommonly articulate, given their trade – point to 40-year-old Mr Power’s youth and mere five years in legal practice.

Actually, youth and legal training have emboldened him. Non-lawyer justice ministers can be bamboozled by the trade.

That couple of paragraphs was actually Colin James fellating Simon Power. Pedobear Power is just bamboozled and enjoying watching Colin James clean muck out of his beard.

His focus is now on three areas. One is more flexible processes, including an inquisitorial approach, to complement the greater flexibility courts have allowed in dealing with young offenders and in family cases. Mr Power wants that flexibility applied to other “stakeholders”, such as victims and witnesses (often forced to relive nasty experiences by heavy-hitting defence lawyers) and jurors.

This is all well and good, but now add in the debacle the Wilson case and resulting emails have shown our Justice system to be and now Simon Power’s youthful enthusiasm for reforming the courts down liberal lines just looks like a disaster of his own making. Anyone who uses the word “stake-holders” needs fifty lashes on the pee-pee with a wet shoelace anyhow, just to teach them. The real stake-holders (to use civil servant speak) are the public of New Zealand who have been let down for fifty years by wet, sopping, pinko liberals like Simon Power. If fifty years of cuddling criminals hasn’t shown us that it doesn’t work then perhaps a few weeks in a cell with some of these ‘mis-understood individuals’ might make Pedobear understand a bit better.

Mr Power is not just liberal. He is also a family man, with two young children. When he talks of the courts belonging to the people, children are very much part of his people. This is a young man talking. Venerable judges take note.

Colin James - Pedobear Seal of Approval

Colin James - Pedobear Seal of Approval

This makes it even more perplexing, that as a father, he refuses to enact a NZ version of Megan’s law or Sarah’s law, instead preferring the lines and excuses of the liberals. If children are very much part of his people then why not action on naming and shaming pedos? Why not action on removing the burqa of name suppression from our justice system and why not action putting criminals in jail for a long time so that they can’t hurt children anymore?

I’ll tell you why not, because Simon Power is all pin-stripes and bullshit, he wakes every morning and stands in front of the mirror and says to himself “F*ck I’m Good, Just Ask Me”.

Colin James can now also sport the pedobear stamp of approval after those sick inducing liberal cry pieces on behalf of a protector of pedophiles.