Law society fires back at magistrate

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by Michael Mata

Noel Nunan, the Brisbane magistrate who presided over the conviction of “wannabe solicitor” Jacob Lazar Reichman, has been criticized by the president of the Queensland Law Society (QLS) for his “ill-thought out commentary”.

The criticism was made after Nunan made some sharp comments during Wednesday’s sentencing of Reichman, a Gold Coast law graduate who illegally acted as a solicitor. According to Nunan, "There's a lot of incompetent solicitors running around the place, giving legal advice, giving criminal legal advice. I see it daily."

While Nunan said that the defendant was “brazen” for acting as a solicitor two years after he was fined for a similar offense, he did praise Reichman for his acumen and abilities as a solicitor. "It looked like he was doing a reasonable job during all of these interviews," Nunan said.

Nunan’s praising of Reichman and criticism of actual solicitors has drawn the ire of Bill Potts, the president of QLS. "I think it is regrettable that the magistrate has decided to make, what essentially is ill-thought out commentary when the person he was dealing with was clearly acting in breach of the legal act,” said Potts.

Reichman, who was in his sixth year of employment with the Gold Coast barrister Chris Rosser, was found to have acted in a legal capacity 12 times during visits to Gold Coast police stations and a watch house.

The defendant was convicted of engaging in legal practice without authorisation and was fined. Reichman plans to appeal the ruling to a higher court since the conviction could prevent him from becoming a lawyer.


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  • Lyn Reed on 9/09/2016 2:33:53 PM

    A nice change for a magistrate to express his view of people in the legal field. He obviously referred to what he sees from his personal experience. I am just amazed at the number solicitors who have been convicted of fraud etc. Time the Law Societies in both Australia & NZ audited them better. I speak from personal legal experience and I reported one instance which actually involved overcharging an estate and falsifying invoices.

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