Lawyer fights practice ban after swearing in court

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High profile Rockhampton lawyer Doug Winning is facing eviction from the profession after uttering profanities in court during a trial.

Winning is now battling to keep his practicing certificate after calling prosecutor Danny Boyle a ‘f***ing idiot’ in court and with the jury present, three years ago.

According to The Courier Mail, Winning has pleaded guilty to two disciplinary charges brought by the Legal Services Commissioner.

He didn’t admit to the statements but says he won’t deny it because he can’t recall.  He did admit to accusing Boyle of dishonesty and misleading the court 17 times during the hearing.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard that the comments, including calling the proceedings a ‘f***ing joke’, were recorded on the court audio and heard by an observer in the gallery, Boyle claiming that the remarks were deliberate and aimed at him.

 “It’s not fanciful that Mr Winning cannot recall precisely what was said,” Winning’s lawyer said, claiming the comments were ‘thoughts out loud’ and merely mutterings.  The tribunal heard that he may have sworn out of ‘frustration and anger’.

Two silks have pledged support for Winning, Elizabeth Wilson QC and Peter Davis QC reportedly stating that they would consult with him.

It’s the second time Winning has been before the tribunal after being officially reprimanded back in 2008 for a series of offensive remarks, the Courier Mail reported.

In 2004, Winning, who has represented notorious bikies, admitted to tipping off his bike client about a police raid, telling him to get rid of cash and drugs.  He was cleared of professional misconduct.

The tribunal has reserved its decision on whether Winning should be struck off or allowed to keep working under certain restrictions.
  • BH on 3/12/2015 3:10:03 PM

    I know - this, and the hypocrisy, is just ridiculous. I am a female Indian sole practitioner and the number of insults I cop every day, particularly from male barristers, would send these guys home to mummy for a bit of down time. I have been asked if I am capable of spell, not to address or look a barrister directly when speaking, I have been called deplorable, outrageous, pathetic, oh and my personal favourite "utterly despicable". I took that to mean an acknowledgment that I wasnt the minion - a plus in my books! Sure, no one used the F word but I still had to go the loo, have a little cry, wash my face, paint on the smile and try again. Women are regularly told to just "suck it up" and move on, and yet here is the prosecutor blubbering in his shoes. Fact: prosecutors have become very comfortable using lack of resources and funding issues as an excuse to practice with incompetence and the courts are sympathetic to their cause. I too have expressed frustration because my clients bear the legal costs of this incompetence. Does the prosecutor care that my clients, single mothers, are becoming increasingly more impoverished for their court endorsed incompetence? Nope. Any defence lawyer with a heart would start swearing.

  • Suzana Adad on 2/12/2015 3:31:29 PM

    Ha! ha! ha! I totally agree BUT it is lucky the accused is not in NSW!! From the recent mischievous behaviour I have seen from the NSW regulators they would have had the accused's head with no further ado and with a totally one sided case put by the plaintiffs, and get away with it, because they know that everybody is scared of them and will not speak up against them.

  • John O'Brien on 1/12/2015 8:20:26 PM

    For Christ's sake, what utter bullshit. This is like something out of Monty Python. A great waste of time and resources over sweet FA. What sort of whimps are finding their way into the profession and onto the bench? I've been called the same any number of times over 43 years in court and a right hook invariably set things straight. Oh well - it is Queensland I suppose!

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