Lawyer found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct

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High-profile criminal lawyer Michael Bosscher has been found guilty of “unsatisfactory professional conduct” after he tendered a report in 2012 at an inquiry which contained false allegations about chief justice Catherine Holmes.

His legal team defended his decision to tender the document, saying the it was already publicly available and it was up to the commissioner or his team to redact the allegations or issue a non-publication order, prior to it appearing on the inquiry website.

But NSW judge Clifton Hoeben said the defamatory material was likely to diminish public confidence in the administration of justice.  He said that tendering the document was “a failure to exercise the forensic judgement called for by the circumstances”.

It was also argued that the document’s tender enabled its wider publication because of the media interest in the inquiry.

The document, The Rofe QC Audit of the Heiner Affair at a Child Protection Commission of Inquiry in 2012, alleged that Holmes had engaged in corruption when she was serving as counsel assisting a child abuse inquiry, according to a report by AAP.

The Legal Services Commissioner will now file submissions about the appropriate penalty and costs, to which Bosscher will be able to respond.

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