The Victorian Legal Services Commissioner is calling for Alex Lewenberg, the lawyer found guilty of professional misconduct over comments he made to a sex abuse victim, to be banned from practice in the interest of public safety.
Lewenberg was found guilty of two counts of professional misconduct last month and appeared at the tribunal for a sanctions hearing yesterday.
“Mr Lewenberg must be kept safe from himself. The public has to be kept safe from him,” Nicholas Green QC, told the state’s civil and administrative tribunal yesterday.
“The profession ... would be well served if he was disqualified for a substantial period.”
Green, on behalf of the Legal Services Commissioner, told the tribunal that Lewenberg should be banned from practice for at least two years, the Herald Sun reported.
A report by the ABC said that Green argued that Lewenberg had undermined the administration of justice and the tribunal should denounce his conduct.
In 2011, Lewenberg told a sex abuse victim that Jews shouldn’t help prosecute each other. He was representing paedophile David Cyprys when he first made the remarks and repeated the sentiment in a recorded phone call with a victim weeks later.
Lewenberg issued an apology over the remarks yesterday, saying he did not know the man he made the comments to was one of Cyprys’ victims at the time.
The judge is expected to make a decision on whether Lewenberg will be suspended from practice later this week.