Melbourne lawyer hit with practice ban

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Lawyer Alex Lewenberg was hit with a 15-month ban by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday after being found guilty of professional misconduct in March.

Lewenberg told a sex abuse victim not to help police prosecute paedophile, because they were both Jewish.  He admitted making the comments but said they had been taken out of context, the VCAT heard last month.

 He was ordered to pay $55,000 in costs to the Legal Services Commissioner and will only be able to return to practice following the successful completion of a legal ethics course, the Herald Sun reported.  The ban will take effect from June 1.

VCAT acting president Judge Pamela Jenkins said she had no confidence Lewenberg had any remorse in his conduct.

“I am not exactly delighted that another Yid would assist police against an accused, no matter whatever he is accused of,” Lewenberg told the sex abuse victim in a recorded conversation.

“There is a tradition, if not a religious requirement, that you do not assist against (the people of Abraham).”

Lewenberg has previously been banned from practising for a period of two years back in 1989 when he was found guilty of three charges of professional misconduct.