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Topic # 109180 14-Sep-2012 13:33 Send private message

So I read this article in The Herald and it got me thinking. 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10834048

Is it just me or are the numbers they are throwing around detached from reality? They seem to be detached from the reality I know. 

What impact does lawyers charging fees like this have for access to justice? 

Should we have a public law service like we have a public health service? Would that even help?

Or is this just the 'Rock Star Effect', where there are millions of people who play guitar, or practice law in this instance, and most struggle along while the top five in the world, or NZ, make millions?   




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  Reply # 686011 14-Sep-2012 13:38 Send private message

Well, to be fair, the whole point of *that* discussion was that he was grossly overcharging. But still, yes, it is the rock star effect. There are only a few superstars in any given profession. If you badly enough want them to work for YOU then you need to pay them whatever they ask.




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  Reply # 686014 14-Sep-2012 13:38

crackrdbycracku: So I read this article in The Herald and it got me thinking. 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10834048

Is it just me or are the numbers they are throwing around detached from reality? They seem to be detached from the reality I know. 

What impact does lawyers charging fees like this have for access to justice? 

Should we have a public law service like we have a public health service? Would that even help?

Or is this just the 'Rock Star Effect', where there are millions of people who play guitar, or practice law in this instance, and most struggle along while the top five in the world, or NZ, make millions?   


I think you'll find that's the whole point of the article - he's been struck off, because he was grossly overcharging his clients.

We have limited legal aid available for people who can't afford a lawyer - http://www.justice.govt.nz/services/legal-aid



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  Reply # 686018 14-Sep-2012 13:43 Send private message

The two points that really struck with me were these: 

'He charged a client's family $1000 an hour, despite much of the preparation work being done by a junior lawyer who had been practising for only two months.'

So, if he had been doing the work $1000 an hour would have been fine. 

And 

'The tribunal costs were around $42,000'

I guess when lawyers are judging lawyers it is going to be expensive but that is more than most people make in a year. 

But I agree it is probably the Rock Star Effect and the market sets the price. Still, I'm getting to the point where I like 'market forces' less and less. 




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  Reply # 686032 14-Sep-2012 14:21 Send private message

People can charge whatever they want, so long as the buyer's informed and accepts the price, and billing's done accurately.




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  Reply # 686046 14-Sep-2012 14:49 Send private message

KevinL: We have limited legal aid available for people who can't afford a lawyer -?http://www.justice.govt.nz/services/legal-aid


And it appear that sometimes the wrong people get legal aid, such as if you put you money into a trust so you don't personally earn or own anything. This is a great pity. I think it should be more of a loans scheme, but if you are in the right it gets refunded , or something like that.

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  Reply # 686047 14-Sep-2012 14:51 Send private message

This sort of things happens in consulting firms all the time.

If you engage a tax consultant at somewhere with Ernst & Young - the work is likely done by a junior accountant, and then it gets presented to the client by a partner who will charge something like $600-1000 and hr for the work, as if they did it themselves.




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  Reply # 686049 14-Sep-2012 14:53 Send private message

Had to 'consult' the company accountant once. Knowing he had a 1/2hr minimum charge I arranged via email a time to contact him. He replied with a time and number for the following morning.

When I rang I got his wife, who told me he was in the shower, and she told me he'd advised her to tell me to post a document to him. When I got the bill for his shower time I quickly resolved to change accountants.



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  Reply # 686051 14-Sep-2012 14:59 Send private message

timmmay: People can charge whatever they want, so long as the buyer's informed and accepts the price, and billing's done accurately.


Yeah, but if we extend that argument to it's conclusion surely the best thing to do is pay the judge or jury rather than the lawyer?

The judge can charge whatever they want, so long as the buyer's informed about the judgement they will get and accepts the price for that judgement, and billing's done accurately.

If hiring an expensive lawyer means hiring a good lawyer and getting a advantage at trial then what does that say about justice? 

I thought one of the tenants of justice is that it isn't for sale. 

In most cases I like the free market and support it, but there are areas I think it falls down. I would say this could become one of them. 




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  Reply # 686052 14-Sep-2012 14:59 Send private message

ajobbins: This sort of things happens in consulting firms all the time.

If you engage a tax consultant at somewhere with Ernst & Young - the work is likely done by a junior accountant, and then it gets presented to the client by a partner who will charge something like $600-1000 and hr for the work, as if they did it themselves.


It also happens with engineers. The thing is that if a company is charging that way, they would have to take full responsibility as though they had had their most senior people doing it themselves.

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  Reply # 686055 14-Sep-2012 15:19 Send private message

mattwnz:It also happens with engineers. The thing is that if a company is charging that way, they would have to take full responsibility as though they had had their most senior people doing it themselves.

But do they??
I've yet to deal with any accountant or lawyer who'll accept responsibility for their 'advice'. 

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  Reply # 686058 14-Sep-2012 15:21 Send private message

oxnsox:
mattwnz:It also happens with engineers. The thing is that if a company is charging that way, they would have to take full responsibility as though they had had their most senior people doing it themselves.

But do they??
I've yet to deal with any accountant or lawyer who'll accept responsibility for their 'advice'.?


Some don't though I have found from personal experience. Some will blame their underlings, although legally they do still have to take responsibility.



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  Reply # 686059 14-Sep-2012 15:22 Send private message

oxnsox:
mattwnz:It also happens with engineers. The thing is that if a company is charging that way, they would have to take full responsibility as though they had had their most senior people doing it themselves.

But do they??
I've yet to deal with any accountant or lawyer who'll accept responsibility for their 'advice'. 


Didn't the CCTV building collapse inquiry address this issue? 




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  Reply # 686071 14-Sep-2012 15:50 Send private message

crackrdbycracku:
oxnsox:
mattwnz:It also happens with engineers. The thing is that if a company is charging that way, they would have to take full responsibility as though they had had their most senior people doing it themselves.

But do they??
I've yet to deal with any accountant or lawyer who'll accept responsibility for their 'advice'. 


Didn't the CCTV building collapse inquiry address this issue? 


The John Banks enquiry certainly didn't.



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  Reply # 686074 14-Sep-2012 16:00 Send private message

BlueShift:
The John Banks enquiry certainly didn't.


That is helping to answer this question: 

How dishonest can you be and still stay in cabinet if it is politically convenient? 

Answer: 

More dishonest than we would have believed but we are not yet sure when the edge is. 




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  Reply # 686083 14-Sep-2012 16:23 Send private message

Banks isn't being dishonest, he's being obtuse. People made donations on the basis that they were anonymous donations.... he can then say he's aware of anonymous donations (perhaps even the value), but he can't say who they were from.
And OK he may personally ask, and you may personally give, but you can do it on the basis of anonymity.

Sure he's pushing the envelope (well actually he's accepting the envelopes that were pushed) but he may be technically and legally correct. Although following the pedantry of politics won't win him the fight, which he sees as as the job he'll do in a couple of years when this one runs out, rather than what he should be doing now.....

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