The Sunday Business Post has accessed a confidential Law Society report on the SMDF.
How do journalists manage such things? The members of the Law Society have not had access to that report despite the fact that they are going to be polled on the Law Society proposal to bailout the Solicitors Mutual Defence Fund Ltd., one of the sources of professional indemnity insurance for solicitors.
The following is, presumably, extracted from the secret report:
“Failure to provide financial support to the fund could be considered contrary to the public interest, and might lead to intervention by the Minister for Justice.”
“Could” and “might” are powerful qualifiers here.
How could it be considered contrary to the public interest to require negligent solicitors to pay recompense to their victims?
How could it be conceivable that the Minister for Justice might make up the SMDF shortfall, if that is what is meant?
Of course, it might be that the suggestion is that the Government would force blameless solicitors to pay for the wrongful actions of blameworthy solicitors.
How could that be lawful, not to say unlikely?
The members of the Law Society of Ireland, and, a fortiori, non-member solicitors, had no role in the regulation, management or general supervision of the SMDF.
How could any Minister for Justice think that legislation (because nothing less would suffice), intended to selectively assign general social losses on innocent solicitors, would survive a court challenge?
Surely the Law Society ought to be taking the lead in challenging the very notion that a Minister could lawfully seek to do such a thing?
Surely the Law Society should immediately place the “confidential report” on its website so that its members might feel more like professional people rather than mushrooms in a cloche.