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SMDF: Confidential?

urely 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.

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SMDF: Questions for the Law Society

Will the Society release to the public the legal advice it has received relating to its proposal to bailout the SMDF?

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Can’t pay; won’t pay

n short, to repeat, currently the Law Society of Ireland has no power to lawfully compel the payment of the levy to make up the SMDF insolvency shortfall.

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The SMDF debacle

That SMDF has failed is, of course, of great concern. It was promoted by the Law Society of Ireland. Its directors were, invariably, past Presidents of the Law Society. Arguably, the failure of the SMDF is a failure of the Law Society. But that is not to say that the Law Society’s members are responsible for that failure. The members had no method of seeking accountability for the activities of the SMDF or the Law Society’s failures relating to it. (Even the High Court is constrained here; the Law Society of Ireland is a corporate body, but a very unusual one; it is not subject to the provisions of the Companies Acts. Most of the jurisdiction of the High Court over corporate bodies is derived from those Acts).

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Sean Quinn’s losses

We now know that the losses in Quinn Insurance Limited were on the UK insurance business and that much of those losses were on professional indemnity policies for UK solicitors.

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Cooking

Even so, we should not forget that Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan are both lawyers (and it doesn’t get more centralised than where they are) and there is, or was, (this writer thinks) no checklist in the world that would have prevented them from wrecking the Irish economy.

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Legal Costs

Real justice would recognise the inequality of arms in this struggle. The formal equality of litigants is often illusory. Lawyers know this and act accordingly.

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Vendor says no

For the legal profession, there is good news in this. It means a solicitor should be paid, by a client, not for accepting instructions, but for giving advice.

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Trouble

She was defending her cousin on a dangerous dog prosecution but had to be escorted from court after kissing a solicitor, swearing at an usher and insulting the prosecutor while “fortified” with brandy.

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Quinn Insurance

Here are some issues not addressed so far (in the papers I read). (A) Quinn Insurance has a board of Directors. Sean Quinn is not on that board. The board has said nothing about the seizure of the company by the Provisional Administrators. Sean Quinn never stops talking about it and issuing press releases and public statements, including TV interviews. Is he in fact in charge of Quinn Insurance? This is possible. Under Section 27 of the Companies Act 1990:- […]

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