Australia: Lawyer found guilty of professional misconduct for calling another lawyer “Pathetic Human”

Australian Lawyers Weekly

A solicitor sent a number of unusual threats and comments to an opposing practitioner, including calling him a “pathetic human” and suggesting he would be responsible for an elderly woman’s death.

George Sideris was found guilty of professional misconduct in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for sending correspondence directly to an opposing solicitor’s client and for sending “discourteous” correspondence to the same parties.

As it was in the context of representing his mother-in-law in a dispute with The Salvation Army (TSA) over a $100,000 refundable accommodation deposit, Mr Sideris insisted to NCAT he was not acting as a solicitor and so could not be found guilty of misconduct.

However, the tribunal said the evidence suggested he performed work that only a solicitor could do and made several references to his work as a lawyer, including working on a pro bono basis and attaching signature blocks with the title “principal”.

The tribunal also found that despite several directions by the TSA’s solicitor at Mills Oakley to direct all correspondence to him only, Mr Sideris sent emails directly to the TSA and its staff.

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