Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Standing together

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  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It speaks of money.

    Indeed. That's the question worth pursuing which is why the letter was sent. The fact a Law Firm did it is just that it cost heaps.
    It is also elitist to ban Native Affairs.
    Plus, what the hell was that last night. Another worthy Native Affairs breaking News investigation into the Charity fundraiser for donations for the Maori Party. $5000.00 a plate. The Northern Club. John Key, guest Speaker, changing seats to be easy access for confidential conversation.
    Elitist Maori only thanks

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    Maybe its time for Lawyers to develop a moral/ethical framework then – otherwise they are just ‘guns for hire’, which is not what we should expect of professionals whose training has cost the public purse a lot of money

    They have such a framework, Martin. There are both statutory obligations and professional ones, but both of them boil down to, pretty much, this: lawyers are officers of the court and that is their principle duty, but within the bounds imposed by that duty their highest obligation is to do all within their competence to represent their client's interests.

    So, yes, they are guns for hire, and that's the way it is intended. They're bound by their duties to the law and their profession to represent their clients, and once you break that down it roughly means "You can't break the law or advise your client to break the law."
    It's perfectly legal to send lawyer-grams that allege all kinds of malfeasance on the recipient's part, and if the client insists that they want said letter sent then the lawyer's only options are to send it or to refuse to continue as counsel. The solution to what happened here is to change our libel/defamation laws, not to say that there's something wrong with lawyers using the available tools to represent their clients. That's the start of a slope that ends with "He's clearly guilty, everyone knows it, so he's not entitled to a lawyer because a lawyer might just get him off."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    changing seats to be easy access for confidential conversation.

    I didn't find anything overly WTF or scandalous about that particular bit. If you're offering up the PM as an announced guest at an exclusive, expensive dinner you're going to find a way to let everyone who's there get a little bit of one-one-one time. It was all the other circumstances that lead up to that changing of seats that made me think the Maori Party is playing a very, very dangerous game. I don't recall Helen rubbing shoulders with any of the Maori Party's supporters over dinner.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Chinese Envoy was there...
    but (a bit to the) left...

    Patanga...

    ...your error does serve to bring back fond memories of a big old Thorndon villa / crash pad in Patanga Cres, Wellington, mid-'70s (opposite the gardens and next to the Chinese Embassy)...

    ;- )

    </irrelevant personal aside>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    you’re going to find a way to let everyone who’s there get a little bit of one-one-one time.

    It says everyone in the room is for sale and Keys out peddling the cost.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Principled polity…

    lawyers are officers of the court and that is their principle duty, but within the bounds imposed by that duty their highest obligation is to do all within their competence to represent their client’s interests.

    I think I get it:
    In principle (as a general idea) they have a duty to the principles (foundations of a system of belief, basis for conduct) of the law, but their principal (first) duty is to their principal (most important) client, for whom they act as principals (agents), irrespective of whether said client is the principal offender (directly responsible for a crime) – and as in any duel both combatants are principals (historic).
    For which, ultimately, a principal (sum of money ) will be paid to the principals (heads) of the firm….

    …of course were they architects and the principal (a main rafter supporting purlins) was removed, it might bring the house down!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I don’t recall Helen rubbing shoulders with any of the Maori Party’s supporters over dinner.

    You will find that National Party Supporters were there as well as a few token Maori . This was tea alright ,just not in a cup like John Banks had.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    but within the bounds imposed by that duty their highest obligation is to do all within their competence to represent their client’s interests.

    In the case of the injunction against Native Affairs, the client's interests were badly damaged by the action, because the required affidavits contained information that added to and supported Native Affairs' report.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    This was tea alright

    -- tea real Maori?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah. It wasn't Mai Chen herself -- Potaura seems to have used her name interchangeably with that of Chen Palmer itself.

    The letter actually came from Chen Palmer principal Nicholas Palmer, as is clear from the full copy here.

    The end of the letter is just out-and-out bullying. Disgraceful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The end of the letter is just out-and-out bullying

    ...perhaps the legal equivalent of the journalistic 'egregious blindside question' - with no grounding in truth - but the interviewee then has to give it credence, by denying it - and voila there's your 'killer' soundbite!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to linger,

    – tea real Maori?

    Tea chai token Maori?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ewan Morris,

    This just in from the Herald - the Kohanga Reo National Trust has an army!

    Native Affairs aired several stories last year about the trust - which received $92 million from the Government in 2012 for 463 kohanga reo -and its wholly owned commercial army, Te Pataka Ohanga (TPO).

    Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    start of a slope

    ooo a slippery slope argument.

    You know as a scientist I'm also bound by laws, if, like a lawyer, I assumed that anything not prevented by law was just hunky dory then there are a whole bunch of things I could do (legally) that would be morally indefensible.

    I realise that lawyers are taught by other lawyers to believe that they should consider themselves simple tools of the law and not act as if they are human beings at all, but frankly I find that stance ridiculous.

    And to return to the topic at hand if a lawyer finds themselves attacking the freedom of genuine investigative journalism by sending a bullying letter with no real substance to it, then again frankly, I'd have to wonder about the morality of that particular lawyer. And there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the letter was intended to intimidate the journalists into silence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In the case of the injunction against Native Affairs, the client’s interests were badly damaged by the action, because the required affidavits contained information that added to and supported Native Affairs’ report.

    Sometimes you just have to give people the advice but know they'll still ignore it and insist on a particular course of action. Happens all the time in other fields of human endeavour so why should the law be any different?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ewan Morris,

    They said the Ministry of Education would not renew the contract with the trust in its present form when it expired on June 30 and set out the Government's expectation that the trust be reformed before treaty negotiations began.

    They said the contract could be extended to October 30.

    Today they said that in saying they want to hear from the trust board by April 30 was not setting a deadline.

    So April,June. October maybe.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ah. It wasn't Mai Chen herself -- Potaura seems to have used her name interchangeably with that of Chen Palmer itself.

    Well, in that case I am happy to withdraw and apologize to Ms. Chen for my comments directed at her personally. Still think the firm with her name over the door can find more useful things to do.

    Obviously, ChenPalmer's understanding of mana differs from mine significantly, but I'm more heart-sick than angry reading that last paragraph. The kaupapa and mana of Kohanga Reo was built up over years -- even decades -- of passion and commitment from flaxroots activists who would make their case with anyone, anywhere. Not... this.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    You know as a scientist I’m also bound by laws, if, like a lawyer, I assumed that anything not prevented by law was just hunky dory then there are a whole bunch of things I could do (legally) that would be morally indefensible.

    You have a code of ethics, as do lawyers. I posted a link to the one that applies to lawyers in this country. It's pretty broad. Your ethical codes in science are much stricter. It's the way it is.
    And for as long as the ultimate legal adversary is the State, with all its resources and powers, that's the way it needs to be.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The solution to what happened here is to change our libel/defamation laws, not to say that there's something wrong with lawyers using the available tools to represent their clients

    Word.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    if a lawyer finds themselves attacking the freedom of genuine investigative journalism by sending a bullying letter with no real substance to it, then again frankly, I’d have to wonder about the morality of that particular lawyer. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the letter was intended to intimidate the journalists into silence.

    So instead, do as the Govt does? With the crowd of Lawyers in NActional, when asked via the OIA, just black out any information you wish to supress? Nothing to see here….

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    You have a code of ethics

    Actually we don't. Unlike the law (and medical) profession, scientists have no (royally decreed) professional society. No lawyer can practice law without being part of that society that restricts behaviours. The same is not true of most other jobs, for most jobs the "code of ethics" is the law.

    There simply is no "code of ethics" for scientists that has any strength other than in the individual morality of the scientists themselves. I am moral because I am moral not because of any "code".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    for most jobs the “code of ethics” is the law.

    Yet people feel quite entitled to talk down their noses about a profession that has both a statutory obligation to the law and to their clients, as well as a professional obligation to same. How's that work? What makes y'all so high and mighty and moral that you get to preach about lawyers?

    And back to my slippery slope argument, yes, if we start saying that lawyers may only use the available tools that pass some arbitrary socially-prescribed morality sniff test it will end up with criminal defendants being denied representation because a lawyer could not do anything more than enter a plea on behalf of their client before the moral defenders of society's collective nose declared that the sniff test had been failed. Garth McThicker would be champing at the bit to lead that pack if there was the slightest possibility of its coming into being.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    nasal retentives…

    Yet people feel quite entitled to talk down their noses about a profession that has both a statutory obligation to the law and to their clients, as well as a professional obligation to same.

    Excuse me?
    I ,for one, was just talking out of my arse…
    (as usual)
    - y’know making stuff up.
    testing meanings and
    playing to the jury
    of public opinion…

    What a sad world it would be
    without lawyer jokes…

    At a convention of biological scientists, one researcher remarks to another, "Did you know that in our lab we have switched from mice to lawyers for our experiments?" "Really?" the other replied, "Why did you switch?" "Well, for three reasons. First we found that lawyers are far more plentiful, second, the lab assistants don't get so attached to them, and thirdly there are some things even a rat won't do."

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    A bit off topic, but this was Hillary Clinton's recent speech to the American Bar Association. She was accepting the 2013 ABA Medal.

    I always enjoy watching the Insider:

    There are quite a few people I'd like to yell at like that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 793 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    There simply is no “code of ethics” for scientists that has any strength other than in the individual morality of the scientists themselves. I am moral because I am moral not because of any “code”.

    Oh, really? And so how do you explain all those ethics panels at my University? They are there to do much more than justto check that no laws are being broken in the research - and without their say-so, research doesn't get done irrespective of the "morality of the scientists themselves".

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 206 posts Report Reply

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