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Lawyers’ Black Letter Day – One of Auckland’s ‘”Best Lawyers”‘ Struck Off . . Along With Two Others

A lawyer who had once advertised as being one of the best in Auckland has been struck off by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal for incompetent advice leading to miscarriages of justice.

A decision released on Thursday by the Tribunal found Arman had failed to provide his client with a copy of the summary of facts, failed to get disclosure of the prosecution’s case against his client and didn’t explain the nature of the charge to his client or explore possible defences to the charge.

Two other lawyers were also struck off in a Black Letter day for the Tribunal, including Boon Gunn Hong and recently also Peter Francis Aitken. Hong was had transferred a client’s property into his own name and then tried to evict them.  Aitken had attempted to misappropriate client funds.

Arlan Arman took “shortcuts” with his clients’ cases has been struck-off to protect the public and had earlier received a 10 month suspension from the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal after evidence that he had pressured a client into a guilty plea for an alleged rape.

The man ended up pleading guilty without Arman having seen the complainant’s evidence or the interview that his client gave to the police.

Amran then mounted an unsuccessful bid to get the man a discharge without conviction.

The Tribunal also found Arman had failed to tell his client that he was able to apply for legal aid, despite the man struggling to pay his legal bills.

“We consider there is no other inference but that the practitioner put his own needs ahead of his client, and that is inexcusable.”

The man later turned to lawyer Annabel Maxwell-Scott who took the case to the High Court on appeal, arguing Arman’s handling of the case had resulted in a miscarriage of justice, which succeeded.

The case was sent back to the District Court where the charge was later dropped.

Arman didn’t turn up to his own case before the Tribunal. Repeated emails from the Tribunal to Arman went unanswered and he is believed to be living overseas.

The Tribunal found that the misconduct was at the higher end of the offending scale as it had resulted in a miscarriage of justice and the need for a High Court appeal.

“The number of failures and their cumulative effect upon the client leaves an impression that this was a practitioner taking shortcuts and thereby seriously disadvantaging his client who was facing serious charges.”

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