Unsatisfactory professional conduct is conduct that happens 'in connection with the practice of law that falls short of the standard of competence and diligence that a member of the public is entitled to expect of a reasonably competent Australian legal practitioner’.
Unsatisfactory professional conduct complaints might be about:
- poor servcie
- a failure to comply with an undertaking
- a failure to adequately supervise an employee such as a conveyancing clerk
- threatening, abusive or offensive language
- failure to follow instructions (due to poor communication, for example).
Professional misconduct is either ‘unsatisfactory professional conduct which involves a substantial or consistent failure to reach or maintain a reasonable standard or competence and diligence’ or conduct ‘happening in connection with the practice of law or otherwise that would, if established, justify a finding that the practitioner is not a fit and proper person to engage in legal practice’.
Professional misconduct complaints might be about:
- consistent or substantial unsatisfactory professional conduct
- fraud or misappropriation
- gross overcharging
- gross negligence
- conflicts of interest
- acting contrary to instructions
- misleading or dishonest conduct whether in or outside court.
Professional misconduct can also include being convicted of a serious criminal offence, a tax offence or an offence involving dishonesty, or being disqualified from managing or being involved in the management of a corporation under the Corporations Act.