The Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules (ASCR) forbid ex parte communications with the Court without the consent of opposing parties (which includes communications by email). Although there have been a string of cases in which judges have provided guidance to solicitors about how to observe this rule, anecdotal evidence suggests that this may be the provision of the ASCR which is most commonly breached. When guidance about professional conduct obligations is not heeded, disciplinary proceedings can be a consequence.
Angus has an article in the Law Society Journal this month on a decision handed down in disciplinary proceedings arising from a breach of this Rule. If you have a Law Society Journal login, you can read the article as a single page by clicking here (or if you don’t have a login, you can read the article in the electronic edition of the Journal by clicking here).
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