C.J. & B. E. Watson
PO Box 336
The executive Director
Wellington District Law Society
PO Box 494
Attention: Mary Olivier
I refer to your letter of 15 June and the copy of Ms Crutchley’s preliminary reply to my complaint.
My comments, referenced to Ms Crutchley’s paragraph numbers, are:
2. The trial proper (Crown opening address) started on 14 June 1999.
3. I would point out that Ms Crutchley is the only senior member of the “team” practicing within the Wellington district. I hold correspondence between her and the defence team that indicate a controlling position on the part of Ms Crutchly at least as far as discovery matters are concerned. There is little sign of contact with other members of the Crown “team”.
4., 5 Appeal court decisions are irrelevant to this complaint. The grounds that the complaint is based on were not presented for consideration by any court.
7. My reference to Rule 10.02 in my complaint was qualified and it is for the committee to decide its’ relevance. I assume Ms Crutchley is not implying that prosecuting counsel have a lesser or different obligation to conduct themselves with integrity than defence counsel
8,9, Defence counsel simply have a duty to act according to the principles of the rules of Professional Conduct. Responding to these principles is not their exclusive right. Anyone can. That’s why the rules exist - unless the Law Society’s intention is that only lawyers can complain against lawyers.
10, 11. My motives in lodging this complaint remain my own. Speculation on them has little to do with the validity of the complaint which is, of course up to the committee to decide.
12. Ms Crutchley here seems to suggest that the committee is not competent to deal with a specific complaint concerning a perceived breach of The Rules of Professional Conduct of Barristers and Solicitors. I feel confident that the committee can and will investigate and enforce its’ own rules.
13. It is specific and to the point of the complaint that this mass of evidence need never have existed. If daunting to the committee how much more so to an untrained jury. As for the committee carrying out a peer review I would suggest that this is more or less what happens in any investigation of a complaint to a District Law Society and is to my untrained mind the purpose of the complaints committee.
15. I would of course appreciate the opportunity to address a substantive reply actually addressing the issues I have raised in my complaint.
16. I point out that the file was supplied by The NZ Police as an electronic file.
17-19 The size of the file is always a difficulty. Ms Crutchley again illustrates the heart of the complaint in paragraph 18 of her reply, this point being that this “considerable portion of the trial transcript” need not have existed. I can of course provide a summarized version of the boat evidence relating to vessels arriving and leaving Furneaux Lodge if the committee so desires and should probably have included it in the documentation supplied. It is available on request.
I would like to point out that my complaint was, in fact, brought about as a by-product of a request to The NZ Police for information regarding the ‘extra vessel’. Police have been less than forthcoming on this matter and the request has now been referred to the Commissioner’s office. This in reference to the reply received after my complaint was submitted and forwarded to your office by email on 5 June 2004.
I hope these comments are helpful to the committee.