A lawyer’s response to a complaint, and any submissions, should be detailed and include all relevant documents to assist the Commissioner in his investigation.
Preparing a response
When preparing a response, lawyer’s should keep in mind that their communications with the Commissioner will be seen by the complainant, and if the matter proceeds to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and/or the Supreme Court then by the Members and Judges. Legal professional privilege should also be considered.
For assistance in preparing a response, the Law Society of South Australia provides support services for members including;
- the Lawyer’s Complaint Companion Service, and
- the Lawyers’ Support Group comprising a panel of experienced lawyers to assist other lawyers.
The Commissioner must consider a lawyer’s response submission before deciding what action to take.
An extension may be granted to prepare a response if a request is made to the Commissioner’s office before the specified deadline.