Yarraside litigators were distressed to hear the news that one of their active number, Issac Alexander Brott, was felled by the Bureau de Spank last week.
It appears from a report in The Sunday Age that his cue will be racked for at least nine months.
And what grievous misconduct brought about this unhappy state of affairs?
Well, there was the usual trust account misunderstandings that arise for lots of litigators when they are required to be accountants as well as lawyers.
It’s a silly notion to expect that lawyers can add up except, of course, their bills of costs.
So far as Brottie’s trust account was concerned, it should be understood that although there may have been a spot of carelessness or lack of organisation over a period of 18 months, no client money was lost.
Additionally, there was confusion about his records and the costs he charged in relation to the affairs of a client who had become the subject of an order under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986.
Finally, Brott (pic) was charged with permitting or assisting one Xavier David Holden, an unadmitted person, to engage in legal practice for about two years between 2001 and 2003.
This was probably the most mortal of Brottski’s infractions.
Prior to passing himself off as a lawyer, Mr Holden had been banged-up for dealing in proscribed substances when he was not the holder of the requisite authority under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act, 1981.
On February 4, 1999, Xavier was sentenced to a term of four years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
With Brott pencilling for him, Holden appealed against conviction and sentence – alas, without success.
The various allegations got a fairly thorough pre-hearing work-out when Brott complained to the Bureau in 2006 that it had no jurisdiction to hear the complaints against him because the plods from the Law Institute of Victoria hadn’t dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s during various investigations.
Early in his professional life Young Issac (seen here) was introduced to the importance of getting the detail right when he was charged with forging a guarantee on a lease.
In short, on May 31, 1985 he witnessed the signature of one of the guarantors who wasn’t in his presence at the time because he had, unbeknown to Brottie, been murdered earlier in the day.
It turned out that the deceased’s signature had been forged by his fellow guarantor.
Even though he had gone down at trial and on appeal, Brottie got off in the High because the prosecution wasn’t able to prove that he knew that the deceased’s signature was forged when he “witnessed” it and at the time a guarantee was not invalid if it wasn’t witnessed.
Returning to the matter in hand, Brottie’s complaints about due process found no favour with the Bureau chaired by HH Judge Bowman of the County Court.
What will Brottie do without his lawyer’s ticket to earn a quid for the next nine months?
Of course, continuing as a registered migration agent would depend on whether the relevant licensing authority doesn’t revoke his registration in sympathy with the Bureau.
Time, as they say, will tell.
And what of Mr Holden’s career prospects?
On March 30, 2004, the full tribunal of the Legal Profession Tribunal ordered that Holden not seek employment in legal practice or conveyancing work indefinitely.
On August 17, 2005 he was disqualified for 15 years by Consumer Affairs Victoria under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998.
Perhaps Holden should try his luck as a migration agent, registered of course.