JEREMY JAMES McGUIRE v THE MINISTRY of JUSTICE

JurisdictionNew Zealand
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeWilliam Young,Arnold,O'Regan JJ
Judgment Date10 March 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] NZSC 24
Date10 March 2015
Docket NumberSC 139/2014

[2015] NZSC 24

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW ZEALAND

Court:

William Young, Arnold and O'Regan JJ

SC 139/2014

Between
Jeremy James Mcguire
Applicant
and
The Ministry Of Justice
Respondent
Counsel:

Applicant in person

P J Gunn and M J McKillop for Respondent

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
  • A The application for leave to appeal is dismissed.

  • B The applicant must pay the respondent costs of $2,500 and reasonable disbursements as fixed by the Registrar.

REASONS
1

This case has its origin in dealings between the applicant, a lawyer, and his client involving arrangements which, if implemented, would have resulted in him receiving fees directly from the client despite the client having been legally aided. The applicant was unsuccessful in proceedings against the client in which he sought to recover the fees. 1 As well, he pleaded guilty before the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal to a charge of unsatisfactory conduct following a complaint from the client. He subsequently sought judicial review of the lawfulness of the charge and decision of the Tribunal and in the High Court achieved

some limited success (only as to a component of the penalty imposed). 2 The High Court judgment in that case is apparently now the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
2

In issue in the present proceedings is a decision of the former Legal Services Agency under s 73 of the Legal Services Act 2000 suspending the approvals previously held by the applicant for the provision of legal services and the cancellation of his provider contract. The basis of the suspension were the dealings with the legally aided client to which we have referred. A claim for judicial review of the Agency's decision was dismissed by Dobson J 3 and the applicant then appealed to the Court of Appeal.

3

Rule 43 of the Court of Appeal (Civil) Rules 2005 is relevantly in these terms:

43 Appeal abandoned if not pursued

  • (1) An appeal is to be treated as having been abandoned if the appellant does not apply for the allocation of a hearing date and file the case on appeal within 3 months after the appeal is brought.

  • (2) The Court, on application, may—

    • (a) grant an extension of the period referred to in subclause (1); and

    • (b) grant 1 or more further extensions of any extended period.

  • (3) An application for the grant of an extension may be made before the expiry of the period to which the application relates or within 3 months after that expiry; but no extension may be granted on an application that is made later than 3 months after that expiry.

  • (5) If any days in the period commencing on 25 December in one year and ending on 15 January in the next year are comprised in the 3-month period calculated in accordance with subclause (1) or subclause (3), that 3-month period is extended by the number of those days.

4

The applicant obtained two extensions of time for the filing of his case on appeal. The last extension expired on 22 December 2013 which was a Sunday. Under the next working day rule (s 35(6), Interpretation Act 1999), he could have filed a further application on the next working day, which was Monday 23 December 2013. He did not do so with the result that his appeal was deemed to be abandoned. Despite this deemed abandonment it was still open to the applicant to obtain a further extension of time providing he...

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