The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered that a Tongan lawyer who practised law in New Zealand be struck from the roll of Barristers and Solicitors.
An investigation was conducted and found Ilaisaane Valu Pome’e guilty of eight charges, including two charges of misconduct, on 1 December 2014.
A statement from the New Zealand Law Society says, “Ms Pome’e acted as counsel for her clients in Family Court proceedings and agreed to adopt their niece and make an application to Immigration New Zealand for a permit to allow the niece to remain in the country. She failed to renew a temporary permit that was granted, which resulted in the niece being unlawfully in New Zealand.
“Ms Pome’e made false representations to her clients concerning the niece’s permit application and failed to respond to directions from the court. This led to adoption proceedings being struck out.
“She made a further application to Immigration New Zealand for another permit without instructions and made false representations in support of that application.
“New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore says it is unacceptable for lawyers to mislead clients and third parties.
“The overriding duty of a lawyer acting in litigation is to the court concerned. A lawyer must not act in a way that undermines the processes of a court.”
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