Solicitor dishonesty 'has got to be stopped'

Monday 10 November 2008 22.19
Acton & McDarby - €100,000 fines imposed
Acton & McDarby - €100,000 fines imposed

The President of the High Court, Judge Richard Johnson, has said dishonesty by solicitors has got to be stopped.

Judge Johnson made the comments as he fined two solicitors €100,000 each and ordered that their work should be overseen by another solicitor for two years.

The fines were imposed on Sean Acton and Michael McDarby, of Ballinrobe Co Mayo, who had previously been found guilty of misconduct by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Tribunal had previously ruled that Mr McDarby and Mr Acton should be fined for professional misconduct after being employed for opposing parties in a traffic accident.

The two had also been censured in relation to alleged charging of a levy in personal injuries actions, despite their costs already being covered by the insurance companies.

In February, they pleaded guilty to six of nine charges against them and were found guilty of eight.

Judge Johnson said he had considered suspending the pair for two years and said they had demonstrated a capacity for dishonesty.

Lawyers for the pair told the court that they had sincerely apologised for the wrong doing and had taken action to correct it.

The court heard the case had had a devastating effect on their families.