Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    *Obviously* hypothetical...

    Jane is a well meaning but somewhat naive activist. She has attended three marches against rises to tuition fees recently, and while being heavily involved with Blakkk BloCCC groups, is not directly responsible for any activities caused by this fictional group.

    Jane attended a recent London Protest, and has found her face on national media sites recently. To her absolute knowledge, Jane has done nothing other than some graffiti on the day of the march.

    After seeing her face on the national news sites, Jane panicked and spoke to a solicitor (known for dealing with protestors) by telephone. Jane and the solicitor decided that she should approach the police rather than waiting. However, there was no specific instruction given by Jane. Jane spoke to the same solicitor after this conversation, and it transpires that the solicitor has given her name to the METTT following the first conversation. Consequently Jane's options are somewhat limited at this point.

    Jane's friend is only a first year law student, but isn't convinced that the solicitor should have passed over these details, ethically or legally Sadly, he doesn't have enough knowledge yet to be sure about this.

    Please advise Jane.

    (and her desperately worried friend.)
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Don't ask here. You'll only get nonsense. Call the SRA.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Jane's meeting with the solicitor is tomorrow. Her meeting with the police is on Friday. The police have asked her to bring down any clothes she was wearing that day for DNA testing.

    Please advise Jane quickly

    (her friend was enjoying the Easter vacation up till now)
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Clip)
    Don't ask here. You'll only get nonsense. Call the SRA.
    Cheers, can do. I'll give them a bell in the morning.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    If Jane has no confidence in the solicitor, get another one.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Jane's friend has no confidence in the solicitor, but will be accompanying Jane to the meeting with the solicitor tomorrow. Jane is completely out of her depth, and her friend isn't at all far behind her.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Jane will have something interesting to put on her law firm application forms now.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Jane is a nutjob, but not stupid enough to study law . That said, a conviction would really f*ck up her future career. It honestly is a concerned friend who's writing.

    Should the solicitor that she spoke to have passed on her details to the METT? Cheers
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I'm training to be a barrister and not a solicitor so I'm not an absolute authority on this at all. Barristers don't really receive instructions in this context so what I say should be read with that disclaimer.

    The first point that Clip makes about calling the SRA is definitely right.

    To me, however, it would seem that the issue is not so much one of breach of confidentiality (although it is linked), but more that the solicitor has failed to act within (or simply with) the instructions of the client. The exact events of the meeting will need to be explored very carefully. It may well have been that your friend did give instructions but didn't realise the full significance of her actions. On the face of it though, from what you've told me, the solicitor's simply gone ahead and acted of his own accord and now, as you point out, your friend's hand has been forced.

    As potential barristers we are taught painstakingly to never act without taking instructions first and, if any doubt exists, to get the lay client to endorse our brief for the avoidance of confusion. I would assume that solicitors are held to similar standards. It might be worth checking out whether that is the case and then taking things from there.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Imonster)
    Jane is a nutjob, but not stupid enough to study law . That said, a conviction would really f*ck up her future career. It honestly is a concerned friend who's writing.

    Should the solicitor that she spoke to have passed on her details to the METT? Cheers
    Adam TJ is correct.

    If the facts are as you relate them, then the solicitor has acted outside the scope of his (very limited) instructions. In doing so, he has also breached his duty of confidence.

    This doesn't smell right though. Any experienced solicitor, including the one you refer to, would have known not to have spoken with the police on your friend's behalf without very explicit instructions. I certainly wouldn't have taken any steps (unless it was seriously urgent) without a retainer being in place and written instructions from the client (email would be fine) authorising me to contact the police. It seems strange that the solicitor in question would have rushed off to inform the police of the position.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for all the help so far guys; the meeting with the solicitor is at 15.00. I agree that something doesn't smell quite right about the whole situation; I don't really understand why they want Jane's clothes for DNA testing particularly.

    I'm doing my best not to jump to conclusions about the solicitors behaviour here, Jane isn't the most articulate of people and it could well be the case that she inferred that it was ok to give her name to the police.

    Presumably instructions can be verbal as well as written in situations like this?

    Logically I suppose, if Jane and her solicitor had decided to voluntarily visit the police on Friday then her solicitor would have had to give the police Jane's name in order to set up the meeting?

    I'm guessing the police want to speak to Jane over possible activities in previous protests, or associations with people involved with direct action in the latest protest.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    So - what happened?
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: April 7, 2011

University open days

  • University of East Anglia (UEA)
    Could you inspire the next generation? Find out more about becoming a Secondary teacher with UEA… Postgraduate
    Thu, 18 Oct '18
  • University of Warwick
    Undergraduate Open Days Undergraduate
    Sat, 20 Oct '18
  • University of Sheffield
    Undergraduate Open Days Undergraduate
    Sat, 20 Oct '18
Poll
Who is most responsible for your success at university

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.