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Saturday 23 August 2014

Celebrity lawyer Gerald Kean tells tribunal he’s fighting for reputation over a €985 court case

Joyce Fegan

Published 16/01/2014 | 07:21

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Gerald Kean and Lisa Murphy
Gerald Kean and fiancee Lisa Murphy

CELEBRITY solicitor Gerald Kean has told a tribunal he never thought he would spend 18 months fighting for his reputation and practice over a €985 district court case.

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Mr Kean is contesting a number of complaints made against him by a former client.

Christopher O'Neill claims that he was not represented properly by Mr Kean in a district court case.

Mr Kean in turn alleges that Mr O'Neill misled him when he represented him in previous cases.

Mr O'Neill, a crane driver, complained about Mr Kean to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on March 28, 2012 over a 2006 District Court case he was involved in.

The crane driver was sued by a marine surveyor for €985 for work carried out on his behalf and a civil judgment issued against Mr O'Neill in respect of the monies claimed.

He argues that the solicitor did not act appropriately on his behalf.

Mr Kean is accused of failing to issue a Notice of Defence and failing to issue a subsequent appeal.

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Mr O'Neill also accuses the solicitor of misleading him and for failing to uphold a duty of care to him.

“I never thought I'd spend a year and a half of my life fighting for my reputation and my practice over a District Court case for €985,” Mr Kean told the tribunal.

A point of issue under the duty of care allegation was communication between the solicitor and former client. Mr O'Neill, who represented himself, accused the solicitor of not being able to back up evidence that dozens of phone calls were made from Kean's Solicitors to him.

Mr Kean was able to show proof of 12 calls made and former receptionist at the firm Regina Kealy gave evidence that she almost “harassed” Mr O'Neill with calls with the aim of setting up an appointment.

Mr Kean claimed that Mr O'Neill had misled him on previous occasions and said that he found this “very upsetting”. Mr Kean strenuously denies Mr O'Neill's complaint. The hearing continues in February.

hnews@herald.ie

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