Solicitor cleared of misconduct over actions of colleague
A solicitor who was accused of failing to adequately supervise a colleague whose actions may have "tainted" more than 20 criminal cases has been cleared of misconduct.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found the Law Society had not proven its case against Aisling Maloney to the required standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
Alan Lloyd, a solicitor who previously worked for Ms Maloney's firm AM Maloney & Co in Tullamore, Co Offaly, advised clients without having the necessary practising certificate in 2016 and 2017.
This included giving consultations to people arrested for questioning over alleged rape, drugs and assault offences.
Last year, the tribunal recommended Mr Lloyd be struck off having heard his conduct had the potential to prejudice investigations as detainees have a constitutional right of reasonable access to a practising solicitor. However, Ms Maloney insisted she was unaware of what he was doing.
Yesterday, the tribunal said the trust and judgment of Ms Maloney had been misplaced.
But it cleared her of nine allegations of misconduct.
Tribunal chairperson Helen O'Brien said it accepted her evidence that she allowed Mr Lloyd into the practice for work experience and not as a practising solicitor.
Ms O'Brien said Ms Maloney had given evidence she was not aware Mr Lloyd attended in Garda stations or attended in court as a practising solicitor. She said on becoming aware of Mr Lloyd's conduct, Ms Maloney ended her firm's connection with him.