Mogish warns lawyers over adjournments

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The National, Tuesday 22nd November 2011

A NATIONAL Court judge has warned lawyers that he will soon begin holding them for contempt for failing to comply with court orders.
Justice Panuel Mogish made the comment when a state lawyer and several defence lawyers in yesterday’s criminal case hearings sought adjournments on almost all the matters on the court list, giving the excuse that pre-trial statements had yet to be filed.
“I will soon, very soon start holding you for contempt,” Mogish told them.
“We can’t continue to adjourn cases because you keep failing to follow court’s orders.”
Mogish is understood to be taking care of criminal hearings in the Waigani National Court.
He was obviously displeased with the way lawyers kept opting to adjourn matters because they had failed to play their part in helping the court.
Mogish said when the court told a litigant to file a pre-trial statement, it should be done.
He said the clients should not be held to ransom for the lawyers’ failure.
He said some matters that were supposed to have been dealt with this year were likely to continue next year because of such incompetence.
“Especially when the reasons used to seek adjournments partly lay in lawyers’ failure to comply with court orders and directions,” he said.