Lawsuit against Law Society

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Leulua’iali’i Olinda Woodroffe.

Leulua’iali’i Olinda Woodroffe.

The Vice President of the Samoa Law Society, Alalatoa Rosella Papali’i, has confirmed a lawsuit against the Society, being brought by New Zealand-based lawyer, Leuluaiali’i Olinda Woodroffe.

Although Alalatoa could not elaborate on the details, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer, she said the Society has been served with papers of the proceedings.

“Please kindly note I cannot make any comments as yet on behalf of the Society as we have to follow and protect the integrity of our own procedures relating to matters of this nature,” Alalatoa wrote.

“But suffice to say, I can confirm at this stage the Society has been served with Ms. Woodroffe's proceedings which will be tabled for consideration at our Council meeting scheduled for 18 August 2016. 

“We will know after that meeting how to deal with Ms. Woodroffe's application including instructing a lawyer to act for the Society and the appropriate response to file in Court when it will be called for first mention on 19 September 2016.” It was not possible to obtain a comment from Leuluaiali’i last night.  But according to a report on Radio New Zealand, Leuluaiali’i is suing the Samoa Law Society for alleged breach of her rights by terminating her powers, privileges and responsibilities.

The report says that Leulua'ialii is seeking to quash the Society's decision to terminate her unrestricted practicing certificate.

Earlier this year, the Law Society had issued Leulua'iali’i with a restricted practicing certificate.

In her filed claim, Leulua'ialii represented herself and said she was not heard or notified by the Society before the decision.

Leulua'ialii has also claimed the defendant wrote to the court directing staff that she would not be allowed to sign any court documents. She claims the action by the Law Society took deliberate steps to cause damage to her reputation. Leulua'ialii is reportedly seeking general and exemplary damages totalling US$1million.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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