Disbarred Auckland lawyer Christopher Harder's application to be reinstated is set to begin tomorrow after he lost a legal challenge over the admissibility of some evidence at his hearing.
The New Zealand Law Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal was due to begin a hearing yesterday on whether Harder could be readmitted, two years after he was struck off when he admitted professional misconduct.
But the hearing has been delayed after his lawyer Colin Pidgeon sought interim relief following a tribunal ruling yesterday which meant it could give regard to a wider number of complainants against Harder's application than Harder wanted.
Harder was struck off in a hearing in 2006 after admitting some of the allegations against him part-way through the hearing.
This meant other complaints against him were not proceeded with, and Mr Pidgeon argued yesterday that these complaints should not be admissible as evidence.
He said a previous case suggested the tribunal could only consider previously admitted allegations, particularly as he felt the other allegations were similar in nature.
But the tribunal agreed with the Auckland District Law Society and New Zealand Law Society, which said the tribunal needed to have all evidence relating to Mr Harder's previous conduct before it.
They said it needed to know this when deciding whether Mr Harder had reformed his character to a standard required for the tribunal to reinstate him.
Mr Pidgeon applied for interim relief following the tribunal's decision, and the High Court at Auckland found time for Justice Geoffrey Venning to hear that application this afternoon in a hearing closed to media.
Auckland District Law Society lawyer David Jones said Justice Venning declined to grant interim relief, meaning the tribunal's ruling remains in force.
The five-person tribunal, which has yet to begin hearing Mr Harder's application, will convene again in Auckland tomorrow morning.