A lawyer accused of deliberately driving into someone during a property dispute with her ex-partner has failed to keep her identity under wraps.
Natalie Tabb, a self-employed commercial and property lawyer, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon and has vowed to defend the charges at trial.
The District Court denied her name suppression and, on appeal, Justice Christian Whata in the High Court at Auckland yesterday afternoon came to the same conclusion.
"[Publication] will cause significant embarrassment ... but the facts of the alleged offending are not likely to lead to derision and damage to her professional reputation that's likely to cause extreme harm to Ms Tabb and her family," Justice Whata said.
On June 3 last year, Tabb returned home to find her estranged partner taking property from the house with the help of a furniture removal company.
It is alleged she positioned her SUV to block the truck from leaving the address but one of the movers stood behind her vehicle to direct them around her.
Tabb is then said to have driven into the victim twice causing him bruising to his left thigh and a fractured finger on his left hand.
Justice Whata said the defendant's explanation was much different.
Tabb claimed she was taking evasive action to stop the removal truck ploughing into her and was unaware the man was behind her.
Her lawyer Marie Dyhrberg, QC, said the impact of her client's name being published would be severe both on her income and professional reputation.
She accepted there was no direct evidence before the court to show Tabb would suffer "extreme hardship" if her name was in the media, but it was one of those "awful conundrums" - the harm could only be proven once the defendant was named.
Crown prosecutor Kate Eastwood said the case did not meet the high threshold to merit suppression.
Justice Whata agreed but said he had some sympathy for Tabb.
He was convinced, though, that any detrimental effect on the lawyer would only be temporary.
At the earliest, Tabb's jury trial will begin in Auckland District Court in May.