Lawyers clash over client transfer

TWO high-profile criminal lawyers clashed yesterday at Limerick District Court over the circumstances in which a client transferred his case from one firm to the other.

Ted McCarthy, who had been representing a Dublin man, Thomas Farrell with an address in Rialto, said his client came to his office the previous afternoon in a very drunken state.

Mr McCarthy said he had to have Mr Farrell removed due to his condition. Within half an hour, Mr McCarthy said he received a contact from the office of solicitor John Devane, saying they would now be representing Mr Farrell.

Mr McCarthy said Mr Farrell must have undergone a miraculous act of sobering up or Mr Devane’s office had taken instructions from him in that state.

Mr Devane, addressing Judge Tom O’Donnell, accused Mr McCarthy of using bullying tactics and handed in what he described as an “appalling letter” to the court which he said he had received from Mr McCarthy’s office. He further alleged that outside the courthouse earlier, Mr McCarthy told him he would do all in his power to have him disbarred.

Mr Devane added: “How dare he.”

Mr McCarthy then outlined the circumstances in which Mr Farrell had to be removed from his office the previous afternoon and how he was contacted a short time later by Mr Devane’s office.

Mr McCarthy said he was not going to use the court, as there were other avenues by which he can have the matter dealt with.

Judge O’Donnell said at this point he was going to stop this issue being pursued.

“If there are professional issues, this is not the place,” he said.

He asked Mr McCarthy if he wished to come off record in relation to Mr Farrell, and Mr McCarthy said he did wish to come off record.

Later, Mr McCarthy said he intended to deal with the matter and did not specify what action he intended to take.

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