M Ravi's lawyer discharges himself due to "potential conflict of interest"
M Ravi's lawyer has discharged himself from representing his client due to "potential conflict of interest" that breaches the legal code of conduct.
Mr Louis Joseph said he will not be representing Mr Ravi in his defamation case against the Law Society of Singapore due to legal concerns.
Mr Joseph, who is Ravi's colleague from law firm L.F. Violet Netto, will also not act for Mr Ravi in the matters involving Mr Ravi's application to remove council members of the Law Society.
But he added that he will still represent Mr Ravi in the Law Society's application to order him to see a psychiatrist.
Two pre-conference dates have been set concerning these applications.
Mr Joseph told MediaCorp this at the end of a pre-trial conference in the High Court today.
He explained that he was the only one present when Wong Siew Hong, a member of the Law Society, appeared in the High Court on three separate occasions in July to present a letter.
The letter, signed off by Dr Calvin Fones, stated that Mr Ravi had a relapse of bipolar disorder and was unfit to practise law.
Mr Joseph said being the only one around during Mr Wong's court appearances made him a "potential material witness".
He explained that this means that there was a "conflict of being an independent lawyer and witness."
According to the rules of the legal profession here, a lawyer who is aware that he may be a material witness of fact, must discharge himself.
Mr Joseph told MediaCorp said he was only aware of this rule when a colleague recently alerted him to it.
He said he could be debarred if he did not comply with the rule.
Mr Joseph also said he will defend Mr Ravi in an unrelated disciplinary committee hearing later this month.
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