SOLICITOR FINED £2,500 FOR OFFENSIVE TWEETS

Often members of the legal profession are considered true followers of the law, but a contrary may also happen, as solicitors are humans too. Mark Lewis, the former director of UK Lawyers for Israel, and a renowned media lawyer, who gained fame during the famous phone hacking saga fined £2,500 in a ruling by Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in London.Two charges were imposed on him regarding personal as well as professional perspectives. Firstly, he posted offensive and profane social media posts, in which he wished death to those who abused him. The tribunal quoted his tweet in which he wrote: “Happy to celebrate your death too. I have not got time for your hideous evil.” SDT conceded that Mr. Lewis continued his nonprofessional conduct over a period of 18 months, which could not be condoned.

The tribunal found that he failed to uphold confidence in the solicitors’ profession. His responding to the abuse on Twitter indicated that he had a lack of integrity required for the legal profession. In addition, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) stated that they could not find the original hate campaign, which Mr. Lewis has taken plea against. This entire case has been of major interest to many solicitors in Lancashire.

Hence, he was not only imposed a penalty of £2,500 but also had t Often members of the legal profession are considered true followers of the law, but a contrary may also happen, as solicitors are humans too. Mark Lewis, the former director of UK Lawyers for Israel, and a renowned media lawyer, who gained fame during the famous phone hacking saga fined £2,500 in a ruling by Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in London.Two charges were imposed on him regarding personal as well as professional perspectives. Firstly, he posted offensive and profane social media posts, in which he wished death to those who abused him.

The tribunal quoted his tweet in which he wrote: “Happy to celebrate your death too. I have not got time for your hideous evil.” SDT conceded that Mr. Lewis continued his nonprofessional conduct over a period of 18 months, which could not be condoned. The tribunal found that he failed to uphold confidence in the solicitors’ profession. His response to the abuse on Twitter indicated that he had a lack of integrity required for the legal profession. In addition, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) stated that they could not find the original hate campaign, which Mr. Lewis has taken plea against. Hence, he was not only imposed a penalty of £2,500 but also had to pay £10,000 in costs. Timothy Kendal represented Mr. Lewis’s defense.

The lawyer told that Mr. Lewis himself had been a victim of racial abuse on Twitter for almost three years, due to which he had to increase his security. His offensive tweets were only in response to a few of those tweets against him which also included death threats, due to which the lawyer had to increase his security as well. Mr. Lewis admitted on the Facebook that he did it, because of the side effects of a drug. Moreover, he wrote that when he realized that he committed a mistake, he tried to apologize to the boy and his father. His stance could also be supported to his talk with BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire in August 2018, when he said he will quit the UK, because he did not feel safe there, and he will shift to Israel in December.

He related all this abuse to be anti-Semitic. During the hearing, Mr. Lewis told that he did not respond to any abuse since newly published guidelines of the SRA about social media use. However, SRA believed differently.The public expressed too much interest in this case as, during the proceedings, the tribunal had to change the hearing room to accommodate more people. Other solicitors expressed that the legal professionals specialized in social media law should not be offensive on this platform and must be aware of how to behave. However, the court decision also found other views as well. In conclusion, abuse begets abuse. A diverse society like the UK cannot afford such shameful hate game and racism that is currently going on. Although solicitors are also humans, yet they should not follow personal routes for expressing extreme wishes and must remain professional.