We have been sent this professional opinion by Peter Chemis of Buddle Finlay as a basis for a discussion by today’s KCDC meeting about the misconduct complaint.

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Our views

We agree with Peter Chemis of Buddle Finlay that context is important.

Michael Scott’s e-mail was in response to a quite aggressive, condemnatory one by Mrs Sue Smith sent not only to Michael Scott but 12 others.

It is worth noting that Mrs Smith’s defective husband was the local lawyer about whom we filed a complaint with the Law Society in 2013 over a protracted series of antagonistic e-mails and phone calls which not only maligned us, but also experts we had consulted in our dispute with his associate, a local property businessman.  We also believe that Mrs Smith and her husband were involved in producing the anonymous circulars distributed in Waikanae (in which the recipient of Michael Scott’s e-mail was deliberately mis-stated to be Sue Lusk.)

Clearly it is a household that has a pattern of behaving in this fashion.

However, that does not excuse an aggressive and abusive response from Michael Scott.

It is important for everybody, but especially professionals, to maintain the moral high ground and resist the temptation to respond to unsavoury communications from hotheads in the same manner; such can and likely will be used in evidence.  All communications should be considered and made with a clear head free of emotion.