A lawyer who failed to act on legal matters he was paid to do by two former clients has been suspended for 12 months for professional misconduct.
Chief Justice Hon. Michael Dishington Scott found Lawyer Siosifa Tu’utafaiva on July 10 to have failed in his duty to represent Mr ‘Aisea Vaitaki and Sione Vao in court after the duo paid him legal fees.
In October 2012 , Tu’utafaiva was ordered by Judge Scott to pay $11,500 to a client Hamani Guttenbeil. Guttenbeil paid Tu’utafaiva fees to file a legal claim he made but the lawyer failed to do it.
The suspension order came just after Tu’utafaiva formally tendered his resignation to the Democratic Party last week since he switched his allegiance early this year and joint the noble’s party. He was immediately appointed by the Prime Minister as Tonga’s Minister of Police, Prisons and Fire Services in February.
Tu’utafaiva has been voted to Parliament after he became one of the Democratic Party’s candidates in the last parliamentary election 2010.