11 June 2009
Robin Tampoe -- One Time Corby Lawyer -- Struck Off
This is Schapelle Corby related news. However, the main subject of this little post is Robin Tampoe; a one-time lawyer for Schapelle Corby.
Robin Tampoe (photo courtesy of here) became involved in the Corby case very early on. He provided pretty bad advice, in my opinion, because his own ego required that he piggy back on this case in order to make a name for himself by using someone else's legal predicament to further his career. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, this has backfired in a big way and has in fact ended his legal career as he has been struck off the role of legal practitioners.
The advice was indicative of someone not knowing the intricacies of the Indonesian legal system and also highlighted a substantial lack of understanding of the substantive law that applies in Indonesia. In this sense, the writing was on the wall for Corby as soon as Tampoe became involved. However, the advice is not the reason for his striking off, but rather his conduct as a lawyer and handling of client information.
It was certainly a Forrest Gump kind of a moment in the type "stupid is as stupid does". Simply, Tampoe came into possession of confidential information which he then divulged to the world on TV. This information related to prior criminal convictions among members of the family. After being dumped from the Corby legal team he then went on to add insult to injury by disparaging them in the documentary, "Schapelle Corby - The Hidden Truth", by calling the family "trash".
The Legal Services Commissioner initiated the action based on an allegation that Tampoe breached client confidentiality. In essence, he failed to uphold the lawyer - client privilege that certain communications are subject to. In a written judgment of Justice Roslyn Atkinson of the Queensland Legal Practice Tribunal, Tampoe was found guilty of professional misconduct. Atkinson then ordered that Tampoe be struck off the roll.
On a side note. It is interesting to see that in the current Manohara case two of Indonesia's senior lawyers, Todung Mulya Lubis and OC Kaligis, have left the legal teams of Prince Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry and Manohara Odelia Pinot respectively, and then gone on to make some disparaging remarks about their former clients relating to their respective intents to resolve that matter. I wonder, any ethics or professional misconduct issues there?