Solicitor accuses judges of threatening his livelihood

first_imgNewsSolicitor accuses judges of threatening his livelihoodBy Staff Reporter – August 4, 2015 1393 Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Previous articleGAA – Weekend GAA Round UpNext articlePensioner (89) left for dead by stalking robber Staff Reporter TAGSjohn devanelimerick RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Solicitor John Devane arriving at Limerick District CourtPicture Credit Press 22Andrew [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up A SERIOUSLY ill Limerick solicitor claims he was forced to return to court this week to defend clients because judges were going to reassign his legal aid cases to other solicitors.John Devane was pushed into Limerick District Court on a wheelchair by one of his clients Vincent Collopy on Monday. He said that if he didn’t return to court and his cases were reassigned, his practice would have closed.“That would have been my livelihood gone”, he told the Limerick Post.Nine months ago, Mr Devane, who has been practising law in Limerick for more than 15 years, was referred to a private hospital with suspected case of gout. However, several broken bones in his foot went undiagnosed and he contracted osteomyelitis – an infection of bones and bone marrow.His neighbour, who is a practising GP, advised him to immediately seek treatment at the University Hospital Limerick.Mr Devane subsequently spent two months in hospital and has to have his leg dressed daily following a number of extensive surgeries to remove poisonous abscesses from his foot.He sought assistance from his legal colleagues to look after his clients and sought temporary adjournments to allow him recover and return to work.“When I had MRSA before, the then District Court Judge Tom O’Donnell adjourned my cases for six months and allowed me time to recover.“This time, a colleague told me that judges would not adjourn any cases beyond September and that they would reassign legal aid to other solicitors.“I was within weeks of losing my leg and still require two or three more surgeries to eradicate the 20 per cent chance that remains of amputation. As a matter of courtesy I have always sent in medical certificates to the court – it’s respect, but when I heard that my legal aid clients would be given away because I was delaying justice, as it was put, I had to get up and into this wheelchair to be present at court.”Mr Devane said that he is still facing a number of operations before Christmas and told Judge Marian O’Leary that he was only in court this week as he heard his cases could be given away.Judge O’Leary tried to reassure Mr Devane in court that this wouldn’t happen but the Limerick solicitor said he was fearful and would go against his doctors wishes and attend court until the summer vacation“Doctors have advised me to stay off my feet but I have a real fear over this and if I lost my legal aid clients, my practice would close – it’s as simple as that.” WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Email Twittercenter_img Advertisement Print Linkedin Facebook Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” WhatsApplast_img read more