Joe Karam is not a lawyer or a solicitor and does not have any qualifications pertaining to the legal profession. Joe Karam is an ex-all-black who has made a living as an entrepreneur. Despite this lack of qualifications, the legal aid service paid out $272,000 in fees to Joe Karam for work done during the retrial. Karam claimed an average of 37.5 hours per week for a 13 month period straight, at $95 per hour which is equivalent to the base pay of the deputy speaker of parliament at $174,000 a year. Karam's main qualification for this role was that he had been campaigning for the case for a decade, knew a lot aout it and therefore it was fitting that he do the work. But this reasoning oversees the fact that the money paid to him was
- more than is required for the average person to support themselves and their family over that period of time, and
- it added considerable reward to the activity that Karam participated in.
In short, the money paid out did not obtain, for the taxpayer anything like the level of skill that the hourly rate of $95 should demand. The irony of this is that the jury were paid something in the region of $80 a day to make the decision that counted. So we have a person, who is a somewhat biased supporter of David Bain and therefore cannot be considered objective, on more than $500 a day for 13 months in the lead up to the trial, and then the people making the supposedly objective and impartial decision were paid a mere $80 a day for the three months of the trial before being required to announce their verdict.
To cap all that off, Karam claimed a further 235 hours during the retrial, which equates to another $20,000, and yet he is not a qualified officer of the court.