Joe Karam is not a lawyer or solicitor

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.

Comments

I have no idea whatsoever as

I have no idea whatsoever as to how Karam got away with all our Taxpayer money like this, I am bewildered, all I can say is that the system failed, and the incompetent fools who handed out our tax money to this complete amateur mistake making detective should have been sacked on the spot. But I have always had a theory that the reason we pay an enormous amount of tax in this country is because of fools like this handing out large amounts of our Tax dollars for no good reason, “I guess its easy to waste money that is not yours”. We like to think that the huge amount of tax that we pay is used to make NZ a better place but this simply is not the case there is enormous wastage as demonstrated here, and sad to say this is just the tip of a very large costly iceberg. And if you don’t think you pay all that much Tax let me tell you that most wages are taxed at around 25% and then after that you pay a further 15% tax on every item you buy, so you earn a dollar but you only receive 60 cents, you can then take that 60 cents to the petrol station where you will pay further tax of around 15% leaving you with about 50 cents worth of petrol for your one dollar earned.

I find the disparity between

I find the disparity between the amount of money the legal system was prepared to pay Joe Karam to undertake highly prejudiced and biased activities compared to the what was paid the jury to make the all-important and supposedly objective and impartial decision quite unbelievable.

BTW, your math appears a little off: $1.00 less 25% is 75c.  Spend that on petrol and you pay 11.25c in tax, leaving you with 63.75c worth of petrol.  Spare a thought for the Spanish, their VAT is now 21% http://www.economywatch.com/in-the-news/spain-in-pain-as-austerity-reaches-80bn.12-07.html

When you last bought petrol,

When you last bought petrol, 59.129 cents per litre was collected by the government as fuel excise (excluding GST). Motorists are charged GST on the petrol excise, which amounts to a tax on a tax. The AA has called for the GST to be removed - a move that would reduce prices by 7.7 cents per litre and help relieve the financial burden on New Zealanders. link Here

Acording to my calulations if you buy 1 litre of fual at $2.00     59.129 cents of that is collected by the government as fuel excise (excluding GST) so the gst content of something that cost $2.00 is .30 cents so the complete tax collected off just 1 litre of fuel is 89.129 cents

As it says above if the gst was not charged on the excise tax of .59.129  the motorist would save  .7 cents.

So if you take your 75 cents after tax to the petrol station you end up only getting 41.577 cents worth of petrol the other 33.423 cents is tax. So in efect $1 dollor earned buys you 41 cents worth of petrol after PAYE and petrol excise and gst taxs are taken.

Is this correct what do you think.   A lot of people think that when they go to the petrol station they are going to get petrol but in fact they are going there to pay tax.

Well the only things that are

Well the only things that are certain are death and taxes.   Anyway, it is an outrage that so much of our tax was spent on the Bain defence, including Karam's allotment.  I don't buy the argument that it is all in the interests of justice, because in my opinion the campaign run by Karam was so wrong on so many levels in the first place.

I look at the amount paid to

I look at the amount paid to Mr Karam and compare it with the Ministry of Justice's refusal  to pay $750  for Roz Mcneilly to engage Counsel when she faced the QC inquiring into the Petition of Scott Watson.

Scott has now served 14 of 17 year minimum before possibility of parole. The Ministry of Justice has tried to negotiate a release plan that would allow the ministry to save face and seemingly for Scott to admit guilt then receive a pardon. 

By the way the ministry or rather Jeff Orr the Chief Legal Officer done a very hurried about turn when told Keith Hunter would accompany her and it would cost nothing and he authorised the $750 for a legal counsel rather than have Keith near Kristy McDonald QC the ministry's walking talking disater creator who was paid $134,000 for a report they can't use and took only 34 hours. Ironic!!

 

Hours claimed

My understanding is that the LSA took the view that because Karam had the background knowledge they were prepared to pay him $75-$95 an hour because it would have cost more to have paid a lawyer who knew nothing about the case and so was starting from scratch.
What I find incredible was the number of hours Karam claimed.
He was paid a rate of $95 an hour from 1 February 2008 to 5 March 2009. Prior to that he had claimed 749 hours at $75 an hour.
For the period 1/2/2008 to 5/3/2009 he claimed he had worked 2045 hours.
So imagine,if you will,that you are a clerical worker. You work from say,8.30am to 5.00pm five days a week,for 57 weeks. The only days you have off are statutory holidays. No annual leave,no sick leave.
You will have worked 2055 hours in this time. For the same period Karam claimed 2045 hours,a difference of only 10 hours.
So Karam is effectively going to work 5 days a week for 57 weeks ,taking only statutory holidays,having nothing but a folder labelled BAIN on his desk. How did he fill in all those days,that is what I would like to know.

Hours claimed

My understanding is that the LSA took the view that because Karam had the background knowledge they were prepared to pay him $75-$95 an hour because it would have cost more to have paid a lawyer who knew nothing about the case and so was starting from scratch.
What I find incredible was the number of hours Karam claimed.
He was paid a rate of $95 an hour from 1 February 2008 to 5 March 2009. Prior to that he had claimed 749 hours at $75 an hour.
For the period 1/2/2008 to 5/3/2009 he claimed he had worked 2045 hours.
So imagine,if you will,that you are a clerical worker. You work from say,8.30am to 5.00pm five days a week,for 57 weeks. The only days you have off are statutory holidays. No annual leave,no sick leave.
You will have worked 2055 hours in this time. For the same period Karam claimed 2045 hours,a difference of only 10 hours.
So Karam is effectively going to work 5 days a week for 57 weeks ,taking only statutory holidays,having nothing but a folder labelled BAIN on his desk. How did he fill in all those days,that is what I would like to know.

Yes, but presumably Karam had

Yes, but presumably Karam had already done the work, because he had been investigating the case for years. The Privy Council decision was made based on some of this work.  If he hadn't done the work then he wouldn't have had a case.

In effect the money enabled him to do new work, which as we know involved finding expert witnesses to back up his theories.  It enabled Bain to have a gold-lined defence, the kind that is normally only available to millionaire heirs who have knocked off the old man out of jealousy, all paid for by us sucker taxpayers.

Is there no limit to the amount of money that legal aid will pay out for a criminal defence???

Expert witnesses

Yes,one does wonder how much time Karam spent trying to find witnesses that would back up his theories. But he wouldn't have been on the phone day after day,week after week, for nearly 80 weeks.
It would be interesting to see his time sheets.

With the amount of time and

With the amount of time and money Karam used on the Bain case its incredible just how many cock ups he made with basic parts of the evidence.

Well that is one of the

Well that is one of the points that I am trying to make:  At $95 an hour you would expect to purchase a high degree of skill level and training.  LAS might well have been employing JK instead of a lawyer to do research, but he is no lawyer, so he should have been paid considerably less, more like $35 an hour.

I was thinking $12  

I was thinking $12

 

The government is way too

The government is way too prolifligate for that kind of thinking!

  You are joking surely?  

 

You are joking surely?   The government think !!  Thinking became a lost art for politicians about 1216,  thats the year  not the time.