Clint Rickards

September 7th, 2008 at 7:56 am by David Farrar

The Herald on Sunday has an interview with Clint Rickards on why he wants to be a lawyer. I have to say he makes his case well, plus of course he has never been convicted of a crime.

More cynically I reflected that he might just be a damn good lawyer – he managed to get himself acquitted twice!

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22 Responses to “Clint Rickards”

  1. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    Rickards is entitled to the presumption of innocence. If he’d been convicted, Louise Nicholas would have been celebrating. But now she wants him to be denied a career. She wants to have her cake and eat it.

    Rickards is clearly trying to get on with his life. That’s an attitude that others critical of him might like to follow. I would note that his behaviour of 20 or more years ago should be given some but not a lot of weight when it is time to decide whether he should be allowed to register as a solicitor/barrister. There are no doubt many lawyers who are not proud of what they did 20 or more years ago, but that does not mean they should be disqualified to practice. I would also note that there are criminals within the police force, that is, officers with criminal convictions. To deny someone who does not have a conviction their chosen career is tantamount to restriction of trade. It’s like the bad old days of sport where a rugby player going to league was blackballed.

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  2. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    Ah yes, thanks Jackie. Hence the quote marks around ‘our’ Craig.

    In a court of law, but doesn’t the Law Society also have to come to a determinated about his character and judgement? Well, I frankly thought he showed his lack of both qualities when he fronted up to Court the first day in his uniform — which is a clear breech of regulations. Something an assistant commissioner would have known, don’t you think?

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  3. peterwn (3,333 comments) says:

    Ross – ‘Presumption of innocence’ is not the way these things are looked at. The issue is whether the candidate is a ‘fit and proper’ person to practice law. This goes deeper than criminal convictions. Time is also a ‘healer’ here, an old conviction even with respect to a serious matter does not disqualify a candidate. A recent drink-drive would not either (unlike the police where a single drink-drive is sufficient for rejection), but a string of drink-drives would disqualify a candidate (unless he showed that he had ‘dried out’ and was staying off the bottle). One test is, if the candidate was already a practicing lawyer, whether the matter complained of justified his or her striking off.

    Having his degree, ‘profs’ and his policing and managerial experience, his ability to practice law successfully would be more or less beyond doubt. It is general ‘character’ matters that would be of concern. However the issues of concern happened some time back so they tend to diminish in significance.

    I think he has a 50/50 chance of the Law Society giving him the appropriate certificate which the High Court will accept. If this is refused he can go straight to the High Court with IMO a 80% chance of success. If he is refused this time, he would be almost certainy admitted if he applied in 3 to 5 years time and keeps his nose clean in the meantime.

    As you said Clint is trying to get on with his lfe. This is a factor that also weighs with decision makers especially with ‘striking off’ issues. There is some reluctance to deny a person of his livliehood unless there are rather compelling reasons.

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  4. slightlyrighty (2,097 comments) says:

    As an aside, and putting aside his recent controversies, don’t you think that Rickards would be taking a harder line with complaints made to the police about Labour and NZ First if he was Police Comissioner?

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  5. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Why would anybody listen to a single word Louise Nicholas has to say.

    Give Rickards a license to practice Law, either that or beg the man to come back at take the reigns as commissioner of Police.

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  6. helmet (421 comments) says:

    OJ Simpson was acquitted as well.

    He and Clint, both innocent as lambs, persecuted by the law.

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  7. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    I’ve just blogged about this. The crucial line from the interview is this one:

    “”I deserve another chance,” he says. “Let’s be clear, I haven’t done anything, okay?””

    He still seems to be in denial over the “Rotorua years”.

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  8. goodgod (1,317 comments) says:

    The Louise Nicholas case has nothing to do with his application, since the event happened some twenty odd years ago. It’s only recent in the public mind. The whole thing was a trial of the traits of people who no longer exist – a revenge… sorry, “closure” case. It was truly bizarre from start to finish. In interviews with Rickards during the case, he said he had made some bad decisions as a young policeman. To be able to see that a bad choice has been made, allows someone to change. The Rickards of the “Rotorua years” is not applying. So the decision must be made on what kind of man Rickards is now, not what kind of man he was 20 years ago.

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  9. headstuckinlawbooks (20 comments) says:

    I’m a law student at Auckland Uni… this is incredibly judgmental (especially for a hopefully-soon-to-be-lawyer!) and does not go to his suitability to practice law………….. but……….. Rickards has been in some of my lectures and in all honesty this guy just creeps me out. He has this presence that is just intimidating, even crossing him on the stairs makes you feel uncomfortable. Its easy to shrug my comments off, but until you’ve been close to him its hard to describe how he just makes you feel weirded out, and I swear that even without knowing about the Nicholas case you’d feel that way. Its nice not having him around any more

    At the stage I’m at I don’t yet know much about admission to the bar, but from what I’ve heard the standard is “good and honest character” (???). I think people need to keep it straight in their heads that “not guilty” does NOT necessarily mean “innocent”, it just means that the Crown could not prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubt – a high burden of proof to meet.

    What I will find interesting is that if he is admitted, what sort of clientele he’s going to attract!

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  10. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    “plus of course he has never been convicted of a crime”

    Well no wonder he can’t be a lawyer. He may have problems getting into Australia as well. :P

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  11. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    Inventory wrote: “He still seems to be in denial over the ‘Rotorua years'”.

    I don’t read it that way at all. He has admitted that he engaged in group sex, as did a number of other cops at the time. That’s not being in denial. I suspect that most people who engage in group sex – and there are likely to be lawyers among them – tend to be discreet about it.

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  12. Viking2 (11,674 comments) says:

    He will be nasty, vengeful and I suspect anti police. He will go after everyone who has crossed his path on the wrong side. And don’t forget he has said that those of his mates that are still in jail are still his good friends, despite their lack of remorse and their being judged guilty!!! Not being convicted does not mean not guilty, at least of compromising behavior against the very standards he was employed to uphold. The man is a bully.

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  13. Chuck Bird (4,896 comments) says:

    I believe there is a fair bit of sexism against Rickards. How many remember Karen Soich? She was not convicted of anything but was a lawyer at the time she was the lover of murderer and drug dealer, Terry Clark. She was struck off as a lawyer but is now back practicing law.

    I think the strongest case against Rickards was his inappropriate comments when he left Court. They were not wise but were made after a very stressful time. Breaking police regulations by wearing his uniform does not sound like something serious enough to be of bad character.

    As for the group sex thing Parliament is meant to be the highest court in the land and David Benson Peep is still there. According to Ian Wishart and Whale we have a Labour MP who was and possibly is still a drug addict. And let us not forget Sue Bradford.

    Either just before or while Clark was being investigated for forgery lawyer Simon Mitchell bought and destroyed the evidence. The police decided not to charge him with perverting the course of justice. I filed a written complaint with the Auckland District Law Society. They decided to take no action and refused to discuss the matter. I would consider perverting the course of justice as more serious than indulging in group sex.

    I accept that being found not guilty does not mean one is innocent. However, like in many rape cases it was his word against hers. I was not in court but I do not believe there was any other evidence.

    Maybe some remember the Nick Wills case some years ago. A young law student was falsely accused rape. The complainant was convicted of making a false complaint. She was granted permanent name suppression. She was a fellow student. If she was also at law school she could be practicing law.

    I have even heard on another blog that a good reason for not allowing him to practice law would be his attitude towards women. If that were the case there should be a number of female lawyers struck off for there attitude towards men. Denise Ritchie would be the first to come to mind this being Father’s Day. She thinks Father’s day should be a day of shame for fathers because of who sexually abuse their daughters.

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  14. Craig Ranapia (1,266 comments) says:

    I think the strongest case against Rickards was his inappropriate comments when he left Court. They were not wise but were made after a very stressful time.

    So, you think lawyers don’t get frustrated and stressed with long, complex cases — especially when they lose? More special pleading.

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  15. Chuck Bird (4,896 comments) says:

    So, you think lawyers don’t get frustrated and stressed with long, complex cases — especially when they lose? More special pleading.

    Of course they do but I think someone just been found not guilty of a charge that could send them to jail for ten years would be a lot more stressed than a lawyer how lost a case. Very often they will have a drink with the opposing lawyer.

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  16. side show bob (3,410 comments) says:

    If that paragon of high ethical standards ( Winnie the Poodle ) can be a lawyer why not poor old Clint??

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  17. He-Man (269 comments) says:

    The only reason it took 20 years to get to court was because the crooked cops were looking out for each other!

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  18. dave strings (607 comments) says:

    I think the man has at least one excellent thought: Move On!

    While I had no great opinion of the man when he was accused, he did go through the appropriate process of being charged, tried and found “Not Guilty”.

    This is a country, like many others, where there are only two possible verdicts in a trial, the accused is either guilty or not guilty. In Scotland there are three possible verdicts, Guilty, Innocent and Not Proven; the Not Proven verdict indicating (I think) that the jury or judge do not believe the ‘burden of proof” has been met by either side and so the case remains open – something that allows another trial in just the same way as a hung jury.

    Given our binary system, and given that I believe in the rule of law not public opinion, I cannot condone a decision to prohibit this man doing anything at all because of the two trials and the circumstances leading up to them. If group sex was a crime there might be some grounds for a ‘character’ decision to go against him, but, just like lesbianism, homosexuality and bisexuality it’s not.

    Let’s all move on and encourage the print media to find something else, like constructive journalism, to act as a lever for sales!

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  19. happy-jacko (64 comments) says:

    The woman in this country play a fine line when calling victim – one minute they want to be equal and next they play victim. mmmmm.
    How about these poor guys – were they victims when Nichols and her mates all turned up to their places. mmm. They all forgot about that scenario. Were they victims then and were they frightened?

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  20. dad4justice (6,594 comments) says:

    The baton story made ALL teenage girls frightened VICTIMS, bent pigs stink real bad. Got a greased Baton Mr Lawyer ? I’ll see you in a Courthouse Mr Scumbag.

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  21. J1 (3 comments) says:

    He has a really bad energy and you can clearly see he has done it and that he is covering the truth in his eyes. I would not trust him. Louise Wallace would not of put herself through all that she did for lies. It is such a shame he was not convicted and that he did not come to speak the truth, it would set him free and help set her free. The worst thing for someone that has been raped is the way society treats you, like you are not a real soul or person like you are a victim, the blame.
    And secondly is the rapist not admiting it, so you feel like there is never closure.
    There needs to be made more education about rape and abuse and also we need to stand up and not tolerate it at all, there would be less cases. With the cases the have happened the perpertrator needs to be held accountable and made to go to a program to learn to take responsbility and grow or if he is refuses then jail is the only option.
    Children should not be subject to this.
    Poor Clint Rickards children if he cared for them at all he would tell the truth, they must be living in such a fantasy land but yet so deeply in denial and unhappy he can not be called a father.

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  22. J1 (3 comments) says:

    Sorry I meant Louise ‘Nichols’ not Wallace.

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