Kassman tells lawyer to have professional courtesy

Opposition Leader Don Polye’s lawyer was told yesterday to have professional courtesy towards other parties and inform them of urgent applications that come before the court.

Justice Stephen Kassman made the comments after Alfred Luke Manase’s lawyer, Christine Copland, told the court they were not notified of the urgent application coming to Court on Sunday nor yesterday morning.

They became aware of the urgent application returning via newspaper reports describing it as an ambush on the part of Polye’s lawyer, Paulus Doa.

Doa, who was out of Port Moresby on the weekend, had another lawyer, John Napu, step in for him on Sunday, making an appearance before Justice Kassman. Polye was also in court on Sunday at 1.30pm with Napu.

Doa admitted in court yesterday that they wrote a letter to the Court Registry to have a judge allocated to hear the application on the weekend but could not inform lawyers representing Manase, Simpsons Lawyers.

He however, said they tried contacting the other parties via telephone and email but were unreachable. Manase’s lawyer said they didn’t receive any email or notice of the hearing date.

Justice Kassman told Doa that professional courtesy must be provided to his friends (the other party) before they approach a judge or get a judge from their weekend to hear an application they say is urgent.

Sally Pokiton