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Aspiring lawyer blocked from profession following ‘complicated’ history of litigation

An aspiring lawyer has been blocked from entering the profession due to her conduct in a long history of litigation, which included “not so subtle threats” made to witnesses, attempts to relitigate matters and alleging conspiracies she said had been hatched up by solicitors.

user iconNaomi Neilson 15 September 2023 Big Law
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The Supreme Court of Victoria refused Snezana Angeleska’s application for leave to appeal a decision made by a trial judge in favour of the Victorian Legal Admissions Board’s (VLAB) finding that she was not a fit and proper person to be admitted.

Ms Angeleska, who completed her law degree in 2014, was involved in a number of proceedings that were found to be “relevant to the question of whether she is now a fit and proper person”. In some, she acted as a litigation guardian and lay advocate.

In the first proceeding, Ms Angeleska’s husband had commenced proceedings against Victoria Police and was partially successful.

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Acting on his behalf, Ms Angeleska was commended for her work in what became a “large and complex trial”, but the judge also made a number of criticisms about her conduct throughout the matter.

This included asking questions of witnesses that were aimed at embarrassing them or included “not so subtle threats” that they would be sued, putting matters to witnesses without factual foundation, and being continuously argumentative despite warnings.

Ms Angeleska also commenced her own proceedings in November 2011, which lasted throughout the duration of her law degree. One issue found by the board was Ms Angeleska’s attempt to relitigate controversies that had been resolved in her husband’s matter.

She also refused to withdraw contested paragraphs from her statement of claim, which the judge in her proceedings found may have occasioned “unnecessary cost and delay to the other party” and was conduct that had verged on “abuse of process”.

In another matter concerning withdrawn abuse charges against police, Ms Angeleska sought to have the proceedings swapped into another court due to alleged “unfair treatment by three magistrates”.

In a 2012 proceeding, Ms Angeleska alleged a conspiracy between the lawyers for one party and those acting for her husband. This had been described by a judge as “scurrilous” conduct.

In dismissing an appeal of the VLAB’s decision, the trial judge found Ms Angeleska was unable to understand how her conduct in prior proceedings “reflects poorly on her being a fit and proper person”.

During the present application for special leave, VLAB emphasised this lack of understanding remained a significant issue.

“It was not simply the applicant’s inappropriate conduct, or her inadequate disclosure, that was the gravamen of the judge’s decision, but the applicant’s lack of understanding of and insight into that conduct and that disclosure,” the board submitted.

Chief Justice Anne Ferguson, together with Justices Richard Niall and Kristen Walker, found that while Ms Angeleska was able to state she had made mistakes, “she was unable to articulate clearly her current understanding of why her conduct was inappropriate”.

Naomi Neilson

Naomi Neilson

Naomi Neilson is a senior journalist with a focus on court reporting for Lawyers Weekly. 

You can email Naomi at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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