find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Dr Death's lawyer confident he'll win appeal

Dr Death's lawyer confident he'll win appeal

Dr Jayant Patel, the Indian surgeon convicted of killing three patients and occasioning grievous bodily harm against another, has a very good chance of winning his appeal, says his…

Dr Jayant Patel, the Indian surgeon convicted of killing three patients and occasioning grievous bodily harm against another, has a very good chance of winning his appeal, says his lawyer.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Queensland-based criminal defence lawyer Kerry Smith-Douglas, of Douglas Law, said her legal team, which includes high-profile silk Ken Fleming QC, is "feeling very confident" about winning the appeal, which is set to be heard in March next year.

Patel, who earned the moniker "Dr Death" after he was investigated for the deaths of 87 patients at Bundaberg Base Hospital where he was employed as head surgeon, was investigated and convicted of three counts of manslaughter and one count of grievous bodily harm in June this year.

Patel's original legal team recently withdrew from the matter, citing financial reasons, and Patel approached Smith-Douglas to take on the case, which she agreed to do pro bono.

"[Patel] has advised me that they're out of funds and they have utilised all their funds with their former lawyers. The well has dried up, basically," said Smith-Douglas.

"I feel that he has been badly done by, and he is the only doctor in the history of Australia that has received such a heavy sentence. The medical fraternity is very concerned with the decision, so we're appealing."

Smith-Douglas is no stranger to high-profile cases, with other clients including convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby and accused triple murderer Max Sica.

"We've got about 11 murders on our plate at present," said Smith-Douglas.

"I like to fight for peoples' rights. There's usually a reason they have committed murder. We use a ... forensic psychologist and he can advise us if there is something that has gone wrong in the mind of the defendant. The courts are always interested to know why people do certain things at certain times."

Claire Chaffey

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Dr Death's lawyer confident he'll win appeal
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Oct 19 2017
‘Ego status’ compelled ex-lawyer to defraud $2.97m, court told
Debarred lawyer John Gordon Bradfield told an NSW District Court that he was driven by “ego status...
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legislation,
Oct 19 2017
ALA welcomes ‘tough’ Qld manslaughter laws
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed Queensland’s new industrial manslaughter legisl...
Legal podcasts, tune in, microphone
Oct 19 2017
Legal podcasts you have to tune in to right now
The rise of the internet has hailed in a new dawn for storytelling. Here’s our top pick of podcast...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...