Byline: Senan Molony Political Editor
COURTS face disruption today when a number of lawyers funded by the taxpayer go on strike.
And three solicitors leading the protest against the 10 per cent trimming of the State's Free Legal Aid bill have benefited by millions of euro in recent years.
The action by the newly formed Criminal Law Practitioners' Organisation is expected to affect criminal courts across the country as it represents some of the highest-earning legal briefs. And the hub of cases - the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin - is the focus of the action.
Lawyers' representative groups, the Law Society and the Bar Council, have refused to back the move, which Justice Minister Alan Shatter described last night as 'absolutely extraordinary'. He said: 'I am concerned and astounded at this proposal to withdraw services from clients who have been granted criminal legal aid by the courts and assigned legal representation.'
A solicitor being paid under the Free Legal Aid scheme can expect to earn, on average, …