The Law Society says it's unfair to blame poor standards within the legal profession for delays in the justice system.
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says as many as 20% of lawyers are failing their clients.
He says he's considering giving trial judges the power to impose a financial penalty on lawyers who cause trials to be delayed.
Law Society criminal law sub-committee convenor Jonathan Krebs says he would like to know which lawyers Mr Finlayson is talking about.
He also says there is an argument to be made that the police are clogging the system, by laying a substantial number of charges which are later withdrawn through lack of evidence.
Mr Krebs says he would like Mr Finlayson to consult the Law Society before making any recommendations to Cabinet.