Weekly Proceedings Update

Documents posted this week and hearings scheduled for next week – updated every Friday.

Scroll through for summaries of previous weeks.

  • 2020/01/31

    NOTICES

    REGULATORY NOTICES ARE THE FIRST STEP OF A PROCEEDING BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL.

     

    Garry Stevens Pierre, Paralegal Applicant (Ottawa)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on January 29, 2020.

    Mark Wade Smith, Lawyer (Stittsville)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on January 28, 2020.

    Jeramy Silverstein, Paralegal Applicant (Mississauga)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on January 28, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

    UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL HEARINGS ARE HELD AT 375 UNIVERSITY AVE. SUITE 402, TORONTO. THE LIST BELOW IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

     

    Osborne Godfrey Barnwell, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held from February 3-7, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 4.

    Shayle Frederick Rothman, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    A conduct hearing will be held on February 3, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 2.

    Jane Ann Ledwon, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A reinstatement hearing will be held on February 4, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

    Chakka Nola Ida Jean White, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A motion within a capacity hearing will be heard on February 5, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

    Dora Elia, Paralegal (Innisfil)

    A conduct hearing will be held on February 6, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

    James Alexander Kay, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A conduct hearing will be held on February 6-7, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 2.

     

    ORDERS

    BELOW ARE SUMMARIES OF RECENT TRIBUNAL ORDERS THAT HAVE DETERMINED A SIGNIFICANT MATTER SUCH AS THE STATUS OF A LICENSEE OR LICENSEE APPLICANT OR COSTS.

     

    Remy G. Boghossian, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Boghossian engaged in professional misconduct by committing the offences of fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained through the commission of an indictable offence. His licence is revoked and he is ordered to pay $2,000 in costs to the Law Society.

    Martin King Ian Rumack, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Rumack engaged in professional misconduct by failing to maintain books and records, by paying himself power of attorney compensation without authorization, and by paying himself estate trustee compensation that was excessive and unauthorized. His licence is suspended for one month, starting February 1, 2020, he is ordered to complete a passing of the estate accounts referred to above, and he is ordered to complete three additional hours of professional developm­ent. He is also ordered to pay $2,700 in costs to the Law Society.

    Charbel Constantine, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Ms. Constantine engaged in professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with a Law Society investigation. A reprimand is ordered, and costs submissions may be filed within two weeks.

    Kwok Keung Ngan, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Ngan engaged in professional misconduct by maintaining many client trust ledgers in his mixed trust account that had been inactive for more than 12 months. A reprimand is ordered, along with a variety of bookkeeping restrictions. He is also ordered to pay $10,000 in costs to the Law Society.

    Gabriella Varsha Deokaran, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Ms. Deokaran’s appeal is dismissed. Costs may be addressed by written submission.

    Jeffery Michael James Rehner, Lawyer (Chatham)

    Mr. Rehner engaged in professional misconduct by failing to serve his client, failing to answer communications with reasonable promptness, failing to be honest and candid with his client, and failing to return his client’s retainer funds. His licence is suspended for two months, starting February 3, 2020, and he is ordered to pay $5,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    REASONS

    WHEN TRIBUNAL ADJUDICATORS DECIDE A CASE OR PART OF A CASE, THEY USUALLY PROVIDE REASONS. ALL TRIBUNAL REASONS ARE POSTED ON THE CANLII WEBSITE.

     

    Gilbert Ngiem Wansome, Avocat (Ottawa)

    Wansome a avoué avoir détourné pour sa propre utilisation 72 025,60 $ de son compte de fiducie. Le Barreau a alors déposé un avis de motion pour suspension ou restriction interlocutoire. M. Wansome a indiqué qu’il souffrait depuis plusieurs mois de problèmes graves de santé, a fourni un certificat médical attestant de son incapacité totale pour six semaines et a demandé un ajournement de l’audience jusqu’à son rétablissement.  Le Barreau a répondu qu’il consentirait à l’ajournement conditionnellement à ce qu’une suspension interlocutoire intérimaire soit imposée pour la durée de l’ajournement. Le Barreau a demandé à M. Wansome s’il consentirait à cette condition, mais celui-ci n’a pas répondu.  M. Wansome ne s’est pas présenté à l’audience, et les efforts entrepris par le personnel du Tribunal pour le rejoindre furent sans succès. L’ajournement a été accordé en raison de la condition médicale de M. Wansome mais avec la condition qu’une suspension interlocutoire intérimaire soit ordonnée.

    Joseph Benoit Eugene Pierre Gauthier, avocat (Hawkesbury)

    Gauthier n’a fourni ni la copie du dossier client du plaignant demandé par le Barreau, ni la confirmation que le dossier avait été transféré au nouveau représentant. Dans un autre dossier du Barreau, M. Gauthier, qui était assujetti à une suspension administrative, n’a pas soumis un questionnaire sur le changement de catégorie, comme il devait le faire. M. Gauthier était conscient que l’audience se déroulait à la date fixée, mais il ne s’est cependant pas présenté.  La formation a donc procédé avec l’audience sommaire en son absence et a constaté que M. Gauthier a commis des manquements professionnels. Tandis que la formation s’était retirée pour prendre une décision sur la sanction, le Barreau a reçu une lettre, signée par le médecin de M. Gauthier, attestant que ce dernier ne pouvait pas voyager à Toronto depuis Ottawa, ou assister à une audience sans risque d’aggraver son rétablissement. La formation a pris une pause dans ses délibérations concernant la sanction afin d’accorder au Barreau l’occasion de communiquer davantage avec M. Gauthier, et pour que les parties puissent prendre une position concernant les prochaines étapes de cette procédure.

    Michael Anthony McKee, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

    Mr. McKee’s request to adjourn the penalty phase of his summary hearing was denied. He wished to obtain a medical report from his psychiatrist to rely on in mitigation of penalty. Mr. McKee had been aware of this hearing for some time but did not request accommodation until two days ago, when he advised that he would be seeking an adjournment to seek a medical report. The panel found that had been no medical evidence and no request for accommodation, despite a specific inquiry made to Mr. McKee by Law Society counsel.

    Michael Anthony McKee, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

    Mr. McKee admitted professional misconduct in failing to cooperate with four distinct investigations and by failing to report a potential claim to his insurer. Mr. McKee was suspended for 45 days, to continue indefinitely, until he complied with his regulatory obligations. The presumptive penalty in failure to co-operate matters, where a licensee has not responded before the hearing begins, is a one-month suspension but the panel found that an increased penalty was warranted in this case as Mr. McKee also had failed to report a claim to the insurer.

    Ian Neil McLean, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    Mr. McLean entered into an agreed statement of facts admitting the allegations, and that they constituted professional misconduct, in that he: (i) failed to serve a client in a construction lien matter by missing the deadline to respond to a request to admit, resulting in summary judgment and costs against the client; (ii) failed to serve the same client in a small claims court matter by failing to attend the trial after an unsuccessful recusal motion, and then reporting to the client that the Court of Appeal denied his appeal when it fact no appeal had been taken because the Court denied leave to appeal; (iii) withdrew $45,725 from trust prior to having done the work for which the retainer had been provided; and (iv) failed to maintain proper books and records of his law practice. Mr. McLean had a prior discipline record for pre-taking trust funds which had resulted in a two-month suspension that had been stayed pending appeal. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission that Mr. McLean should be permitted to surrender his licence to practise law, which the parties advised was part of a larger agreement that also disposed of the outstanding appeal.

    Calin A Lawrynowicz, Lawyer (Campbellville)

    Mr. Lawrynowicz was found to have engaged in various forms of professional misconduct in his representation of two clients, one of whom was a vulnerable 82-year-old widow, including by: misappropriating $425,570; encouraging the client to invest in his company without disclosing the conflict of interest; removing funds from trust without delivering an account; overcharging the client by nearly $400,000; and raising unmeritorious arguments in order to obstruct the assessment of his accounts which he delayed for over ten years. The panel revoked Mr. Lawrynowicz’s licence, having found that there was no evidence to mitigate the penalty from the presumptive penalty of revocation in cases involving deliberate dishonesty.

    Shiva Zareian Jahromi, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    The Law Society brought a motion, after the parties had closed their cases, to amend the wording of two particulars in its notice of application. The panel accepted that the amendments sought arose from Mr. Jahromi’s testimony, were minor and would cause no prejudice to Mr. Jahromi, and granted the motion.

    Pamela Jean Milne, Paralegal (Ajax)

    Ms. Milne provided legal services while suspended. She failed to cooperate with a Law Society investigation. She failed to notify the Law Society of changes to her contact information. The panel ordered Ms. Milne to respond to the Law Society’s investigator and to repay her fees to a client to whom she had provided legal services while suspended; if she did not comply within two months, she was to pay a fine of $2,000. The panel suspended Ms. Milne’s licence immediately, continuing indefinitely until she had complied with these terms and all pre-existing suspensions had ended. She then would be suspended for an additional four months.

    Charbel Constantine, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Constantine fulfilled, prior to the hearing, all outstanding requests for information and argued that his delay did not rise to the level of professional misconduct because it was owing to factors beyond his control. The panel held that records misfiled by the storage company, relocating offices and being a busy time of year did not excuse Mr. Constantine’s one-year delay which included five-and-a-half months of complete unresponsiveness. The panel dismissed Mr. Constantine’s motion to convert the proceedings to an invitation to attend, finding that, although Mr. Constantine had taken positive steps to improve organization in his office and had no discipline history, these were not exceptional circumstances that would warrant conversion; the panel imposed the penalty of a reprimand.

    Gabriella Varsha Deokaran, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Ms. Deokaran appealed a decision of the Hearing Panel finding that she had engaged in professional misconduct by failing to respond promptly and completely to Law Society requests for information, and the resultant one-month suspension. The appeal panel rejected Ms. Deokaran assertions that she had been denied procedural fairness due to the conduct of the parties at the hearing, holding that: (i) Law Society counsel had not violated the rule in Browne v. Dunn or its disclosure obligations, nor had it improperly relied on Ms. Deokaran’s prior administrative suspension; (ii) the adjudicator did not misapply the test for failing to respond and had no obligation to assist Ms. Deokaran at the hearing as she was represented by duty counsel; and (iii) Ms. Deokaran’s assertion of having received ineffective assistance from duty counsel was without factual foundation. Therefore, the panel dismissed the appeal.

Visit the Law Society Tribunal website at www.lawsocietytribunal.ca for more information about the Tribunal and for last-minute changes to the upcoming hearing schedule. For any questions, or to obtain copies of other public documents filed with the Tribunal, contact Ivy Johnson – Communications Coordinator, Law Society Tribunal, at 416-947-5248 or ijohnson@lso.ca.