Weekly Proceedings Update

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

Scroll through for summaries of previous weeks.

  • 18/09/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Carrie Alexandra Fiorillo, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding capacity was filed on September 17, 2020.

     

    Robert Bruce Gordon Stewart, Lawyer (Collingwood)

    A notice of application regarding a terms dispute was filed on September 11, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Seth Kwame Awuku, Lawyer Applicant (Brampton)

    A licensing hearing will be held on September 21 & 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Walter James Dick, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A capacity hearing will be held on September 23, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Osborne Godfrey Barnwell, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on September 24 & 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Shawn Andrew Gerry Hamilton, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on September 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    No new orders were posted this week.

     

    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.

     

    Fredrick Barry Goodman, Paralegal (Toronto)

    The Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), joined by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO), successfully moved to quash a summons issued by Mr. Goodman, the respondent in a conduct application. Mr. Goodman argued that no costs were appropriate because the evidence to have been brought by the summonsed witness was important to his defence, but the panel noted that Mr. Goodman’s arguments had already been raised and rejected on the motion, which was found to have been an abuse of process and prolonged by Mr. Goodman’s failure to identify the purported relevance of the vast amounts of material sought. Therefore, the panel awarded the requested costs of $5,850 to MAG and $5,000 to LSO, which had already been significantly discounted.

  • 11/09/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Ikechukwu Jonathan Awgu, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on September 8, 2020.

     

    Hezekiah Ho-Fai Tai, Paralegal Applicant (Markham)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on September 4, 2020.

     

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Pradeep Bridglal Pachai, Lawyer Applicant (Toronto)

    A licensing hearing will be held from September 14-16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Neil Lawrence Boyko, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A motion to vary or cancel an interlocutory order hearing will be held on September 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Claudio Martini & Maria Frances Marusic, Lawyers (Windsor)

    A motion within two conduct hearings will be heard on September 14, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Shiva Zareian Jahromi, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    A conduct hearing will be held on September 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Sébastien Gauthier, parajuriste (Ottawa)

    Une audience sommaire de conduite est prévue pour le 18 septembre 2020 à 10 h par vidéoconférence.

     

    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.

     

    Jane Ann Ledwon, Lawyer (Vancouver, BC)

    The order made by Convocation on September 25, 1997 finding that Ms. Ledwon was incapable of practising law shall be varied based on a material change in circumstances. Ms. Ledwon is reinstated, dependent upon her complying with a variety of terms.

     

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Further to its order of April 7, 2020, the panel orders that Mr. Isaac will pay $3,300 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.

     

    Dora Elia, Paralegal (Innisfil)

    Ms. Elia did not challenge any of the facts put forward by the Law Society and admitted professional misconduct. Because she committed a number of serious dishonest acts over a two-year period, demonstrating a lack of integrity and honesty and betraying her clients’ trust, the panel decided to revoke her licence. She was also ordered to pay $16,000 in costs over four years.

     

    Benito Antonio Zappia, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Mr. Zappia acknowledged the facts alleged and that they constituted professional misconduct by failing, over a period of a year and a half, to provide responses to Law Society requests for information in relation to three investigations, failing to attend for an interview and failing to keep proper books and records since June of 2015. In accordance with the joint submission of the parties, the panel decided to suspend Mr. Zappia indefinitely until he responded fully and brought his books and records into compliance, after which he would serve a two-month suspension.

    Elena Magayano Ross, Paralegal (St. Catharines)

    Ms. Ross did not respond to communications about this hearing despite being served in accordance with the Rules, and so the hearing proceeded in her absence. Ms. Ross did not respond to numerous communications regarding three complaints and so the panel made a finding of professional misconduct. Her licence was suspended immediately and continuing indefinitely until she complied with the investigator’s requests. A fine of $2,000 was also ordered as well as a conditional fine of $2,000 if she did not comply by September 7, 2020. She was also ordered to pay $3,883 in costs.

     

    Jeramy Silverstein, Paralegal Applicant (Mississauga)

    Mr. Silverstein was convicted of criminal offences committed between 2003 and 2007. The offences and the period over which they occurred raised issues about his integrity and honesty. Many years had passed since the criminal conduct and he had expressed remorse, successfully made rehabilitative efforts and has exhibited good conduct since. The panel found Mr. Silverstein to be currently of good character and allowed the application, as well as imposed terms related to an undischarged bankruptcy that had been agreed upon by the parties.

     

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    The Law Society sought costs for its successful motion to dismiss Mr. Isaac’s appeal for delay. The approach to how to consider factors influencing costs was set out in Perrelli, and the panel decided that the Law Society incurred costs to bring this motion which should not have been borne solely by the professions. The underlying issue was moot and no effort was made to perfect the appeal for over three years. Because the bill of costs was reasonable, and the motion to dismiss the appeal was successful and was reasonably brought, the panel ordered that Mr. Isaac pay the Law Society $3,300 in costs.

  • 04/09/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Sébastien Gauthier, parajuriste (Ottawa)

    Un avis de requête sur la conduite a été  déposé le 19 août 2020.

     

    Martin Christopher Schulz, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 14, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Garry Stevens Pierre, Paralegal Applicant (Ottawa)

    A licensing hearing will be held on September 8, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Derek Francesco Sorrenti, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    A motion for interlocutory suspension or restriction hearing will be held on September 8, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Jeramy Silverstein, Paralegal Applicant (Mississauga)

    Mr. Silverstein is currently of good character, and, following qualification and other requirements, he will be eligible for a paralegal licence, in accordance with a variety of terms.

     

    Dean Randall Adema, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Adema engaged in professional misconduct and/or conduct unbecoming of a licensee by failing to comply with a judge’s order and failing to respond to a Law Society investigation. His licence is revoked and he is ordered to pay $12,000 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.

     

    Michael Joseph Doupe, Lawyer (New Liskeard)

    Mr. Doupe admitted to professional misconduct in the agreed statement of facts. He also submitted a character reference and letters from a clinical psychologist. The parties made a joint submission that Mr. Doupe be reprimanded and pay costs of $8,000, which the panel accepted.

     

    Gerald Keith Culliton, Lawyer (Stratford)

    Mr. Culliton sought to adjourn the hearing to retain counsel and so that the hearing could occur in-person. The panel reasoned that the request was brought at the last minute and was not an exceptional circumstance, and, additionally, an in-person hearing was not required and if granted would result in a delay. Mr. Culliton argued that the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act stayed the deadline for him to comply with the Law Society’s requests for information, but the panel found that the regulation did not apply to investigations and did not excuse any failure to meet his regulatory obligations, and so suspended Mr. Culliton for two months and ordered that he pay $5,000 in costs within 18 months.

     

    Luigi Savone, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    This was the second appeal in this matter. This appeal panel had allowed Mr. Savone’s appeal from a finding of knowing participation in fraudulent real estate transactions and substituted the finding that Mr. Savone failed to be on guard against becoming a tool or dupe of his client. It also allowed Mr. Savone’s appeal from the penalty of revocation. The appeal panel now considered the issues of the penalty for that substituted finding and the costs of this appeal. The Law Society submitted that the penalty should be a 12-18 month suspension, while Mr. Savone submitted that there were substantial mitigating factors that should result in either a reprimand or, at most, a two-month suspension. The Law Society sought $25,000 in costs for this appeal, while Mr. Savone sought costs of $27,005.41. The panel imposed a three-month suspension, denied any costs to Mr. Savone, and awarded costs of $25,000 to the Law Society.

     

  • 28/08/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Roberto Cucci, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 24, 2020.

     

    Richard Desmond Jackman, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A notice of application regarding non-compliance was filed on August 21, 2020.

     

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 20, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Dean Randall Adema, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on August 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Darcy John Daoust, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    Mr. Daoust engaged in professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with several Law Society investigations. His licence is suspended until he has fully cooperated with the investigations and for one month after that, and he is ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and another $2,000 fine if he has not cooperated by September 21, 2020. He is also ordered to pay $6,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Luigi Savone, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    Further to its order of July 19, 2019, Mr. Savone’s licence is suspended for three months, and he is ordered to pay $25,000 in costs.

     

    Gerald Keith Culliton, Lawyer (Stratford)

    Mr. Culliton engaged in professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with and respond to a Law Society investigation. His licence is suspended for two months and continuing after that until he has fully cooperated with the investigation, 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.

     

    Fredrick Barry Goodman, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Mr. Goodman’s conduct of litigation with his former client was characterized by the court as a vexatious and abusive “avalanche of litigious proceedings”. The panel found that Mr. Goodman took every conceivable step to delay, obstruct and avoid a resolution of the matter, which spanned 26 months and required 23 appearances, flouted numerous court orders, abused the process of the courts and blamed everyone but himself while failing to realize that he was required to facilitate an examination of his accounts. The panel found that Mr. Goodman failed to act with integrity and brought disrespect upon the professions and the administration of justice as a whole. A penalty hearing is to be scheduled.

  • 21/08/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Gilbert Ngieme Wansome, avocat (Ottawa)

    Un avis d’appel a été  déposé par l’avocat le 14 août 2020.

     

    Neil Lawrence Boyko, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 17, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Stuart Cameron Murray, Lawyer (Kitchener)

    A motion within a conduct hearing will be held from August 26-27, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Charles Thomas Polanski, Lawyer Applicant (Toronto)

    A licensing hearing will be held from August 24-28, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    David Wallace Dubinsky, Lawyer (Thunder Bay)

    Mr. Dubinsky committed professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with eight Law Society investigations, several instances of failing to serve a client to the standard of a competent lawyer, failing to deposit funds into his trust account, failing to notify clients of his suspension, practising law while suspended, failing to file a Compliance Report while suspended and transferring fees out of his trust account without delivering a billing to his client. His licence is revoked and he is ordered to pay $15,000 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.

     

    Bradley Ian Dinning, Paralegal (Chatham)

    The panel denied Mr. Dinning’s request for an adjournment to retain counsel, reasoning that the request was late, Mr. Dinning did not show that he had made timely reasonable efforts to retain counsel, and because this was a summary hearing. Mr. Dinning conceded that he engaged in professional misconduct by not providing a complete and timely response. The panel decided that, although a one-month suspension may be the usual order where there is a second instance of failing to co-operate, the misconduct alleged here preceded the earlier finding and penalty against Mr. Dinning, and so the panel ordered a reprimand and $5,152.52 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Ranjit Singh Gill, Paralegal (Brampton)

    Mr. Gill did not attend the hearing, though properly served, and was found in his absence to have failed to respond to requests for information in relation to two complaints. Mr. Gill had a 2018 finding for the same misconduct for which he remained non-compliant and suspended, and so the panel ordered indefinite suspension, pending compliance with the investigations, a two-month suspension to begin after completion of all other suspensions, a $2,000 fine and an additional $2,000 fine if compliance was not achieved within two months.

  • 14/08/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Melanie Gloria Christine Zopf, Paralegal (Scarborough)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 11, 2020.

     

    Rahul Malhotra, Lawyer Applicant (Mississauga)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on August 11, 2020.

     

    Zijad Saskin, Lawyer (Niagara Falls)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 10, 2020.

     

    Rajvinder Singh Grewal, Lawyer (Brampton)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 10, 2020.

     

    Ishwar Roopnarine Dharneshwar Sharma, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 10, 2020.

     

    Mark Louis Jacobson, Lawyer (Maple)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 10, 2020.

     

    Jennifer Mae Dietrich Suzor, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 7, 2020.

     

    Ghazal Qureshi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 6, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Jeramy Silverstein, Paralegal Applicant (Mississauga)

    A licensing hearing will be held on August 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Jane Louise Slark-Perez, Paralegal (Hamilton)

    A conduct hearing will be held on August 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Darcy John Daoust, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A conduct hearing will be held on August 21, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Trung Thanh Do, Paralegal (Mississauga)

    A conduct hearing will be held on August 21, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Elena Magayano Ross, Paralegal (St. Catharines)

    Ms. Ross committed professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with and respond to three Law Society investigations. Her licence is suspended until she has fully cooperated with the investigations, and for one month after that, and she is ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, another $2,000 fine if she has not cooperated by September 7, 2020, and $3,883 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.

     

    Shiva Zareian Jahromi, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    The panel found that Ms. Jahromi engaged in misconduct in relation to four private mortgage transactions involving two different clients, engaging in fraudulent conduct, being a party to misappropriation and misrepresentation, improperly dealing in mortgages and misleading mortgagors. Ms. Jahromi also commissioned a statutory declaration without having administered the oath or affirmation and without being present when it was signed. The panel decided that, as she was acting in her capacity as a paralegal when she commissioned the statutory declaration, she engaged in professional misconduct when she did so. A penalty hearing will be scheduled.

     

    Robyrt Hawyrden Regan, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    The panel found that the Tribunal has the authority to order that an appeal be heard by videoconference. It reasoned that oral evidence, including when credibility is at stake, can be fairly and effectively heard by videoconference, and further, that the administration of justice cannot wait for the pandemic to be over. Therefore the appeal will proceed by videoconference.

  • 07/08/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Ljiljanic Bozdar Dragan, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on August 5, 2020.

     

    Jan-Lee McKenzie Hughes, Paralegal (Hagersville)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 31, 2020.

     

    Marina Ambridge, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 30, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    David Wallace Dubinsky, Lawyer (Thunder Bay)

    A conduct hearing will be held on August 13, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Richard Adedayo Odeleye, Lawyer (Woodbridge)

    A conduct hearing will be held from August 10-14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Leon Wickham, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

    The Law Society’s motion for a continued adjournment is granted. The restrictions on Mr. Wickham’s licence to practise law will continue to be varied.

     

    Harry Smith LaForme, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Honourable Mr. LaForme, a retired judge, is permitted to appear as counsel on two class actions due to exceptional circumstances.

     

    Alpesh Patel, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Patel committed professional misconduct by failing to respond to a Law Society investigation. His licence is suspended for one month and continuing after that until he has fully cooperated with the investigation.

     

    Alpesh Patel, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Further to the above order, the panel orders that Mr. Patel will pay $3,500 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.

     

    Tang Trang Nguyen, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Appeal Division dismissed Mr. Nguyen’s appeal of the Hearing Division decision to revoke his licence and pay $10,000 in costs. Mr. Nguyen argued against costs on the appeal saying that the appeal raised a novel issue, but the panel concluded that the novel issue was resolved based on well-established precedents and that the costs incurred by the Law Society in responding to a lengthy and complex appeal should not be borne solely by the professions. Therefore, the panel ordered Mr. Nguyen to pay $20,000 in costs in five annual installments.

     

    William Leonard Turner, Lawyer Applicant (Ottawa)

    Mr. Turner had a history of criminal convictions and serious misconduct. The misconduct occurred between 2000 and 2016 and an arrest warrant remained outstanding. The panel found that Mr. Turner was not remorseful and did not have material insight into his own misconduct. There was also no evidence of successful rehabilitation with respect to the misuse of alcohol or more generally. Finding that Mr. Turner failed to demonstrate good character at the time of the hearing, the panel dismissed the licensing application.

     

    Todd Elliott Speck, Lawyer Applicant (London)

    Mr. Speck’s motion for production was dismissed. The Law Society sought costs of the motion and asked that the licensing hearing be stayed until the costs had been paid. Mr. Speck filed a large amount of material, seeking production of documents, many of which did not exist, nor did he modify his request after this became clear. The Law Society provided no precedent for staying a licensing hearing pending payment of costs for a motion. The panel ultimately decided that the Law Society’s bill of costs was fair and reasonable. Given the pandemic, the panel gave Mr. Speck one year to pay $6,400 in costs.

     

    Alpesh Patel, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Patel requested an adjournment at the hearing, saying that he would be able to comply within a week and also that he had been ill. The panel found no exceptional circumstances to grant a postponement and denied the request; the evidence showed Mr. Patel had not fully co-operated with the Law Society. Mr. Patel had no prior disciplinary record. The panel ordered a one-month suspension followed by an indefinite suspension. The Law Society sought costs, including costs for investigator time, but the panel found that the amount sought by the Law Society was high for a short and straightforward summary hearing, and, taking all of the factors into account, including a reasonable portion of the lawyer and investigator time claimed, awarded costs of $3,500.

  • 24/07/2020

    NOTICES

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

    Patricia Colleen Williams, Paralegal Applicant (North York)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on July 22, 2020

    Murray Delbert Stroud, Lawyer (Pickering)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 16, 2020.

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

    Harry Smith LaForme, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A retired judge appearing as counsel hearing will be held on July 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    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.

    Michael Joseph Doupe, Lawyer (New Liskeard)

    Mr. Doupe sent correspondence to a client that was offensive and inconsistent with the proper tone of professional communications. He also failed to treat the court with courtesy and respect and failed to treat others with whom he had dealings in the course of his practice with courtesy. Mr. Doupe was reprimanded and ordered to pay $8,000 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.

    Terry Michael Walman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Walman was a director, officer, and part owner of a mortgage corporation. He was also one of its lawyers. A mortgage was registered in favour of the corporation, but it refused to advance the funds when it realized that the appraised value of the property did not meet its criteria. Mr. Walman admitted that he engaged in professional misconduct by refusing to discharge the mortgage once it was clear that the loan transaction would not proceed. Despite knowing that the mortgagor was in financial difficulty and that she required clear title to sell the property, he refused to discharge the mortgage unless the mortgagor signed a release and paid various fees and expenses, not all of which actually had been incurred. The panel accepted the joint submission of the parties and ordered a one-month suspension.

    Maria Louisa L. Diaz, Lawyer (Unionville)

    The parties completed an agreed statement of facts and Ms. Diaz acknowledged that the facts constitute proof of professional misconduct as alleged. The parties jointly submitted that a reprimand should be imposed. Despite earlier discipline, the Law Society submitted that the prior discipline is unrelated to a failure to respond to the Law Society. Ms. Diaz co-operated in bringing the matter forward and medical documentation was filed that showed she had medical issues and was actively being assessed and treated. The respondent was reprimanded and costs of $3,750 are payable to the Law Society.

    Brian Curtis Smith, Paralegal (Kitchener)

    Mr. Smith did not participate in the hearing. He did not communicate with the Law Society except to indicate that he would not be providing the information requested. Mr. Smith engaged in professional misconduct when he failed to reply promptly and completely to the various communications from the Law Society. A one-month suspension was ordered, to be followed by an indefinite suspension until a complete response is provided. Fixed and conditional fines were also ordered as it appears that Mr. Smith does not intend to return to the profession. Costs of $4,500 are payable to the Law Society.

    Marie-José Beauplan-Mann, Lawyer (Dundalk)

    Mme Beauplan-Mann n’a pas d’antécédents disciplinaires, mais n’avait pas mis en conformité ses livres et registres à la date de l’audience. Les titulaires de permis sont tenus de tenir en permanence leurs livres et registres financiers conformément au règlement administratif. Les circonstances atténuantes de Mme Beauplan-Mann, bien que compréhensibles, n’expliquent pas le défaut de longue date de tenue conforme de ses registres. Une suspension ferme d’un mois, et une suspension indéfinie jusqu’à ce que les livres et les registres soient en ordre. Des dépens d’un montant de 9 000 $ seront versés au Barreau.

    Gilbert Ngieme Wansome, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    M Wansome a omis de répondre sans délai et sans rien omettre aux demandes de renseignements du Barreau dans le cadre de deux enquêtes. Le permis de l’avocat sera suspendu pour un mois, une fois qu’il aura fourni tous les renseignements demandés, et après l’achèvement de la suspension interlocutoire actuellement en vigueur. Il y aura une amende conditionnelle de 2 000 $ pour l’encourager à se conformer aux demandes en suspens, et une amende fixe de 2 000 $ pour tenir compte du fait que la suspension ne prendra pas effet si son permis est révoqué dans le cadre d’une autre procédure. M Wansome doit payer des dépens d’un montant de 6 000 $, tel que demandé par le Barreau ce qui représente une réduction de plus de 50 % par rapport au temps consacré. C’est un montant élevé pour une audience sommaire contestée d’une demi-journée, mais cette affaire impliquait une durée inhabituelle avec quatre conférences de gestion de l’instance et quatre conférences préparatoires à l’audience avant que les parties ne parviennent à l’audience sommaire.

  • 17/07/2020

    NOTICES

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

    No new notices were posted this week.

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

    Michael Joseph Doupe, Lawyer (New Liskeard)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Elnaz Mazinani, Lawyer (North York)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Claudius Tadeusz Croiset Van Uchelen, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 23, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Ranjit Singh Gill, Paralegal (Brampton)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 24, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Bradley Ian Dinning, Paralegal (Chatham)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 24, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. by videoconference.

    Vivek David, Lawyer (Scarborough)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. by videoconference.

    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.

    Marie-Jose Beauplan-Mann, avocate (Dundalk)

    Mme Beauplan-Mann s’est conduite d’une façon qui constitue un manquement professionnel et est indigne d’un titulaire de permis, en omettant de tenir ses livres et registres en conformité avec le règlement administratif adéquat. Mme Beauplan-Mann est suspendue pour une période d’un mois et restera suspendue jusqu’à ce qu’elle ait mis en conformité ses livres et registres. Elle versera au Barreau des dépens d’un montant totalisant 9 000 $.

    Gilbert Ngieme Wansome, avocat (Ottawa)

    M. Wansome s’est conduit d’une façon qui constitue un manquement professionnel en omettant de répondre sans délai et sans rien omettre aux demandes de renseignements du Barreau dans le cadre des deux enquêtes. M. Wansome est suspendu de manière indéfinie, et ce jusqu’à ce qu’il fournisse une réponse complète et qu’il ait complété toutes les suspensions actuelles de son permis. Il devra payer une amende déterminée de 2 000 $ au Barreau, ainsi qu’une amende additionnelle  de 2 000 $, s’il ne fournit pas une réponse complète d’ici le 5 aout 2020. M. Wansome doit verser au Barreau des dépens de 6 000 $.

    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.

    William Ndze Fuhgeh (Ottawa)

    The Law Society brought two sets of allegations against Mr. Fuhgeh. The first alleged improper conduct toward his client, other lawyers, the Federal Court and the administration of justice in his representation of the client on an application for judicial review of an employment tribunal’s decision. The second set alleged harassing conduct toward the complainant (his ex-partner), including the issuance of threatening and unfounded complaints for the purpose of influencing family law litigation between them concerning their son. The panel found that all of the allegations of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming had been proven, except  improperly alleging that the chair of the tribunal whose decision was under review was biased against the lawyer’s client and filing unfounded professional discipline complaints against his ex-partner. In dismissing this latter allegation, the panel held that s. 36(3) of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA), which precludes any evidence of what takes place in an RHPA regulatory proceeding from being adduced in a civil proceeding, applied in these circumstances, where the other proceeding was before the independent adjudicative tribunal of another regulator.

    Adam Barry Sheps (Toronto)

    Mr. Sheps brought a motion for an order preventing public access to the entirety of a medical report. The Tribunal is bound to uphold the open court principle. The Tribunal has discretion to make a not public order, non-disclosure order or publication ban and must exercise this discretion cautiously. The public is entitled to review and consider the evidence on which the panel determined that Mr. Sheps was incapacitated and issued an order setting out the conditions he would need to meet to return to practising law. Minor redactions were permitted that protect the privacy of third parties and the respondent’s childhood history.

    Adam Barry Sheps (Toronto)

    Mr. Sheps self-reported criminal harassment charges against him. An interlocutory suspension order followed and the Law Society launched a capacity application. Based on the agreed statement of facts and underlying psychiatric assessment report, the panel accepted the joint submission of the parties as reasonable. Mr. Sheps was found to be incapacitated within s.37 of the Act and is incapable of meeting his obligations as a licensee on account of mental illness. Mr. Sheps’ licence is suspended until he has provided the required medical evidence. No costs were awarded.

    Khalid Aziz Sheikh (Mississauga)

    Mr. Sheikh admitted to engaging in multiple forms of professional misconduct, which included acting while in a conflict of interest, failing to render accounts to a client, rendering fees that were unreasonable, failing to pay HST, and sharp practice. Some of his misconduct was egregious, particularly failing to advise a client that he was charging for work done for the client’s sister, his conflict of interest in doing so, and the steps he took not only to obtain default judgment, but also a garnishment, without advising opposing counsel. Mr. Sheikh did not have a discipline history and he co-operated in the investigation. He also executed an agreed statement of facts, saving the expense of a lengthy hearing. Mr. Sheikh’s financial difficulties may have unduly influenced his actions. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission and imposed a two-month suspension. The order also provided for restitution to the client and for continued monitoring by the Law Society of Mr. Sheikh’s HST filings.

    Gerald Wayne Anthony Koski (Windsor)

    Mr. Koski acknowledged that he engaged in professional misconduct by failing, over a period exceeding nine months, to respond to requests for information in relation to a complaint. He provided a complete response the day prior to the hearing and, pursuant to a joint submission of the parties, was reprimanded.

    Tyler Anthony Jones-Bechard (Windsor)

    Mr. Jones-Bechard did not attend the hearing, though properly served, and was found in his absence to have engaged in professional misconduct by failing to reply to communications from the Investigations Department. Mr. Jones-Bechard submitted a letter setting out his medical history, but it was not taken into account on penalty as requested, since the Law Society had no opportunity to test the information through cross-examination. The panel imposed an indefinite suspension pending compliance, to be followed by a one-month fixed suspension to begin at the end of all administrative suspensions, a fine of $2,000 plus a conditional fine of $2,000 if compliance was not achieved within one month.

    Agostino-Austin Persico (Vaughan)

    Mr. Persico acknowledged that he engaged in professional misconduct by failing to respond promptly and completely to requests for information in relation to the investigation of five complaints. Although he did provide some information, the responses remained incomplete. Mr. Persico received an indefinite suspension pending compliance, to be followed by a one-month suspension.

    Derek Francesco Sorrenti (Vaughan)

    The Law Society successfully resisted a motion for production of a report on the basis that the report was solicitor-client privileged. Both parties sought costs of the motion. While the Society might have provided information about the report to Mr. Sorrenti earlier than it did, its conduct was not so serious as to give rise to a claim for costs against it. Given the compressed timelines in this interlocutory suspension motion, it was reasonable for the Society to limit the early details it gave about a report it believed to be privileged. As the Society was successful on the motion, it was entitled to costs. Of the $12,000 it incurred under the tariff, the Society requested costs of $5,000. The Society was awarded costs of $2,500, considering the reasonable expectations of the parties for a motion intended to be argued in a summary manner; and the Society’s lack of success in one of its arguments.

    Ghazal Qureshi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Ms. Qureshi admitted that she failed to produce information and documents, including books and records, as requested by the Law Society. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission of a reprimand as reasonable. This was Ms. Qureshi’s first discipline proceeding. She had complied with the Society’s requests for information and documents. Ms. Qureshi admitted misconduct and participated in the joint submission, which expedited the hearing of this matter. She has taken responsibility for her actions and was remorseful.

  • 10/07/2020

    NOTICES

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

    Samir Nagaty Ha Roman, Paralegal (Mississauga)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 8, 2020.

    Diana Linda Stokes, Lawyer (Nepean)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 8, 2020.

    Behdad Hosseini, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 3, 2020

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

    Alpesh Patel, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Gerald Keith Culliton, Lawyer (Stratford)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 17, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. by videoconference.

    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.

    No new orders were posted this week.

    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.

    Christopher John Roper, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Law Society asked to amend the notice of application to correct a typographical omission in two particulars, to correct a By-Law reference in another, and to make additions to five particulars. The purpose of particulars is to provide a licensee with sufficient detail so that they may understand the allegations against them and are able to prepare and respond fully. Mr. Roper understood the nature and scope of the particulars and no prejudice arises from correcting the errors. The additions to five particulars were not necessary. The allegations were clear and it is not necessary to layer sections of the By-Law.

    The evidence is clear that Mr. Roper received fees on account of services not yet rendered. They were not immediately paid into a trust account. Mr. Roper misappropriated client funds by using them to pay rent and not returning the money when asked to do so. This was a deliberate taking and retaining client funds for his personal benefit. Mr. Roper failed to provide services identified in his retainers in a timely manner or at all. He was neither honest nor candid concerning deadlines and the progress of work. Mr. Roper charged amounts for fees and disbursements that were not fair or reasonable. A lawyer has a duty to deal professionally with a complaint made to the Law Society. A hearing will be scheduled for submissions on penalty and costs.

    Jeffrey Michael James Rehner, Lawyer (Chatham)

    Mr. Rehner admitted that, over a period of a year in a family law matter, he failed to serve his client; promptly answer communications from opposing counsel; and be honest and candid with his client, by not fully disclosing what happened in respect of two motions in the proceeding. Mr. Rehner also failed to promptly return retainer funds to the client when she terminated the solicitor/client relationship. As Mr. Rehner continually sent communications to his client to the wrong address, court orders issued that resulted in termination of the client’s child support, an order for costs, and an order to repay significant child support. The client’s wages were garnished at 50% for 11 months. The client had to retain new counsel to address the orders and advance her position in the litigation. The Lawyer’s mother was undergoing significant health concerns and he was primarily responsible for her care; after she passed away, Mr. Rehner had a hard time functioning in the following months. He had no support staff and backlogs in his files resulted, before he recovered. Based on a joint submission, Mr. Rehner was suspended for two months.

    Priashna Singh, Lawyer (Brampton)

    Ms. Singh engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with an investigation. In a previous matter, she had received an indefinite suspension, which was cured one day after it was ordered. The concept of progressive discipline required a one-month suspension in this case. There was no joint submission, but the parties had agreed that costs be set at of $2,151, which did not include any amount for costs of the investigation. Since 2019, it has been the Law Society’s policy not to seek costs for investigators’ time, which is no longer even recorded. The panel was of the view that, as longstanding jurisprudence has held that the professions should not bear the cost of discipline proceedings establishing a licensee’s misconduct, disciplined lawyers should also bear the expense of the investigation related to the proceeding. The panel’s order added $250 to the costs requested by the Law Society, for a total of $2,401. The addition was a nominal amount, at the lowest possible end, for the recovery of the steps taken by the investigator.

    Robert Arthur Otto, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    Mr. Otto failed to co-operate with an investigation. Progressive discipline was applicable, even though this matter differed from the one for which he had been punished previously. Though Mr. Otto presently expressed remorse, that had not motivated compliance in the past year – Mr. Otto was suspended for two months, continuing indefinitely until there was compliance. The start of the suspension was deferred for two months: first, because current professional practices were materially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and secondly, reasons had recently been received in a protracted custody trial, in which his client was successful and was seeking costs. That client would face unwarranted prejudice, if Mr. Otto was unable to make the cost submissions. The Law Society sought costs of $2,905.50, not including the investigation. Based o the principle that costs are intended to impose the expense of the proceeding on the disciplined licensee, not the profession, Mr. Otto was ordered to pay a nominal amount of $250 for investigation costs, bringing the total costs award to $3,155.50.

    Joseph Benoit Eugene Pierre Gauthier

    M. Gauthier a admis a) ne pas avoir répondu aux demandes d’information du Barreau quant à la disposition de sa pratique, y compris l’emplacement des dossiers et des fonds fiduciaires et b) ne pas avoir répondu aux communications du Barreau et a négligé de fournir le dossier de son ancien client. M. Gauthier a un dossier disciplinaire antérieur. La formation a accepté la proposition conjointe des parties sur la sanction qui prévoyait une suspension de quatre mois, une amende déterminée de 5 500$ payable dans l’année, et une amende conditionnelle de 2 000$ payable si l’avocat ne fournit pas de réponse complète aux demandes faites par le Barreau avant la date fixée.

  • 03/07/2020

    NOTICES

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

    Omar Hasan Al Zahid, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on July 2, 2020.

    Christopher Charles Watkins, Lawyer (Thunder Bay)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 30, 2020.

    A notice of application regarding capacity was filed on June 30, 2020.

    Cody Lang Watson, Lawyer Applicant (Ottawa)

    A notice of referral for hearing was filed on June 29, 2020.

    Rupinder Garcha, Lawyer (Oakville)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 26, 2020.

    Ramandeep Singh Gill, Paralegal (Caledon)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 26, 2020.

    James Alexander Kay, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 24, 2020.

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

    Benito Antonio Zappia, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Claudius Tadeusz Croiset Van Uchelen, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A conduct hearing will be held on July 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. by videoconference.

    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.

    Maria Louisa L. Diaz, Lawyer (Unionville)

    Ms. Diaz engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with a Law Society investigation. Ms. Diaz shall be reprimanded and was ordered to pay $3,750 in costs to the Law Society.

    Brian Curtis Smith, Paralegal (Kitchener)

    Mr. Smith engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with and respond to Law Society investigations. Mr. Smith was suspended for one month, to continue indefinitely until a complete response has been made. Mr. Smith was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs of $4,500 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.

    Roland Spiegel, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    The Law Society was seeking its costs of two motions: 1) its own motion to dismiss the appeal for delay; and 2) Mr. Spiegel’s earlier motion to stay the appeal. The Law Society sought $8,000 in costs. Considering Mr. Spiegel’s age of 74 years, his limited financial means (relying for income solely on Old Age Security), his inability to work due to his current disabilities, and that the motions were relatively straightforward, he was ordered to pay costs of $6,000 to the Law Society.

    David A. Wallbridge, Lawyer (Timmins)

    Mr. Wallbridge filed a motion to extend time to file a notice of appeal of an administrative suspension. Although Mr. Wallbridge’s intention to appeal was not formalized during the 30-day period, his actions do not display blatant disregard, and to that end, assist in explaining the delay. The delay did not cause any prejudice to the Law Society. The Lawyer showed an arguable ground of appeal. The motion was granted and the Lawyer may serve and file his appeal within 30 days.

    Michael Stephen Puskas, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    Mr. Puskas applied to vary the term of a 2013 order requiring treatment by a stipulated therapist or another professional recommended by that therapist, until such time that the therapist deemed treatment no longer to be necessary. The therapist ceased treatment without opining that treatment was no longer needed and did not approve of the subsequent therapist retained by Mr. Puskas, with the result that he was unable to comply with the order. The parties jointly submitted revised terms that provided more flexibility in the choice of therapist, with specified reporting requirements and the stipulation that non-compliance would result in suspension. The panel found that the term in the 2013 order had the unintended consequence of preventing Mr. Puskas from completing therapy and that this constituted a material change in circumstances that justified the variation. Order varied in accordance with the parties’ joint submission.

    Suzanne Bernadette Quinn, Lawyer (Woodbridge)

    Ms. Quinn admitted that she failed to respond promptly and completely to numerous communications from the Law Society regarding a client complaint. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission that a reprimand was appropriate. Costs of $2,750 payable to the Law Society were ordered.

    Franklyn Scott Taylor, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Taylor admitted that: (1) he failed to participate in a previously-ordered practice review and (2) he failed to co-operate with a Law Society investigation. The Law Society sought a six-month suspension, given Mr. Taylor’s discipline history, while he argued that a reprimand was sufficient. Mr. Taylor had two previous findings of professional misconduct for failure to co-operate regarding complaints and failure to respond to the Law Society. He was suspended for one month for the first finding; the principle of progressive discipline requires a penalty longer than a one-month suspension this time. Considering Mr. Taylor’s remorse, his medical condition, and that he admitted misconduct, he was suspended for four months.

  • 26/06/2020

    NOTICES

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

    Elena Magayano Ross, Paralegal (St. Catharines)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 23, 2020.

    Trung Thanh Do, Paralegal (Mississauga)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 19, 2020.

    Franklyn Scott Taylor, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of appeal was filed on June 16, 2020.

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

    Garry Stevens Pierre, Paralegal (Ottawa)

    A licensing hearing will be held on June 29 and 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    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.

    Gerald Wayne Anthony Koski, Lawyer (Windsor)

    Mr. Koski engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with and respond to an investigation  of the Law Society regarding two complaints. The panel ordered a reprimand and costs to the Law Society in the amount of $3,850.

    Roland Spiegel, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    Mr. Spiegel was ordered to pay $6,000 in costs to the Law Society.

    Tyler Anthony Jones-Bechard, Lawyer (Windsor)

    Mr. Jones-Bechard engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with an investigation by failing to reply promptly and completely to communications from the Investigation Services Department. He was suspended immediately, to continue indefinitely until he has provided a complete response and then for a period of one month. Mr. Jones-Bechard was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs of $2,226 to the Law Society.

    Agostino-Austin Persico, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    Mr. Persico engaged in professional misconduct by failing to provide complete responses to five Law Society investigations into his conduct. He was suspended immediately, to continue until one month after meeting specified conditions. Mr. Persico was ordered to pay costs of $8,000 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.

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    The Law Society moved to quash Mr. Isaac’s reinstatement application. His suspension had ended, so there was no live issue to be decided in the application. The panel was not persuaded to exercise its discretion to hear the case. An application for reinstatement is not a forum for re-litigation or appeal of the findings of another panel of the Hearing Division. The motion was granted and the reinstatement application was dismissed. A schedule was set for costs submissions, if any.

    Adam Christopher White, Lawyer (Keswick)

    Mr. White admitted that by ignoring various communications and failing to respond to those communications, he committed professional misconduct. After a first hearing, the penalty portion was adjourned and during the adjournment the lawyer responded completely to the two investigations. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission that a reprimand was appropriate in the circumstances. Costs of $7,000, payable to the Law Society, were ordered.

    Gregory Stephen Neinstein, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The panel accepted a joint submission, pursuant to which it dismissed the application, following an invitation to attend and Mr. Neinstein’s attendance to receive advice. The panel did not make a finding of misconduct. As the Law Society agreed to the order and was not asking that the matter be determined on its merits, the Tribunal was not interfering with prosecutorial discretion. The Society had made two allegations of improper advertising but it withdrew one, making the misconduct different and less serious than what was originally alleged. The remaining allegation was at the extreme low end of the spectrum. On his firm’s website, the Lawyer had placed a logo from a business listing website indicating that, among lawyers, he was one of the “Three Best Rated.” Mr. Neinstein had neither applied for nor paid for that designation. He had been fully co-operative and had removed the advertising when the Law Society requested that he do so. It was arguable that use of this logo might violate the advertising rules and that Mr. Neinstein could benefit from attending before the panel to receive advice. The application was dismissed.

  • 19/06/2020

    NOTICES

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

    Harry Smith LaForme, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of referral for hearing – retired judge appearing as counsel was filed on June 17, 2020.

    Vivek David, Lawyer (Scarborough)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 17, 2020.

    Ryan Jesse Manilla, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 17, 2020.

    Lisa Elizabeth Simone, Paralegal Applicant (Toronto)

    A notice of referral for hearing – licensing was filed on June 16, 2020.

    Joseph Stéphane Langlois, Lawyer (Rockland)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 16, 2020.

    Bradley Ian Dinning, Paralegal (Chatham)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 15, 2020.

    Gerald Keith Culliton, Lawyer (Stratford)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 15, 2020.

    Fariborz Haghighat Jou, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 12, 2020.

    Raymond Joseph Yvon Lachapelle, Avocat (Hawkesbury)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 10, 2020.

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

    Tyler Anthony Jones-Bechard, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 23, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Codie Robert Mitchell, Lawyer Applicant (Ottawa)

    A licensing hearing will be held on June 23, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. by videoconference.

    Gerald Wayne Anthony Koski, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Brian Curtis Smith, Paralegal (Kitchener)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 26, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

    Maria Louisa L. Diaz, Lawyer (Unionvile)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 26, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. by videoconference.

    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.

    Suzanne Bernadette Quinn, Lawyer (Woodbridge)

    Ms. Quinn engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with an investigation and respond promptly and completely to investigatory communications. The panel ordered a reprimand and costs to the Law Society in the amount of $2,750.

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    The Law Society’s motion for an order quashing Mr. Isaac’s notice of application for reinstatement was granted.

    Ghazal Qureshi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Ms. Qureshi engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate with an investigation by failing to produce information and documents despite requests from the Law Society’s investigator. The panel ordered a reprimand and costs to the Law Society in the amount of $3,000.

    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.

    Vanee Harichandran Senthooran, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Ms. Senthooran admitted failing to maintain proper books and records and mishandling trust funds by repeatedly withdrawing money for fees without ensuring that her trust records reflected what funds she was holding for which client. She had since rectified her books and records. Ms. Senthooran did not misappropriate or take money to which she was not entitled; rather, she did not properly account for and keep track of money being transferred. The problem lasted five years and issues had been identified over the course of three practice reviews. As there were over 213 transfers of $1,000 and she continued to make 86 transfers after being directed not to do so, imposing a reprimand and a fine would be inappropriate. Considering Ms. Senthooran’s compliance and her significant compelling personal circumstances, she was suspended for one month and was ordered to participate in a spot audit after resuming her practice.

    Jane Louise Slark-Perez, Paralegal (Hamilton)

    The panel found that Ms. Slark-Perez had engaged in professional misconduct. She advertised a full array of legal services including those outside of the paralegal scope of practice. Ms. Slark-Perez did not maintain a trust account or various other records. She cashed a bank draft from a client before work had been completed or billed. Ms. Slark-Perez acted without the knowledge or consent of a client, and made false statements to a court, including forging the client’s signature on a false document. She attended Landlord and Tenant Board matters after she was suspended in 2017. A hearing date shall be set for submissions with respect to penalty and costs.

  • 12/06/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Michael Edward Freeman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding capacity was filed on June 11, 2020.

     

    Meredith Leigh Holmes, Lawyer (Abbotsford, B.C.)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 10, 2020.

     

    Osborne Godfrey Barnwell, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 9, 2020.

     

    Ross Morley McLeod, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 9, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Codie Robert Mitchell, Lawyer Applicant (Ottawa)

    A licensing hearing will be held on June 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. and on June 16, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Agostino-Austin Persico, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on June 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    Marie-Jose Beauplan-Mann, avocat (Dundalk)

    Une audience sommaire de conduite est prévue pour le 19 juin 2020 à 10 h par vidéoconférence.

     

    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.

     

    Jamie John Patrick Thompson, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Thompson engaged in professional misconduct and/or conduct unbecoming a licensee by misappropriating escrow funds, making false representations to the complainant’s officers that he was holding a certain amount of money in his trust accounts, and withdrawing more money from his trust account for certain clients than was being held for those clients. His licence is revoked, he is ordered to pay $34,464 in costs to the Law Society, and to repay the Law Society Compensation Fund.

     

    Adam Barry Sheps, Lawyer (Toronto)

    On consent of the parties, Exhibit 2NP is marked not public.

     

    Gregory Stephen Neinstein, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The proceedings were converted to an invitation to attend for the purpose of receiving advice, without any finding of misconduct.

     

    Dora Elia, Paralegal (Innisfil)

    Ms. Elia committed professional misconduct by failing to serve her clients on multiple occasions. Her licence is revoked and she is ordered to pay $16,000 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.

     

    Glenn Patrick Bogue, Lawyer (Toronto)

    On his appeal, Mr. Bogue brought two motions seeking 10 heads of relief. The panel informed Mr. Bogue that it could not consider his motions on the merits without the required materials, but he would not co-operate in arranging for the exchange of the necessary materials. The majority of the relief and grounds raised by Mr. Bogue in these motions related to issues considered in other proceedings, where they had been rejected. In the proceedings, Mr. Bogue raised his voice continually, refused to let others speak, and spoke over them whenever they tried. He addressed the participants disrespectfully and issued threats of legal proceedings against the panel. The panel found that, though Mr. Bogue’s motions did raise three new issues, the motions should be dismissed on the basis that his conduct constituted an abuse of process (without prejudice to his ability to bring the motions again). The panel decided that, should Mr. Bogue wish to proceed with his motions, he would have to file the necessary materials, conduct himself in a civil manner, and pursue only matters that had not already been determined.

     

    Trinity Chanel Aleong Magee, Paralegal (Etobicoke)

    The panel found that Ms. Aleong Magee had engaged in professional misconduct. She was charged in February and December 2017 with uttering forged documents and obstructing justice, but she only advised the Law Society of the February charges. She had been suspended on an interlocutory basis in March 2018 and failed to comply with her regulatory obligations relating to her suspension. She declined to co-operate with the Law Society while the criminal charges were pending and, once she was convicted, she refused to communicate with the Law Society and the Tribunal. Therefore, the panel accepted the Law Society’s submission that Ms. Aleong Magee’s licence be revoked, effective immediately. The panel also ordered costs of $12,700 to be paid to the Law Society.

     

    David William Walkling, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    Mr. Walkling entered into an agreed statement of facts acknowledging that between 2015 and 2020 he failed to keep proper books and records. He had made efforts during that time, following spot audits in 2015 and 2018, to bring his records into compliance, and had agreed to freeze the trust account(s) at issue; by the time of the penalty hearing the Law Society was satisfied that Mr. Walkling was in compliance. The joint submission for a reprimand and quarterly monitoring in the first 18 months with a spot audit was accepted by the panel as reasonable, given the absence of any discipline history over a 40-year career and Mr. Walkling’s co-operation throughout. The panel ordered costs of $5,000 to be paid to the Law Society within one year.

  • 05/06/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Brandon Keven Rooney, Lawyer (Stratford)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 4, 2020.

     

    Pasquale Perrelli Jr., Paralegal (York)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 3, 2020.

     

    Brian Richard Madigan, Lawyer Applicant (Mississauga)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on June 3, 2020.

     

    Alpesh Patel, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on June 1, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Jamie John Patrick Thompson, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 8, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Gregory Stephen Neinstein, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A motion within a conduct hearing will be held on June 8, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Codie Robert Mitchell, Lawyer Applicant (Ottawa)

    A licensing hearing will be held on June 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Dora Elia, Paralegal (Innisfil)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Suzanne Bernadette Quinn, Lawyer (Woodbridge)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on June 12, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    Ghazal Qureshi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on June 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Gerald Nsamba, Lawyer Applicant (Toronto)

    Mr. Nsamba is presently of good character. He will be granted an L1 licence, subject to some terms and conditions.

     

    Bradley Ian Dinning, Paralegal (Chatham)

    Mr. Dinning engaged in professional misconduct by failing to provide a prompt and complete response to communications from the Law Society’s investigator. His licence is suspended until he has fully responded to the investigator, and for one month after that. If he has not responded fully by July 24, 2020, he is ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. He is also 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.

     

    Shayle Frederick Rothman, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    The panel found, in earlier reasons, that except for one minor mistake in a 2016 mailer, none of the allegations were established. The standard for awarding costs against the Law Society is extremely high, and the panel stated that the Law Society should not be deterred from bringing an application by fear of an adverse cost award, though it should be deterred from bringing or continuing an unjustified proceeding. It further reasoned that, where there is no evidence of bad faith or improper purpose, the analysis must focus on whether there were grounds or reasonable justification to bring the application. The panel found that three of the allegations were brought without reasonable justification and were unwarranted from their inception, and that 65% of Mr. Rothman’s costs were attributable to the unfounded allegations. Using the rates set out in the Tariff, the panel awarded $46,000 in costs against the Law Society.

     

    Davidson Usifoh, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Mr. Usifoh was convicted of 11 separate criminal offences: five counts of fraud, including using a fake driver’s licence since 2000 or 2001, and six counts of laundering the proceeds of crime in relation to an e-mail phishing scam. He agreed that this constituted conduct unbecoming a licensee, and the panel accepted the parties’ joint submission and revoked Mr. Usifoh’s licence.

     

    Gerald Nsamba, Lawyer Applicant (Toronto)

    Mr. Nsamba engaged in several instances of plagiarism in successive years at law school, some of which were after he had already been caught and disciplined. He had a very difficult background, having lost both his parents at a young age, lived in a refugee camp, immigrated to Canada with no formal education or ability to speak English, and committed to financially supporting his family in Uganda as he studied and worked in Canada. The panel determined that the misconduct, which occurred within a span of 12 months, was uncharacteristic of Mr. Nsamba; he had been under incredible stress and lacked a support system. Character evidence from various members of the community who had known him prior to and since the misconduct consistently attested to his honesty, candour, empathy, strong moral fibre and good deeds. Mr. Nsamba was very remorseful, had completed his practicum with high accolades and had developed a support network and coping strategy. The panel determined that he was presently of good character and granted him an L1 licence under terms and conditions relating to a mentorship arrangement for his first two years of practice.

     

    Frederick Barry Goodman, Paralegal, Toronto

    The allegations of misconduct against Mr. Goodman arose out of three small claims court actions between him and a client. Mr. Goodman summonsed a group leader who oversaw daily administration and operation of the court offices, who was to bring with her the entire files and all correspondence relating to the three actions. The panel granted the motion to quash this summons, reasoning that Mr. Goodman did not link the witness’ potential testimony about the court’s general practices, procedures and forms to any issue in the Law Society’s case, nor did he show in what way three entire court files were relevant or necessary to an issue in the application. In any event, the panel pointed out that, as a party to the actions, he had access to the court documents, which were public documents. Mr. Goodman’s summons sought to turn this involuntary witness into an expert witness, when he had chosen not to call his own expert. The panel decided that attempting to do so, through a late-in-the-day summons, was an abuse of process.

  • 30/05/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    No new notices were posted this week.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Frederick Barry Goodman, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on June 1, 2020 at 10:45 a.m. and from June 2-4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    David Simoes Malgueiro Campos, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A motion for interlocutory suspension or restriction hearing will be held on June 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Shayle Frederick Rothman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Further to its order of July 25, 2019, the panel orders that the Law Society will pay $46,000 in costs to Mr. Rothman.

     

    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.

     

    Adam Christopher White, Lawyer (Keswick)

    The Law Society had applied for a determination of whether Mr. White was incapacitated, and it had established that there were grounds to order a medical examination. The Law Society was present on the date scheduled to hear recommendations from the parties as to the details of the examination but Mr. White was not present, despite having received notice of the proceedings. In the absence of submissions from Mr. White, the panel granted an order in respect of the motion for assessment as sought by the Law Society, with some changes, stating that Mr. White was to be examined by one of two specified physicians in accordance with the conditions set out in the order.

     

    Derek Francesco Sorrenti, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    The panel decided that amendments to the rules that came into effect in January 2020 did not change the approach to disclosure in an interlocutory motion. It ruled that the Law Society is obliged to make disclosure in accordance with the principles in Cengarle, and that this motion for production was dismissed because the document sought was solicitor-client privileged.

  • 23/05/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Benjamin Odinaka Chukwu Mbaegbu, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 13, 2020.

     

    Barry Stephen Bien, Lawyer (Amherstview)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 15, 2020.

     

    Darcy John Daoust, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 15, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Omar Shabbir Khan, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    An appeal hearing will be held on May 28 and 29, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Bradley Ian Dinning, Paralegal (Chatham)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on May 29, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Adam Barry Sheps, Lawyer (Thornhill)

    Mr. Sheps has been and continues to be incapacitated. His licence is suspended immediately and continuing until he is able to prove that he is capable of meeting his obligations as a lawyer

     

    Joseph Benoit Eugene Pierre Gauthier, Avocat (Hawkesbury)

    Me Gauthier s’est conduit d’une façon qui constitue un manquement professionnel en omettant de répondre sans délai et de manière complète à des communications du Barreau. Il est suspendu pour quatre mois, et la suspension se poursuivra indéfiniment jusqu’à ce qu’il ait fourni une réponse complète. Il doit verser au Barreau une amende de 5 500 $ et des dépens de 7 500$, ainsi qu’une autre amende de 2 000$ s’il ne fournit pas de réponse complète au plus tard le 15 septembre 2020.

     

    Franklyn Scott Taylor, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Taylor engaged in professional misconduct by failing to comply with an October 2, 2018 order of the Tribunal requiring him to participate in a practice review and by failing to co-operate with and respond to a Law Society investigation. His licence is suspended for four months starting June 10, 2020 and he is ordered to pay $4,000 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.

     

    Christian Chukwuedoze Chijindu, Lawyer (North York)

    The panel found, in earlier reasons, that Mr. Chijindu had engaged in serious professional misconduct that brought discredit upon the profession, that he acted without integrity and without respect for the administration of justice. The panel found that his actions were not out of character. Given the dishonest nature and lengthy duration of his misconduct, including ongoing failure to comply with court orders, the panel concluded that only revocation will maintain public confidence in the legal profession. Costs of $40,000 were ordered. The panel reduced the amount sought by the Law Society recognizing that revocation will impact his ability to pay costs and that the case was reasonably straightforward.

     

    Shawn Andrew Gerry Hamilton, Lawyer (North Bay)

    A dispute arose as to whether $3,000 of the $11,500 that the client had paid to Mr. Hamilton were a gift or additional retainer funds. Considering the atypical nature of the lawyer/client relationship in this case, the client’s relations with a prior representative, her history of litigation before the Landlord and Tenant Board, and the corroboration of Mr. Hamilton’s evidence by his assistant, the panel accepted his’s version of events. The panel found that the disputed payments were a gift and that there was no misappropriation. As a result of this dispute, the client brought a small claims court action against Mr. Hamilton. LawPRO counsel negotiated a settlement of this matter, the terms of which included a payment by Mr. Hamilton to the client and a waiver of any current or future discipline complaints by the client against both Mr. Hamilton and LawPRO counsel. Regardless of whether Mr. Hamilton pushed for inclusion of a release, or otherwise pressured the client to accept it as a settlement term, he accepted it as a term of the settlement. That was sufficient to establish professional misconduct. A penalty hearing was to be scheduled.

     

    Robert Joseph Comartin, Lawyer (Tecumseh)

    Mr. Comartin had been found to have engaged in professional misconduct while acting as solicitor and executor of an estate, by: dishonestly rendering improper accounts to the estate totalling over $350,000 and then filing misleading materials to the court in his application to pass accounts; misappropriating $2,400 when he charged that amount to the estate for time spent dealing with a Law Society spot audit; and providing incompetent service as an estate solicitor. The panel rejected the Lawyer’s submission that a lengthy suspension with practice restrictions was appropriate, noting that the presumptive penalty of revocation applied to dishonest behaviour even in a licensee’s personal capacity, and finding that there were no exceptional circumstances in this case. As to costs the panel accepted that the Lawyer, aged 65 and no longer able to practise, would have difficulty paying the $66,820 requested by the Law Society. The panel revoked the Lawyer’s licence effective immediately and ordered $40,000 in costs to be paid over five years.

  • 15/05/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Payam Javadi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A notice of motion to vary or cancel an interlocutory order was filed on May 6, 2020.

     

    Claudius Tadeusz Croiset Van Uchelen, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 11, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Franklyn Scott Taylor, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on May 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Payam Javadi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Mr. Javadi’s September 3, 2019’s interlocutory order is cancelled.

     

    Terry Michael Walman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Walman engaged in professional misconduct by reacting inappropriately to a threatened lawsuit and by using a registered mortgage to try to make a mortgager pay for a mortgage broker’s fee when he should have known that no broker’s fee had been incurred. His licence is suspended for one month and he is ordered to pay $7,500 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Davidson Usifoh, Paralegal (Toronto)

    Mr. Usifoh engaged in conduct unbecoming a licensee in that he was found guilty of several fraud-related criminal offences. His licence is revoked and he is ordered to pay $2,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Trinity Chanel Aleong Magee, Paralegal (Etobicoke)

    Ms. Aleong Magee engaged in professional misconduct by commissioning affidavits in the absence of the affiants, failing to perform services taken on a client’s behalf to the standard of a competent paralegal, failing to report to the Law Society that she was charged with indictable offences, failing to cooperate with and respond to a Law Society investigation, failing to complete and file a report with the Law Society and failing to respond to communications from the Law Society. Her licence is revoked and she is ordered to pay $12,700 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.

     

    There were no new reasons posted this week.

  • 08/05/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    David Simoes Malgueiro Campos, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of motion for an interlocutory suspension or practice restriction was filed on May 6, 2020.

     

    Sang-Kyun Suh, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 6, 2020.

     

    Francois David Lesieur, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding capacity was filed on May 5, 2020.

    .

    Peter Robert Nicholas Harrison, Lawyer (Meaford)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 4, 2020.

     

    Marie-Jose Beauplan-Mann, Lawyer (Dundalk)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on May 1, 2020.

     

    Bogdan Antoni Kaminski, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 30, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Adam Barry Sheps, Lawyer (Thornhill)

    A capacity hearing will be held on May 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    Joseph Benoit Eugene Pierre Gauthier, avocat (Hawkesbury)

    Une audience de conduite est prévue pour le 15 mai 2020 à 9:30 h par vidéoconférence.

     

    Suzanne Bernadette Quinn, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on May 15, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    Frederick Goodman, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A motion within a conduct hearing will be held on May 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Trinity Chanel Aleong Magee, Paralegal (Etobicoke)

    A conduct hearing will be held on May 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Tang Trang Nguyen, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Nguyen’s appeal from an order revoking his licence is dismissed. Costs may be addressed in writing.

     

    Robert Arthur Otto, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    Mr. Otto engaged in professional misconduct by failing to produce information and documents requested in a Law Society investigation. His licence is suspended for two months, continuing indefinitely until he has cooperated with the investigation, and he is ordered to pay $3,155.50 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Adam Christopher White, Lawyer (Keswick)

    Mr. White engaged in professional misconduct by failing to respond to a Law Society investigation. A reprimand is ordered, as well as $7,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Priashna Singh, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Ms. Singh engaged in professional misconduct by failing to respond to a Law Society investigation. Her licence is suspended for one month, and she is ordered to pay $2,401 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.

     

    Tang Trang Nguyen, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Nguyen appealed a 2018 decision of the hearing panel finding that he knowingly participated in nine fraudulent mortgage transactions, which resulted in the revocation of his licence to practise. This was the second hearing of the allegations; the first, in 2013, had resulted in a reprimand following a finding that Mr. Nguyen’s misconduct was limited to failing to disclose material facts to lender clients in two transactions, but on appeal by the Law Society a new hearing was ordered by the Appeal Division in a decision that was affirmed by the Divisional Court in 2015.

     

    Mr. Nguyen’s principal ground of appeal was that the hearing panel erred in conducting an entirely new hearing and in failing to consider the agreed statement of facts filed at the first hearing, as well as the credibility findings made by first hearing panel. The appeal panel rejected this argument, holding that an order for a re-hearing is a new hearing in which none of the parties, including the panel, is bound by any evidence, arguments or findings related to the original hearing; the new panel was required to make its own findings from the evidence before it. This was not a situation where, as the Court of Appeal ruled in the Steven Nguyen (unrelated) case, a new hearing was not required despite errors having been made by the hearing panel; here, the Divisional Court affirmed the order for a new hearing, and the Court of Appeal denied Mr. Nguyen’s motion for an extension of time to seek leave to appeal that decision. The appeal panel also rejected Mr. Nguyen’s arguments that the second hearing panel applied the wrong legal tests and made unreasonable findings/conclusions with respect to credibility, penalty and costs, and so dismissed the appeal.

     

    Svetlana Shpigelman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Ms. Shpigelman was found to have engaged in professional misconduct arising out of three investigations, based on an agreed statement of facts; she was found to have failed to serve clients, to have misled clients, to have failed to fulfill an undertaking, to have failed to respond to communications from another solicitor, to have mishandled trust funds by failing to maintain sufficient balances in her trust account to meet all of her obligations, to have failed to maintain the proper books and records of her law practice, to have failed to co-operate with the three Law Society investigations, and to have misled the Law Society. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission and imposed a four-month suspension of Ms. Shpigelman’s licence, which was to continue indefinitely until she had satisfactorily provided a complete response to the requests made by the Law Society investigator.

  • 01/05/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Jamie John Patrick Thompson, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of motion for an interlocutory suspension or practice restriction was filed on April 30, 2020.

     

    Fernand Abdul Majid, Lawyer (Burlington)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 30, 2020.

     

    Benito Antonio Zappia, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 29, 2020.

     

    Andrew Robert Kerr, Lawyer (Barrie)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 27, 2020.

     

    Richard Boraks, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 24, 2020.

     

    Neil Lawrence Boyko, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 24, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Adam Christopher White, Lawyer (Keswick)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on May 4, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Francis John Chung, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on May 7, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Terry Michael Walman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on May 8, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    There were no new orders posted this week.

     

    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.

     

    Todd Elliott Speck, Lawyer Applicant (London)

    Mr. Speck sought various documents alleged to be in possession of the Law Society. He argued that the documents would assist in proving misconduct on the part of Law Society officials. The panel found that the allegations of abuse of process were untenable. It further found that Mr. Speck’s good character application had been delayed for reasons that were largely his own doing, and that there was no basis to conclude that the documents sought were relevant to any live issue in the proceeding, and so it dismissed the motion for production

     

    Pieter Carel Verbeek, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Mr. Verbeek entered an agreed statement of facts and admitted that he engaged in professional misconduct by bringing an action in Small Claims Court against a complainant, after his complaint had been investigated and closed, and seeking compensation for time spent responding to the complaint as well as damages for loss of reputation, defamation and injurious falsehood. The action was ultimately dismissed for delay and Mr. Verbeek wrote a letter of apology to the complainant which included a cheque to cover some of the legal costs incurred by the complainant in defending the action. The panel accepted the joint submission for reprimand.

     

    Gilbert Ngiem Wansome, avocat (Ottawa)

    Au moins dans un premier temps, la partie qui cherche une mesure d’adaptation n’est pas tenue de divulguer la nature précise du problème de santé allégué. La principale exigence est de fournir des preuves acceptables, apportées par un prestataire de soins de santé compétent, des limitations fonctionnelles, de sorte que le Barreau puisse évaluer quelles mesures d’adaptation seraient possibles et suffisantes dans les circonstances. Si les renseignements fournis par le titulaire de permis s’avèrent insuffisants, peu fiables ou contradictoires, le Barreau est alors en droit d’exiger la divulgation d’un diagnostic afin de remplir son obligation en matière d’adaptation. En l’espèce, plus de 14 mois se sont écoulés entre les premières demandes de renseignements du Barreau et la date de l’audience, et les demandes d’adaptation de M. Wansome couvrent au maximum que deux de ces mois. M. Wansome s’est conduit d’une façon qui constitue un manquement professionnel en omettant de répondre sans délai et sans rien omettre aux demandes de renseignements du Barreau. Une audience sur la sanction sera ultérieurement fixée.

  • 24/04/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Suzanne Bernadette Quinn, Lawyer (Woodbridge)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 22, 2020.

     

    Dean Randall Adema, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 22, 2020.

     

    Scott Andrew McEachern, Paralegal (Oshawa)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 21, 2020.

     

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Robert Arthur Otto, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on May 1, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Priashna Singh, Lawyer (Brampton)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on May 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    Benito Bennardo, Paralegal (Toronto)

    On consent, the Law Society’s application for an interlocutory suspension order is dismissed.

     

    Khalid Aziz Sheikh, Lawyer (Brampton)

    Mr. Sheikh engaged in professional misconduct by failing to account for fees, charging unfair fees, failing to serve his client, acting in a conflict of interest, two instances of failing to act with integrity, using a dormant trust account for purposes unrelated to the provision of legal services, and engaging in sharp practice. His licence is suspended for two months, starting on May 10, 2020. He is also ordered to submit a variety of his own HST documents to Regulatory Compliance, reimburse his client $4,282.83, and pay $9,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Robert Joseph Comartin, Lawyer (Tecumseh)

    Mr. Comartin engaged in professional misconduct in a variety of ways including by misappropriating funds, failing to be honest and candid with the Court, and allowing his standards to fall below those of a reasonably competent lawyer, among other things. His licence is revoked, and he is ordered to pay $40,000 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.

     

    Benito Bennardo, Paralegal (Toronto)

    The Law Society brought a motion for interlocutory suspension or restriction based on criminal charges that were laid against the Mr. Bennardo. The Crown withdrew the charges and the Law Society consented to the order dismissing the motion, and so the panel dismissed the motion.

  • 17/04/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Andrew Robert Kerr, Lawyer (Barrie)

    A notice of appeal by the licensee was filed on April 16, 2020.

     

    Brian Curtis Smith, Paralegal (Kitchener)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 14, 2020.

     

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Davidson Usifoh, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on April 22, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. by teleconference.

     

    Gerald Nsamba, Lawyer Applicant (Toronto)

    A licensing hearing will be held on April 22, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    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.

     

    There were no new orders posted this week.

     

    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.

     

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    The Law Society brought a motion to dismiss Mr. Isaac’s appeal due to delay. Previously, on motions for dismissal for delay, the Tribunal applied the test in Barna, 2005 ONLSAP 3. In this motion, the Law Society relied on the test for extending the time for perfecting an appeal, as set out by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Monteith, 2010 ONCA 78. The two tests are similar, but not identical. The panel decided that it is in the interests of justice that the Tribunal have a consistent approach to these kinds of cases. It found that the Monteith test has the virtue of simplicity and accommodates the concerns addres­­sed in Barna, and so, in future, the Monteith test will be applied both on motions to set aside a deemed abandonment of an appeal and on motions for the dismissal of an appeal for delay. The panel granted the Law Society’s motion and Mr. Isaac’s appeal was dismissed for delay.

     

    Brandon Keven Rooney, Lawyer (Toronto)

    An earlier panel denied the Law Society’s motion for an interlocutory suspension, instead imposing practise restrictions. Since that order, Mr. Rooney pled guilty to criminal charges including possession and making of child pornography and counselling to commit an indictable offence. The Law Society argued this constitutes fresh evidence and a material change in circumstances necessitating an interlocutory suspension. Mr. Rooney consented to the suspension. The earlier panel had determined that restrictions on Mr. Rooney’s licence were appropriate and necessary to address the risk to the public and public confidence in the administration of justice, but this panel found that Mr. Rooney’s conviction and incarceration drastically increased this risk, and so suspended his licence on an interlocutory basis.

     

    Remy G. Boghossian, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Boghossian admitted that he engaged in professional misconduct by committing a significant fraud of almost $2 million. He engaged in further misconduct by being in possession of gold bullion that was the fruit of his fraud. Using his status as a lawyer and his trust account in the commission of the fraud was an aggravating factor in his misconduct. The panel found that Mr. Boghossian’s conduct struck at the very heart of the public’s faith in the honesty of lawyers, and it undermined public confidence in the integrity of the profession. It decided that revocation was the only appropriate penalty in these circumstances.

     

    Michael Andrew Weinczok, Lawyer (Vancouver)

    Mr. Weinczok was alleged to have failed to respond promptly and completely to requests for information in relation to his failure, in his capacity as estate executor and after more than a decade, to complete the distribution of his uncle’s estate. Over a period of 17 months the Law Society sent 10 letters repeating the same requests for detailed and complete information. Mr. Weinczok had responded based on the financial records in his possession and was awaiting further documentation from the bank, which had advised that the records were available and would be provided. The Law Society, though conceding that Mr. Weinczok had made good faith efforts to obtain the missing records and could not, in their absence, respond fully with the detail it had requested, asserted that Mr. Weinczok should have provided partial responses that could later be supplemented. The panel found that Mr. Weinczok acted in good faith, and reasonably, in circumstances where the Law Society knew that he could not proceed further without the missing records, which all parties believed would be forthcoming; it reasoned that if the Law Society had wanted partial responses pending the receipt of new information it should have asked for them rather than simply repeating the same request for full and detailed responses which it knew could not be provided. The panel also rejected the Law Society’s assertion that Mr. Weinczok waited too long in providing copies of the documents that were in his possession, noting that it knew of their existence and did not request them. Therefore, the panel dismissed the Law Society’s application.

     

    Sean Bissoon, Lawyer (Oakville)

    Mr. Bissoon, having received a number of recommendations following a spot audit, did not bring his books and records into compliance with the by-laws until shortly before the hearing of the conduct application. The panel accepted the joint submission of a reprimand.

     

    Carole Catherine Sayers, Paralegal (Keswick)

    Ms. Sayers failed to respond to Law Society requests for information regarding a complaint until shortly before the hearing of the conduct application. The panel decided to fine her $1,000 with one year to pay, given her financial circumstances.

  • 09/04/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Claudio Martini, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 3, 2020.

     

    Robert Joseph Gencarelli, Lawyer (Frontenac County)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 2, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Khalid Aziz Sheikh, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A conduct hearing will be held on April 17, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. by videoconference.

     

    Adam Christopher White, Lawyer (Keswick)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on April 17, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by videoconference.

     

    Robert Joseph Comartin, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    A conduct hearing will be held on April 16, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. by teleconference.

     

    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.

     

    Michael Andrew Weinczok, Lawyer (Vancouver)

    The Law Society’s allegations against Mr. Weinczok were not established, and so the application is dismissed. Costs submissions may be made in writing.

     

    David Grant Isaac, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Mr. Isaac’s appeal is dismissed for delay. Costs submissions are to be made in writing.

     

    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.

     

    Leon Wickham, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

    Mr. Wickham admitted that he did not reply promptly and completely to the Law Society’s communications. Mr. Wickham, who was called to the bar in 1987, had been disbarred in 1994, when he was found to be ungovernable. Seven of the 17 particulars of misconduct established in that matter involved a failure to respond to communications from the Law Society. The remaining particulars included: failing to comply with other regulatory duties, failing to serve clients, and failing to account for funds. Mr. Wickham was readmitted in 2008 and had practised for roughly 12 years without any discipline. He submitted that the appropriate penalty would be a reprimand and/or fine, but, considering his discipline history, the panel decided on the penalty proposed by the Law Society and suspended him for one month.

     

    Jamie John Patrick Thompson, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Thompson admitted that, in his capacity as escrow agent, he released $500,000 in contravention of the terms of the escrow agreement, but asserted that he held an honest belief that the release was authorized. The panel rejected Mr. Thompson’s testimony as being inconsistent with the circumstances, including his admitted understanding of the clear terms of the agreement. It found Mr. Thompson to have engaged in misappropriation with respect to the escrow funds, as well as other funds held in his mixed trust account which were withdrawn on behalf of clients for which he was not holding sufficient funds in trust. The panel also found him to have misrepresented to the escrow client how much money he was holding on its behalf. A penalty hearing is to be scheduled.

     

    Kwok Keung Ngan, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Ngan entered an agreed statement of facts and admitted that he engaged in professional misconduct by failing to account promptly for client property at the conclusion of the retainer, and by failing to withdraw funds belonging to him for fees and disbursements from trust as soon as was practical. By the time of the hearing Mr. Ngan had eliminated most of the 1,210 inactive client trust ledgers totalling almost $1.5 million, most of which was for unbilled fees and disbursements. The panel accepted the joint submission of a reprimand with monthly practice and reporting requirements as reasonable in the circumstances, reasoning that, although licensee obligations with respect to trust accounts are important in protecting the public, and the problem had apparently been ongoing since 2006, Mr. Ngan had now taken steps to prevent its recurrence and co-operated fully, and had no intent to deprive clients or mislead the Canada Revenue Agency.

     

    Wallace Robert Crowe, Lawyer (Fort Frances)

    Based on an agreed statement of facts, the panel found that Mr. Crowe engaged in professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming by misappropriating client trust funds, failing to maintain proper books and records, and negotiating cheques knowing there were insufficient funds to cover them. Although the panel was prepared to proceed to the penalty phase of the hearing, Mr. Crowe requested an adjournment as he did not yet have a letter from his psychotherapist, and a witness was unavailable. The panel, while noting that a number of pre-hearing conferences had been held, at which directions and deadlines for the filing of materials had been imposed, also observed that the evidence was unavailable through no fault of Mr. Crowe, and could be important in determining whether the penalty would be revocation of licence or, conversely, permission to surrender. The panel granted the adjournment, with deadlines for the filing of materials.

  • 03/04/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Sandy Alexander Zaitzeff, Lawyer (Thunder Bay)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on April 1, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    There are no hearings scheduled for next week.

     

    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.

     

    Valérie Thérèse Beauchamp, parajuriste demandeur de permis (Toronto)

    La formation a considéré que Mme Beauchamp n’était pas de bonnes mœurs et a rejeté la requête de délivrance d’un permis de parajuriste présentée par cette dernière.

     

    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.

     

    Syeda Sarwat Sohail, Lawyer Applicant (Brampton)

    Ms. Sohail, who had been the subject of three complaints while serving as a judge in Pakistan, failed to disclose her discipline history in her application for licensing to the LSO, and later filed amended materials disclosing the complaints in a way that misrepresented their outcomes. A majority of the panel found that her explanations were not credible and that the omission and subsequent misrepresentation had been deliberate and intended to mislead. As a finding of deliberate misrepresentation in the application process precludes a finding of good character, the panel decided to dismiss the application without the need to address the many other misrepresentations alleged by the LSO in the course of the application process both in Ontario and in Manitoba.

     

    The dissenting member of the panel would have allowed the application with conditions that in the first two years the applicant practise as an employee or under an approved plan of supervision and complete three additional hours of CPD in each year. The dissenting member found that the omission and misrepresentation were not intended to mislead but made out of carelessness during a time of great stress adjusting to life in a new country and with limitations in the English language. The dissenting member also considered the other alleged misrepresentations made in the course of the application processes in both Ontario and Manitoba and found that, while Ms. Sohail had made some false statements, they were owing to an uncharacteristic lapse in judgment for which she was remorseful, that she demonstrated integrity and moral strength during her 14 years as a judge in Pakistan under very difficult circumstances, and she had rehabilitated herself in the three to five years since the false statements were made, such that she was presently of good character.

     

    Alisa Anne Burke, Paralegal (Innisfil)

    Ms. Burke entered an agreed statement of facts and acknowledged that she had engaged in 19 particulars of professional misconduct as alleged, in relation to eight clients, over two years, by: depositing trust funds into a general account; failing to account for funds received from all eight clients; failing to serve five clients; withdrawing trust funds without delivering an account to three clients; failing to return one client’s documents; and failing to provide a prompt and complete response to the Law Society with respect to four client complaints. The panel accepted the parties’ joint proposal for a six-month suspension with various conditions including practice restrictions for the first year and repayment of all client funds, finding that the misconduct was serious, but there were “significant extenuating circumstances” that created “enormous stress” for Ms. Burke, who demonstrated remorse and rehabilitation and had fully co-operated with the Law Society with regards to the hearing.

     

    Valérie Thérèse Beauchamp, parajuriste demandeur de permis (Toronto)

    A 19 ans, Mme Beauchamp a été reconnue coupable d’avoir violé des dispositions du Code de la route LRO 1990, chap. H.8 et de ne pas s’être arrêtée à la demande d’un agent de police. Son permis de conduire a été suspendu pendant deux mois et elle a dû payer une amende. En 2011, elle a été déclarée coupable d’ébriété dans les lieux publics, d’entrave à la justice, de résistance à une arrestation et de refus de fournir une preuve d’identité. Elle a signé un engagement à ne pas troubler l’ordre public et à s’abstenir de consommer de l’alcool. En 2015, elle a été accusée de conduite dangereuse d’un véhicule à moteur et d’agression armée, dans un contexte d’une querelle conjugale avec son ex-conjoint. Ces accusations ont été retirées en échange d’un engagement, qui lui imposait, entre autres, de suivre le programme FOCUS ou un programme similaire d’intervention auprès des partenaires violents. En aout 2017, elle a été accusée d’inobservation des conditions de son engagement pour ne pas avoir suivi le programme FOCUS. Ces accusations ont été retirées par la suite quand la requérante a payé une amende et a accepté de participer au programme FOCUS avant la fin du mois d’aout 2018 ; elle a terminé le programme en mai 2018. La formation était particulièrement préoccupée par la violation de l’engament pris par Mme Beauchamp en 2016, ce qui a mené à d’autres accusations en 2017. Selon la formation, Mme Beauchamp semble ne pas comprendre la gravité de la violation de son engagement. Elle n’a clairement pas accepté la responsabilité de ses actes et a délibérément décidé de ne pas respecter les conditions de son engagement.

    La formation a alors décidé que Mme Beauchamp n’était pas actuellement de bonnes mœurs et a rejeté sa demande de délivrance d’un permis de parajuriste.

     

    Roland Spiegel, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    The Hearing Division found that Mr. Spiegel had engaged in serious professional misconduct. It had revoked his licence and awarded costs of $175,000 against him. Mr. Spiegel appealed and the Law Society brought a motion to dismiss his appeal due to delay. The Appeal Division found that Mr. Spiegel’s grounds for appeal did not raise any arguable issues indicating that his appeal might succeed. If not for an extension previously granted by the Appeal Division, the appeal already would have been deemed abandoned. Even that extended time period had passed without Mr. Spiegel perfecting his appeal. The appeal panel found that Mr. Spiegel had offered no real explanation for his failure to advance the appeal for more than 14 months. It balanced the serious material effect of the Hearing Division’s order on Mr. Spiegel against its finding that none of the issues in his notice of appeal raised arguable issues, and so dismissed the appeal for delay.

     

    Gabriella Varsha Deokaran, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    The Law Society sought $30,000 in costs for successfully responding to Ms. Deokaran’s appeal of a hearing panel decision that she had engaged in professional misconduct by failing to respond promptly and completely to Law Society communications with respect to two investigations. The panel rejected her position that no, or substantially less, costs should be awarded, finding that: (i) her meritless claim of ineffective assistance of duty counsel substantially increased the length and complexity of the hearing; (ii) the submission that costs should be reduced because the Law Society was represented by a salaried employee was contrary to Tribunal jurisprudence; (iii) Ms. Deokaran presented no evidence of her inability to pay; and (iv) the $30,000 requested, with five years to pay, had already been reduced by $20,000 from counsel’s docketed time at tariff rates and was reasonable in the circumstances.

  • 27/03/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    There were no new regulatory notices filed this week.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Jane Ann Ledwon, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A reinstatement hearing will be held on April 3, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. by teleconference. Dial-in number available upon request.

     

    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.

     

    Syeda Sarwat Sohail, Lawyer Applicant (Brampton)

    Ms. Sohail does not meet the good character requirement and so her application for a licence is dismissed.

     

    Roland Spiegel, Paralegal (Richmond Hill)

    The Law Society’s motion to dismiss the appeal due to delay was granted. Costs submissions may be made in writing.

     

    Gabriella Varsha Deokaran, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Further to its order of January 22, 2020, the panel orders that Ms. Deokaran will pay $30,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Brandon Keven Rooney, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The interlocutory restrictions previously placed on Mr. Rooney’s licence have been varied to an interlocutory suspension.

     

    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.

     

    Sébastien Gauthier, parajuriste (Ottawa)

    1. Gauthier a avoué : ne pas avoir respecté son engagement à enregistrer sur le titre une mainlevée de deux hypothèques, dans le cadre d’une transaction immobilière ; avoir ignoré, pendant plus de sept ans, environ 20 communications qu’il avait reçues de l’avocat de l’acheteur dans le cadre de cette transaction ; ne pas avoir répondu à plusieurs communications provenant du Barreau ; et avoir omis de répondre à plusieurs demandes du Barreau ou lui avoir envoyé des déclarations partielles.  Par ailleurs, M. Gauthier a agi sans intégrité quand, dans deux déclarations annuelles, il a indiqué que ses livres et registres pour son compte en fiducie étaient à jour et en conformité avec le règlement administratif, ce qui n’était pas vrai. M. Gauthier a également admis qu’il avait fait défaut de tenir ses livres et registres ainsi que d’autres documents en conformité avec les règles applicables. La formation a accepté la proposition conjointe proposée par les parties et a ainsi ordonné une suspension de trois mois, une amende de 5 000 $ ainsi que des dépens d’un montant de 12 500 $.

     

    Andrew Robert Kerr, Lawyer (Barrie)

    Mr. Kerr had been found to have failed to respond promptly and completely to requests for information in relation to two separate investigations. He had recently been reinstated following an earlier finding of the same misconduct, for which he had received a one-month suspension. The panel held that Mr. Kerr’s disability that impaired, but did not prevent, his ability to respond to the Law Society communications was a mitigating factor which reduced the penalty from the two-month suspension that would otherwise be imposed for a second finding of misconduct of this nature to a six-week suspension. The panel also ordered $9,000 in costs with two years to pay.

     

    Osborne Godfrey Barnwell, Lawyer (Toronto)

    During his cross-examination by Mr. Barnwell’s counsel, the Law Society’s expert’s testimony revealed that he might have carried out some investigation of the opposing expert, which raised concerns about his impartiality. A telephone conversation between the Law Society’s expert and the Law Society’s counsel, along with a telephone conversation between the Law Society’s expert and a contact at the expert’s former employer, raised a residual concern about whether his evidence continued to meet the required fair, objective, non-partisan standard. The panel concluded that the Law Society’s expert’s evidence, given in-chief and cross-examined upon, was admissible as expert opinion evidence on the nature and characteristics of the transactions specified in the notice of application, but his evidence consisting of commentary on Mr. Barnwell’s expert’s report was inadmissible.

     

    Osborne Godfrey Barnwell, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Law Society alleged that Mr. Barnwell carried out transactions that were fraudulent, and that he either knew about it, or he failed to be on guard against becoming a dupe of his client. After his third expert withdrew, Mr. Barnwell asked for an adjournment to locate and brief another expert witness to answer the evidence heard from the Law Society’s expert. Numerous adjournments and accommodations already had been granted. The panel decided that it had gone above and beyond the requirements of fairness to Mr. Barnwell and now had to consider the prejudice to the public interest in having these serious allegations resolved. The adjournment request was denied.

     

    Steven Walter Junger, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Law Society sought an interlocutory suspension of Mr. Junger’s licence, alleging that he had mishandled or misappropriated just under $700,000 of his client’s trust funds. The Law Society had been appointed trustee of Mr. Junger’s practice, which placed his entire legal business under the Law Society’s control and scrutiny. As the trusteeship order provided significant protection to the public, in these unusual circumstances, the panel found that there was no significant risk of harm to members of the public, though it imposed an interlocutory order, as it also found that there was harm to public confidence in the administration of justice. The panel decided that interlocutory restrictions would not be sufficient, considering: the seriousness of the allegations; that there was no doubt that the client’s trust funds had disappeared; and that Mr. Junger’s conduct, if proven, went to the core of his professional integrity. He was therefore suspended on an interlocutory basis.

     

    Christian Chukwuedozie Chijindu, Lawyer (North York)

    Mr. Chijindu’s motion for a stay pending appeal of an order revoking his licence to practise law was dismissed. Two of Mr. Chijindu’s grounds of appeal were at least arguable, but the panel found that even if he was successful on those grounds, they did not demonstrate that he had any chance of success in appealing the finding that he had breached court orders, and so would still would face a lengthy suspension at a minimum, which would significantly undercut the argument that he would suffer irreparable harm if a stay was not granted. The panel found that the balance of convenience did not favour the imposition of a stay: there was concern about the risk to the public in allowing Mr. Chijindu to continue practising pending appeal, based on the findings of the hearing panel that his misconduct raised serious concerns about whether he would practise law with integrity. There were also several outstanding investigations involving Mr. Chijindu that involved integrity issues, and moreover, the merits of the appeal were extremely weak.

     

  • 20/03/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Agostino-Austin Persico, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on September 24, 2019.

     

    Codie Robert Mitchell, Lawyer Applicant (Ottawa)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on March 18, 2020.

     

    Nicholas Christopher Marlow Anderson, Lawyer Applicant (Kitchener)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on March 18, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Tribunal hearings have been cancelled until at least April 30, 2020.

     

    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.

     

    Michael Stephen Puskas, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    Term 4 of the Tribunal’s previous order regarding Mr. Puskas is varied on the basis of a material change in circumstances.

     

    Charbel Constantine, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Further to its order of January 24, 2020, the panel orders that Ms. Constantine will pay $3,8400 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Andrew Robert Kerr, Lawyer (Barrie)

    Mr. Kerr engaged in professional misconduct by failing to respond to Law Society communications with respect to two investigations. His licence is suspended for six weeks, and he is ordered to pay $9,000 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.

     

    Claude Alain Burdet, Avocat (Ottawa)

    Dans un premier cas, M. Burdet a obtenu un jugement de la Cour des petites créances contre la cliente A pour honoraires impayés. Ils ont alors conclu un règlement qui comprenait un engagement de la part de la cliente A à retirer sa plainte déposée auprès du Barreau et son accord pour aider M. Burdet à se défendre contre la plainte si nécessaire. La formation a décidé que proposer ou accepter un tel règlement représente un manquement professionnel et que l’interdiction de telles conditions contractuelles n’enfreint pas la liberté contractuelle de M. Burdet garantie par le paragraphe 2 b) de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés. Dans un deuxième cas, les honoraires que M. Burdet avait facturés au client B ont été réduits au terme d’une audience de liquidation. M. Burdet n’a pas pour autant remboursé le trop payé au client B qui s’est plaint au Barreau. M. Burdet a ensuite intenté des procédures judiciaires à l’encontre du client B, alléguant que celui-ci lui devait de l’argent en rapport avec les honoraires qui avaient été réévalués. Ceci constitue un manquement professionnel de la part de M. Burdet, en ce que les procédures intentées étaient abusives et constituaient des représailles pour la plainte du client B auprès du Barreau. Alors que M. Burdet alléguait que son droit de ne pas être exposé aux risques d’une double incrimination garanti par le paragraphe 11 h) de la Charte, était violé, la formation a décidé que cette section de la Charte, qui ne s’applique qu’aux procédures criminelles, ne s’applique pas à ce type de procédures administratives.

     

    Derek Francesco Sorrenti, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    Mr. Sorrenti was granted a six-week adjournment of the Law Society’s motion for an interlocutory order. The Law Society had filed a notice of motion that included more serious allegations against Mr. Sorrenti than it had previously raised in the course of the investigation, including fraud and misappropriation. Ten days before the hearing, the Law Society filed its materials, which included a motion record of over 2,000-pages, at least 1,500 pages of which Mr. Sorrenti’s counsel had never seen. The adjournment was granted on terms that Mr. Sorrenti not engage in the practice of mortgage administration in syndicated mortgage investments (SMI) or act as trustee in respect of SMI. He was not to engage in the practice of law in relation to major development proposals known as SMI. The panel found that Mr. Sorrenti’s alternative offer, of an undertaking not to be involved in SMI administration or act as trustee, was insufficient as it was not broad enough, considering that there were very serious allegations before the Tribunal and Mr. Sorrenti had very recently failed to follow the Law Society’s instructions when he took fees immediately before the trusteeship. The panel also felt that there was benefit to a public action by the Law Society Tribunal at this stage, in particular given the large number of complainants and publicity that surrounded these SMIs.

     

    Charbel Constantine, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Following a three-hour contested hearing, Ms. Constantine was found to have engaged in professional misconduct by failing to co-operate in an investigation by the Law Society. Ms. Constantine’s motion to convert the proceedings to an invitation to attend was dismissed. The Law Society sought and was granted costs in the amount of $3,840, which the panel found to be reasonable and fair considering the range of $2,000 – $5,000 for summary hearings in failure to co-operate cases. Ms. Constantine, who did not provide costs submissions, was given five months to pay.

     

    Luigi Savone, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    The appeal panel allowed Mr. Savone’s appeal from the second hearing panel’s finding that he had been willfully blind to (equivalent to knowing assistance in) mortgage fraud. The hearing panel had found, in the alternative, that Mr. Savone was a tool or dupe of one of his clients. After receiving written submissions from the parties, the majority of the appeal panel decided that it should substitute the “willfully blind finding” for the “tool or dupe finding”. The appeal panel decided that a third hearing was not required in the public interest, following two lengthy hearings and the passage of 19 years since the impugned mortgage transactions. The appeal panel rejected the first hearing panel’s finding due to the Law Society’s failure to disclose relevant evidence on which it had sought to rely. It rejected the second because part of the Law Society’s evidence was found to be inadmissible and introduced in a procedurally unfair way. The appeal panel found that there was a significant alternative misconduct finding available, which was endorsed by the hearing panel that had considered the evidence at first instance. The dissenting appeal panel member would have ordered a new hearing as Mr. Savone’s interest in finality did not override the public interest in the regulation of the legal professions. The appeal panel requested written submissions on penalty.

  • 13/03/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Brandon Keven Rooney, Lawyer (Stratford)

    A notice of motion to vary or cancel an interlocutory suspension or practice restriction was filed on March 11, 2020.

     

    Paul Dominic Helsby Burgess, Lawyer (Campbellford)

    A notice of application regarding conduct and a notice of application regarding capacity were filed on March 11, 2020.

     

    Sandra Zaher, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on March 12, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    There will be no hearings next week.

     

    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.

     

    Leon Wickham, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

    Mr. Wickham engaged in professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with a Law Society investigation. His licence is suspended for one month, and he is ordered to pay $1,650 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Pieter Carel Verbeek, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Mr. Verbeek engaged in professional misconduct by, after the Law Society received a complaint about him from a client, commencing a court action against the client in response to the complaint. A reprimand is ordered, along with $3,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Vanee Harichandran Senthooran, Lawyer (Mississauga)

    Ms. Senthooran engaged in professional misconduct by failing to maintain the proper books and records and mishandling trust funds. Her licence is suspended for one month, and she is ordered to participate in a spot audit. She is also ordered to pay $7,500 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.

     

    Nader Fathi, Paralegal (Toronto)

    The Law Society brought a motion for an interlocutory order either suspending Mr. Fathii’s licence or restricting his practice. He was charged with three counts of uttering a threat to cause death with respect to a former client. The Crown withdrew the charges and Mr. Fathi entered into recognizance with a condition that he was not to communicate with the complainant. The panel rejected the notion that an interlocutory suspension order is required whenever the evidence shows the alleged misconduct tends to undermine the reputation of the profession generally, instead holding that a restriction on Mr. Fathi’s licence, preventing him from taking on any new clients until he had submitted to an interview with the Law Society’s investigator, was sufficient to reduce the risk of significant harm.

     

    Sébastien Gauthier, parajuriste (Ottawa)

    M. Gautier n’a pas participé à l’audience sommaire, la procédure s’est alors déroulée en son absence. La formation a conclu en le manquement professionnel pour défaut de coopération dans le cadre des enquêtes du Barreau. Alors que la formation délibérait sur la sanction, le Barreau reçut un certificat médical attestant que M. Gauthier ne pouvait pas voyager à Toronto d’Ottawa. La formation a accédé à la demande du Barreau de prendre une pause dans ses délibérations afin qu’il puisse communiquer avec M. Gauthier.  En dépit des nombreuses tentatives de communications du Barreau, M. Gauthier n’a fourni aucune explication quant à sa situation médicale. Même si la formation considérait les actions de ce dernier comme une demande d’ajournement, elle ne disposait pas des informations nécessaires sur la manière qu’elle aurait pu adopter pour accommoder sa situation médicale. La formation a repris ses délibérations sur la sanction. Il semble que M. Gauthier ait quitté la profession. Il est suspendu pour un mois, et cette suspension se poursuivra indéfiniment jusqu’à ce qu’il ait fourni une réponse complète. Il doit immédiatement verser une amende de 2000 $ au Barreau. S’il ne fournit pas une réponse complète aux demandes faites par le Barreau d’ici deux mois, il devra payer au Barreau une amende conditionnelle de 2 000 $.

  • 06/03/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Gerald Wayne Anthony Koski, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on March 3, 2020.

     

    Muhammad Aslam Khan, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on March 2, 2020.

     

    Christopher John Di Giacomo, Lawyer (Niagara Falls)

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

     

    Monica Decock, Paralegal (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 27, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Michael Stephen Puskas, Lawyer Applicant (Hamilton)

    A reinstatement hearing will be held on March 10, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 2.

     

    Tang Trang Nguyen, Lawyer (Toronto)

    An appeal by the licensee will be heard on March 10 & 11, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 4.

     

    Todd Elliott Speck, Lawyer Applicant (London)

    A motion within a licensing hearing will be held on March 11, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

     

    Gilbert Ngieme Wansome, avocat (Ottawa)

    Une audience sommaire sur la conduite est prévue pour le 12 mars 2020 à 9h à l’hôtel Novotel d’Ottawa.

     

    Wallace Robert Crowe, Lawyer (Fort Frances)

    A conduct hearing will be held on March 13, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.. in hearing room 4.

     

    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.

     

    Sébastien Gauthier, parajuriste (Ottawa)

    M. Gauthier s’est conduit d’une façon qui constitue un manquement professionnel et est indigne d’un titulaire de permis, en omettant de répondre sans délai de manière complète à des communications du Barreau dans le cadre de deux enquêtes. M. Gauthier est suspendu pour un mois, et cette suspension se poursuivra indéfiniment jusqu’à ce qu’il fournisse une réponse complète. Il doit immédiatement verser une amende de 2000 $ au Barreau. S’il ne fournit pas une réponse complète aux demandes faites par le Barreau d’ici deux mois, il devra payer au Barreau une amende conditionnelle de 2 000 $. Il doit également verser au Barreau des dépens d’un montant de 1 800 $.

     

    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.

     

    Omar Shabbir Khan, Lawyer (Hamilton)

    In the context of his appeal against a finding that he engaged in professional misconduct by submitting forged invoices to Legal Aid Ontario and billing for services he had not performed, and the consequent penalty of revocation of licence, Mr. Khan brought motions to: (i) remove counsel for the Law Society due to counsel’s allegedly improper conduct in the Hearing Division proceedings, the fact that counsel and one of the adjudicators that heard the conduct proceeding in the Hearing Division are both members of the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB), and that counsel will be required to give evidence in a Superior Court action brought by Mr. Khan against the Tribunal, the Law Society and various of their agents; (ii) order that his motion material be made permanently not public; and (iii) permanently stay the proceedings based on an infringement of the Human Rights Code. The motions panel dismissed the motion to remove Law Society counsel, finding: the evidence established that counsel and the adjudicator had minimal contact in their roles as members of the CCB; litigants ought not be able to create a basis to disqualify opposing counsel based on their own actions such as commencing litigation; and Mr. Khan did not meet his “high burden” to establish that counsel had engaged in disqualifying conduct in the hearing proceedings. The panel decided that Mr. Khan’s motion materials would be received in public subject to the same redactions that had been made in the hearing proceedings. The panel struck out or dismissed the balance of Mr. Khan’s motion, agreeing with the Law Society that the request for a stay of proceedings ought to be heard as part of the appeal proper.

     

    Robyrt Hawyrden Regan, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Law Society’s CUPE motion was allowed, so that certain court orders were admissible for use in these proceedings against Mr. Regan, meaning that specific findings of fact contained in those decisions were admissible as proof of those facts in these proceedings, and that Mr. Khan was barred from re-litigating those findings of fact. The panel dismissed Mr. Regan’s cross-motion for an order dismissing the Law Society’s motion or, in the alternative, for an order that certain materials in the court proceedings be admitted in these proceedings, reasoning that, if it is determined that he did engage in professional misconduct, he will be free to bring any relevant evidence in mitigation of penalty, during the ensuing penalty phase of the hearing, as long as it does not contradict the specified court findings.

  • 28/02/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Thomas William Gordon Pratt, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 24, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Vanee Harichandran Senthooran, Lawyer (Mississauga)

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

     

    Matys Rapoport, Lawyer (Whitby)

    A conduct hearing will be held on March 5 & 6, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 4.

     

    Pieter Carel Verbeek, Lawyer (Toronto)

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

     

    Bradley Ian Dinning, Paralegal (Chatham)

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

     

    Leon Wickham, Lawyer (Richmond Hill)

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

     

    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.

     

    Svetlana Shpigelman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Ms. Shpigelman engaged in professional misconduct by failing to serve her clients, misleading her clients, failing to fulfill an undertaking, failing to respond to communication from another solicitor, mishandling trust funds, failing to maintain proper books and records, failing to reply promptly and completely to Law Society communications and misleading the Law Society. Her licence is suspended for four months and continuing after that until she has provided a complete response requests made by the Law Society. She is also ordered to pay $3,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Steven Walter Junger, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Junger’s licence is suspended on an interlocutory basis. Costs will be determined by the panel hearing the merits of the case.

     

    Carole Catherine Sayers, Paralegal (Keswick)

    Ms. Sayers engaged in professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with a Law Society investigation. She is ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $1,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Sean Bissoon, Lawyer (Oakville)

    Mr. Bissoon engaged in professional misconduct by failing to maintain proper books and records. A reprimand has been ordered, as well as $4,000 in costs to the Law Society.

     

    Derek Francesco Sorrenti, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    Mr. Sorrenti’s hearing is adjourned. His licence is restricted on an interim interlocutory basis.

     

    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.

     

    Martin King Ian Rumack, Lawyer (Toronto)

    Mr. Rumack entered an agreed statement of facts and acknowledged that he engaged in professional misconduct by: (i) failing to keep accounting records and do monthly reconciliations for bank accounts for which he was estate trustee or held power of attorney, and having a number of stale-dated cheques and inactive trust ledger accounts; (ii) paying himself power of attorney compensation that was unauthorized; and (iii) paying himself estate trustee compensation that was both unauthorized and excessive. The panel accepted the joint submission of a one-month suspension accepted as reasonable, with the requirement of three additional CPD hours in the area of wills and estates.

  • 21/02/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Joseph Benoit Eugene Pierre Gauthier, Avocat (Hawkesbury)

    Un avis de requête sur la conduite a été  déposé le 19 février 2020.

    Maria Louisa L. Diaz, Lawyer (Unionville)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 19, 2020.

    Christian Chukwuedozie Chijindu, Lawyer (North York)

    A notice of appeal by the Licensee was filed on February 18, 2020.

    Steven Walter Junger, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of motion for interlocutory suspension or practice restriction was filed on February 18, 2020.

    Adam Christopher White, Lawyer (Keswick)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 14, 2020.

    Tyler Anthony Jones-Bechard, Lawyer (Windsor)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 13, 2020.

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Danish Muhammad Munir, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A licensing hearing will be held on February 24 to 26, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

    Steven Walter Junger, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A motion for interlocutory suspension or restriction hearing will be held on February 25, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 4.

    Svetlana Shpigelman, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on February 26, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 4.

    Christian Chukwuedozie Chijindu, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A motion hearing will be held on February 26, 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.

     

    Brian Robert Goldfinger, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The Law Society’s appeal was allowed in part. The appeal panel substituted its findings of professional misconduct for the findings of the Hearing Division. There is no order as to costs of the appeal.

     

    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.

     

    William James Wise

    The Society sought an order that the notice of application be deemed served on the Lawyer and an order dispensing with further service on him. The Society began its investigation of the Lawyer in 2012. In 2015, he was sentenced to over 20 years of incarceration in California. Filing of the application was delayed until 2019, while the Lawyer appealed his sentence. The panel found that, as the Lawyer was served in 2019 with the notice of application by an employee of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, he had received actual service of the notice of application and he had notice of this proceeding. Therefore, it was unnecessary to deem service of the originating process, based on the Society’s many other varied attempts at service. Recent communications from his California counsel made it clear that the Lawyer was taking a position with respect to this proceeding and might wish to participate. The panel gave the Lawyer the choice to retain a representative to appear on his behalf in Ontario, or to attempt to arrange for his participation remotely from California. The Lawyer was to contact the Society to finalize arrangements for his participation within approximately three months, failing which, mailing documents to his current place of incarceration would constitute sufficient service, without need to provide confirmation of service.

    Jacques Yves Wilfrid Joseph Desjardins (Nepean)

    The Lawyer admitted to: failing to deposit funds received from clients into trust; failing to account to clients for funds received in trust; failing to provide legal services to the required standard of competence; charging unfair and unreasonable fees for work that was never provided; and acting in a conflict of interests. The panel was concerned that the jointly-submitted penalty was unduly light, but accepted it considering that the misconduct occurred in the context of the Lawyer’s marriage breakdown and while he was caring for a sick parent. He had expressed some insight into his behaviour and had accepted responsibility through his admissions – The Lawyer was suspended for nine months – He also was to pay a $2,000 fine to the Society.

    Glenn Patrick Bogue (Toronto)

    The panel had found that the Lawyer was incapacitated within the meaning of s. 37(1) of the Law Society Act. The panel now considered the terms of the appropriate order. As the evidence did not support a definitive conclusion that there was no possibility of recovery, termination of the Lawyer’s licence was not  appropriate. The panel decided that the Lawyer’s licence was to be suspended immediately, with the suspension to continue indefinitely until certain conditions are met, including psychiatric examination and treatment – If the suspension is terminated, the Lawyer’s practice will be restricted, as specified in the order, including with respect to practising only as an employee, and continuing treatment.

    Nahid Rahimi (Thornhill)

    The Paralegal entered into an agreed statement of facts and acknowledged that she engaged in professional misconduct by failing to provide documents requested in the course of a Law Society investigation. The Paralegal fully complied by the time of the hearing and had no prior discipline history. Joint submission for a reprimand was accepted as reasonable.

    Rohan Charles George

    The applicant’s application for an L1 licence was referred for a good character hearing due to his criminal convictions for manslaughter, possession of stolen property and failing to attend court. The applicant presented extensive evidence, including 26 reference letters, many from members of the profession, describing his rehabilitative efforts in the 15 years since being incarcerated and activities since being released from prison in 2009. The panel found that the evidence consistently established that the applicant had taken full responsibility for the poor choices he had made in his late teens, gained deep insight into his conduct and was genuinely remorseful and driven to give back to his community which he did through volunteer work, and wished to continue as a lawyer. The applicant’s rehabilitation had been “immensely successful” and the panel had “no hesitation” in finding that he was presently of good character and thus eligible for an L1 licence upon completion of the licensing requirements.

    Elnaz Mazinani (Toronto)

    The Law Society brought a motion to have judicial decisions admitted into evidence in the conduct proceeding as proof of the facts that: (i) the Lawyer had breached a court order; and (ii) the Lawyer’s application for judicial review of the breach finding was an attempt to circumvent the rules restricting rights of appeal. The panel held that the finding that the Lawyer had breached a court order had been finally determined in the courts and would apply in the conduct hearing; to permit re-litigation would amount to an abuse of process and violate the principle of issue estoppel. On the other hand the Divisional Court’s comments, made in the context of awarding costs, regarding the Lawyer’s motives in bringing a judicial review application was not binding on the parties as it was not a finding of fact on an issue that had been before the Courts; the Lawyer was entitled to refute it.

    Scott Andrew McEachern (Oshawa)

    In the course of a conduct application, following the Society’s motion, the panel ordered that the Paralegal cease and desist from publicly broadcasting the content of confidential and privileged settlement discussions; the content of confidential and privileged documents, including disclosure provided by the Society; and unwelcome and demeaning comments regarding Law Society staff, complainants, and witnesses associated with the proceeding. The panel also ordered that, by a set date, the Paralegal remove from Facebook the material he had posted that was identified to be confidential, privileged, unwelcome, demeaning, and uncivil.

    Brian Robert Goldfinger (Toronto)

    The Society alleged that the Lawyer had improperly marketed his legal services in a number of specified ways; had advertised specialization in the absence of certification from the Society; and had marketed the provision of second opinions. At the hearing, the panel accepted the parties’ agreement on misconduct, based on all of the Society’s allegations, as well as their joint submission that the penalty be a reprimand. However, in its reasons for decision, the hearing panel decided that some of the allegations that were part of the agreement on misconduct had not been made out and it ordered accordingly. The hearing panel dismissed the particulars of misconduct that the Lawyer’s advertising was improper insofar as: 1) he stated that he specialized in personal injury law; and 2) he referred to himself as the lawyer with the “Golden Touch.”

    The Society’s appeal was allowed in part. The appeal panel unanimously found the hearing panel erred by dismissing some allegations of misconduct after advising the parties that it was accepting the misconduct as agreed to and after having endorsed the record to that effect. As the Lawyer was not participating in the appeal, the panel also unanimously found that it should substitute its own assessment of the substantive issues, rather than remit the matter to another hearing panel.

    However, the panel did not come to unanimous decisions on the substantive issues arising in the appeal: 1) A majority of the panel agreed that the hearing panel erred in dismissing the allegation concerning specialization; therefore, it allowed this part of the appeal. 2) A majority of the panel (comprised of different members of the panel) agreed with the hearing panel’s decision that the Lawyer’s use of the “Golden Touch” slogan, which was a play on words using the Lawyer’s name, was not improper and it thus dismissed this part of the appeal.

  • 14/02/2020

    NOTICES

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

     

    Daniel James William Matson, Lawyer (Thunder Bay)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 13, 2020.

    Suzanne Erika Elcock, Lawyer (Ajax)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 13, 2020.

    Ronauld Gordon Walton, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A notice of application regarding conduct was filed on February 12, 2020.

    Jassiganth Vamadevan, Lawyer Applicant (Mississauga)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on February 7, 2020.

    Omar Davendranauth Rambhajan, Lawyer Applicant (Toronto)

    A notice of referral for hearing regarding licensing was filed on February 5, 2020

     

    UPCOMING HEARINGS

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

     

    Christopher John Roper, Lawyer (Toronto)

    A conduct hearing will be held on February 20 and 21, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. in hearing room 4.

    Derek Francesco Sorrenti, Lawyer (Vaughan)

    An interlocutory suspension or restriction motion hearing will be held on February 20, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

    Carole Catherine Sayers, Paralegal (Keswick)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on February 21, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

    Sean Bissoon, Lawyer (Oakville)

    A summary conduct hearing will be held on February 21, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. in hearing room 3.

     

    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.

     

    Christian Chukwuedozie Chijindu, Lawyer (North York)

    Mr. Chijindu engaged in professional misconduct by charging fees that were unfair and unreasonable, appropriating funds otherwise than as permitted by the Law Society’s By-Law 9, failing to encourage respect for the administrative of justice by failing to comply with two court orders requiring him to pay his client, and failing to discharge his duties to his clients honourably and with integrity. Mr. Chijindu’s licence is revoked, effective February 26, 2020. He was ordered to pay costs of $40,000 to the Law Society.

    Glenn Patrick Bogue, Lawyer (Toronto)

    The panel determined that Mr. Bogue is and has been incapable of meeting his obligations as a licensee by reason of physical or mental illness or other infirmity. His licence was suspended as of February 10, 2020 and will continue indefinitely until specific conditions have been met.

    Nahid Rahimi, Paralegal (Thornhill)

    Ms. Rahimi engaged in professional misconduct by failing to cooperate with and respond to a Law Society investigation. Ms. Rahimi shall be reprimanded and pay $2,400 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.

     

    William Ndze Fuhgeh, Lawyer (Ottawa)

    Mr. Fuhgeh’s summons to compel the Society’s investigations counsel to testify was quashed. The investigations counsel sought costs of $13,000; Mr. Fuhgeh submitted that no costs should be awarded, or at most $1,000. Mr. Fuhgeh received an adverse determination on the motion to quash and it was clear from the panel’s findings that the motion was brought without reasonable cause. Two factors against full reimbursement of costs to the investigations counsel were Mr. Fuhgeh’s limited ability to pay a substantial costs award and proportionality and the reasonable expectations of parties in a motion to quash a summons (though this motion was more factually involved than usual). The panel awarded costs of $5,000 to the investigations counsel.

    Maria Frances Marusic, Lawyer (Windsor)

    In the context of two conduct applications, the panel heard three motions: (i) Ms. Marusic’s motion to exclude from evidence e-mail correspondence obtained from her computer on the basis of an alleged breach of the s. 8 Charter right against unreasonable search and seizure; (ii) the Law Society’s motion to receive the evidence of a 78-year old witness by video link; and (iii) Ms. Marusic’s motion to remove counsel for the Law Society due to a conflict of interest. The panel found that the Society conducted an unlawful search and seizure of Ms. Marusic’s computer when it failed to limit the search terms to the agreed-upon criteria and viewed e-mails, including personal e-mails, that went beyond the scope of the investigation and thus beyond the authority of s. 49.3 of the Act. The Law Society then used these e-mails to initiate a new investigation. Balancing the competing interests under s. 24(2) of the Charter, the panel excluded the personal e-mails but admitted the work-related e-mails. The panel found this was an appropriate situation to receive evidence by videoconference in that the witness was located in Florida and had various health conditions which made travel difficult; on the request of counsel for both parties, the testimony would be given in an official examiner’s office in Florida with all counsel present, and either be video recorded for later playback at the hearing or linked to the hearing room on a scheduled hearing day. The panel dismissed the motion to remove counsel for the Law Society, noting that it was Ms. Marusic’s choice to call witnesses from the same law firm rather than her former law partner; the motion was brought late in the day and a change of counsel would cause delay and increased expense; the witnesses’ anticipated evidence was uncontentious and unlikely to raise credibility and reliability issues; and steps had been taken by the firm to address any potential conflict.

  • 31/01/2020

    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.