Weekly Proceedings Update

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

Scroll through for summaries of previous weeks.

  • 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.