Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action and Costs
CHARLES LOUIS ALBAS
Called to the Bar: May 14, 1976
Ceased membership for non-payment of fees: January 1, 2016
Discipline hearing: October 4, 2016
Panel: Martin Finch, QC, Chair, Dan Goodleaf and Bruce LeRose, QC
Decision issued: October 31, 2016 (2016 LSBC 36)
Counsel: Mark Bussanich for the Law Society; Charles Louis Albas on his own behalf
FACTS AND DETERMINATION
In its decision of May 30, 2016, the panel found Charles Louis Albas guilty of eight allegations, including:
- two counts of borrowing money from clients;
- two counts of providing legal services to clients when he had a direct or indirect financial interest in the subject matter of the legal services;
- failing to disclose material facts in a notice of motion and supporting affidavit;
- failing to disclose material facts and correct the record concerning an application in foreclosure proceedings;
- misleading opposing counsel; and
- failing to notify the Law Society of three unsatisfied judgements.
A summary of that decision can be found here.
In reaching its decision, the panel considered that lawyers must know that borrowing money from a client fundamentally alters the solicitor-client relationship. In this case, Albas took advantage of his special relationship with these clients as their lawyer. Trust is the very foundation of a solicitor-client relationship and Albas’s professional misconduct in this case breached that trust.
The hearing panel ordered that Albas:
- be suspended for four months; and
- pay costs of $5,706.10.