Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action and Costs


CHARLES LOUIS ALBAS

Penticton, BC

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.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

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.

2016 LSBC 36 Decision on Disciplinary Action and Costs