Summary of Decision of the Review Board
Called to the bar: May 1, 2008
Review: March 16, 2016
Review board: Gregory Petrisor, Chair, Don Amos, Jeff Campbell, QC, Woody Hayes, Carol Hickman, QC, John Hogg, QC and Linda Michaluk
Decision Issued: December 12, 2016 (2016 LSBC 45)
Counsel: Alison Kirby for the Law Society; Leonides Tungohan on his own behalf
A hearing panel determined that Leonides Tungohan’s failure to report an unsatisfied monetary judgment, his numerous breaches relating to the withdrawal of trust funds and his failure to maintain appropriate books, accounts and records of client funds were marked departures from the conduct expected of lawyers and constituted professional misconduct. The panel ordered that Tungohan pay a fine of $3,000, provide quarterly reports from an accountant to the Law Society, and pay costs of $29,200 (facts and determination 2015 LSBC 02; disciplinary action 2015 LSBC 26; Winter 2015 discipline digest).
Tungohan sought a review of the hearing panel decisions, asking that the decisions on facts and determination and disciplinary action be set aside, that the panel’s order with respect to costs be stayed, and that the Law Society pay costs to Tungohan in respect of this review.
DECISION OF THE REVIEW BOARD
The review board agreed with the hearing panel’s reasons and decision with respect to facts and determination. The hearing panel was correct in refusing to allow Tungohan to withdraw admissions that he had made in response to a Notice to Admit. The review board heard further evidence and admitted documents from Tungohan, but found that the hearing panel had a substantial body of evidence on which it based its findings.
The review board rejected Tungohan’s argument that the Kienapple principle applied to his breaches of various accounting rules. The rules were distinct provisions and the elements were not the same. Similarly, Tungohan’s argument that his involvement with the Practice Standards Committee and staff precluded disciplinary action was rejected. The Committee was not a disciplinary body, and there was no risk of penalty or sanction.
In its consideration of disciplinary action, the review board agreed that the fine imposed by the hearing panel was appropriate in the circumstances, that the conditions imposed were reasonably necessary to monitor Tungohan’s compliance with Law Society accounting rules, and that the order of costs against Tungohan, including the amount, was appropriate.
The review board declined to set aside or vary any of the orders made by the hearing panel.