Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued:  October 25, 2018

Rene Henri Daignault

Citations are authorized by the Law Society of BC's Discipline Committee and list allegations against a lawyer that will be considered at a discipline hearing. Please note that allegations in a citation are unproven until a discipline hearing panel has determined their validity.

Nature of conduct to be inquired into:

1.  Between approximately 2004 and 2012, you used your trust account to receive funds and disburse them on instructions of your client, H Ltd., the principal of which was BE, in circumstances where you failed to do one or more of the following in respect of one or more of the transactions set out in Schedule A:

(a)  provide any substantial legal services in connection with the trust matters;

(b)  make reasonable inquiries regarding the circumstances surrounding the trust deposits,

(c)  advise the persons depositing the funds to your trust account that you were not protecting their interests as required by Chapter 4, Rule 1 of the Professional Conduct Handbook then in force.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

2.  Between approximately 2004 and 2009, you used your trust account to receive funds and disburse them purportedly on behalf of O Ltd., a company in which you had an interest and which was used as a vehicle for facilitating the transactions set out in Schedule B, in circumstances where you failed to do one or more of the following in respect of one or more of the transactions set out in Schedule B:

(a)  provide any substantial legal services in connection with the trust matters;

(b)  advise the persons depositing the funds to your trust account that you were not protecting their interests as required by Chapter 4, Rule 1 of the Professional Conduct Handbook then in force;

(c)  advise the persons depositing the funds to your trust account that (i) you were accepting and disbursing the funds on behalf of O Ltd., (ii) you had an interest in O Ltd., (iii) you were acting only for O Ltd. and not for any party to the transaction, and (iv) in these circumstances you were effectively taking instructions from yourself regarding the disbursement of the funds;

(d)  guard against carrying on business through O Ltd. in such a way that a person might reasonably:

(i)  find it difficult to determine whether in any matter you are acting as a lawyer, or

(ii) expect that in carrying on business through O Ltd., you will exercise legal judgement or skill for the protection of that person

as required by Chapter 7, Rule 6 of the Professional Conduct Handbook then in force.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.