Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: May 24, 2019

Rosario Cateno Di Bella

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 June 2017 and April 2018, you failed to provide DA (the “Client”) with the quality of service at least equal to that which is generally expected of a competent lawyer in a like situation, contrary to rule 3.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia. In particular, you failed to do one or more of the following:

(a)  communicate effectively with the Client;

(b)  keep the Client reasonably informed;

(c)  answer reasonable requests from the Client for information;

(d)  respond to the Client’s telephone calls and other communications;

(e)  take appropriate steps to do what you promised to the Client;

(f)  answer, within a reasonable time, any communication that required a reply;

(g)  ensure that work on the Client file was done in a timely manner;

(h)  provide the Client with progress updates as to the status of her file; and

(i)  make all reasonable efforts to provide prompt service to the Client.

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

2.  On approximately February 9, 2018 or March 28, 2018, upon your discharge or withdrawal from representation of your client DA (the “Client”), you did not do all that could have been reasonably done to facilitate the orderly transfer of the matter until approximately May 22, 2018, contrary to one or more of rules 3.7-8 and 3.7-9 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia. In particular, you failed to do one or more of the following as soon as practicable:

(a)  notify the Client in writing and state:

(i)  the fact that you were no longer acting; and

(ii)  the reasons for the withdrawal;

(b)  deliver to the Client all papers and property to which the Client was entitled;

(c)  give the Client all relevant information in connection with the matter; and

(d)  cooperate with the successor lawyer in the transfer of the file so as to minimize expense and avoid prejudice to the Client.

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