Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: June 14, 2019

Mark Alan Hopkinson

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 August 2017 and May 2018, in the course of acting for your client MB in relation to a United States patent application (the “Patent Application”), you failed to provide the quality of service required of a competent lawyer, contrary to one or both of rules 3.1-2 and 3.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, by failing to do one or more of the following:

(a)  keep your client reasonably informed regarding the status of the Patent Application;

(b)  disclose to your client that you had received a Notice of Allowance and her obligations pursuant to that Notice;

(c)  answer the Notice of Allowance, which required a reply;

(d)  take steps to pay or cause to be paid the required fee on behalf of your client, so that the value of the work to her was maintained;

(e)  respond to reasonable requests from your client for information on January 11, February 17, April 5, April 30, and May 15, 2018;

(f)  respond to your client’s telephone calls; and

(g)  take appropriate steps to reinstate the Patent Application, which you promised to your client you would do.

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

2.  Between approximately November 2017 and May 2018, after discovering that your client MB’s United States patent application (the “Patent Application”) had been deemed “abandoned” due to your error or omission, you either failed to readily rectify your error or omission by reinstating the Patent Application, or you failed to do one or more of the following contrary to rule 7.8-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia:

(a)  promptly inform your client of the error or omission without admitting legal liability;

(b)  recommend that your client obtain independent legal advice concerning the matter, including any rights she may have arising from the error or omission; and

(c)  advise your client of the possibility that, in the circumstances, you may no longer be able to act for her.

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

3.  Between approximately September 6, 2018 and June 5, 2019, you failed to cooperate in the Law Society’s investigation of the complaint of MB, contrary to one or more of Rules 3-5(7) and (11) of the Law Society Rules and rule 7.1-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, and in particular you failed to respond substantively or at all to some or all of the following communications from the Law Society:

(a)  voicemail messages left on September 6 and 25, 2018;

(b)  email messages dated September 11 and October 30, 2018; and

(c)  letters dated October 3 and November 1, 2018.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

4.  Between approximately January 25, 2019 and June 5, 2019, while you were suspended from the practice of law, you represented on the website www.coastpatent.com that you were qualified and entitled to practice law by referring to your business as “Hopkinson Intellectual Property Law” and “Patent & Trademark Agency & Law Firm”, contrary to one or both of section 15 of the Legal Profession Act and rule 4.2-5 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.