Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: November 20, 2020

Paule Fiona Seeger

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.  On or about July 13, 2018, in relation to your client JM, you misappropriated or improperly withdrew some or all of $1,400 in client trust funds by withdrawing funds from trust when you were not entitled to do so, contrary to Rule 3-64 of the Law Society Rules and your fiduciary duties.

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

2.  Between approximately January 12, 2017 and September 14, 2018, in relation to one or more of the thirty-seven (37) instances listed in Schedule “A”, you misappropriated or improperly withdrew client trust funds by withdrawing fees from trust for the payment of your legal fees when you had not rendered any or sufficient legal services to justify the withdrawal, contrary to Rule 3-64 of the Law Society Rules and your fiduciary duties.

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

3.  Between approximately December 15, 2015 and July 31, 2018, in relation to one or more of the eighteen (18) instances listed in Schedule “B”, you misappropriated or improperly withdrew client trust funds by withdrawing funds from trust when there were insufficient funds on deposit to the credit of the clients, contrary to one or more of Rules 3-63 and 3-64(3) of the Law Society Rules, and your fiduciary duties.

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 23, 2017 and September 18, 2017, in relation to one or more of the three (3) instances listed in Schedule “C”, you misappropriated or improperly withdrew client trust funds by either withdrawing funds from trust for disbursements that had not been incurred, or by not billing for disbursements accurately, contrary to Rule 3-64(1) of the Law Society Rules and your fiduciary duties.

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

5.  Between approximately April 30, 2018 and May 8, 2018, in relation to one or more of the four (4) instances listed in Schedule “D”, you misappropriated, or improperly withdrew client trust funds by billing clients for legal services at your hourly rate when the work had been completed by an articled student whose hourly rate was lower, contrary to Rule 3-64(1) of the Law Society Rules and your fiduciary duties.

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

6.  Between approximately April 30, 2018 and May 8, 2018, in relation to one or more of the four (4) instances listed in Schedule “D”, you made representations in your invoices to clients that you had rendered certain services when you knew or ought to have known that the representations were false or misleading, or both, because your articled student had completed the work billed for, contrary to rule 2.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

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

7.  In approximately July 2018, in relation to one or more of the twenty (20) instances listed in Schedule “E”, you gave a non-lawyer pre-signed blank cheques for your [Bank] Pooled Trust Account [number], contrary to one or more of Rule 10-4(1) of the Law Society Rules, rules 3.5-2 and 6.1-3 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, and your fiduciary duties.

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

8.  Between approximately January 5, 2018 and April 27, 2018, you failed to notify the Executive Director of the Law Society of British Columbia in writing of the circumstances of an unsatisfied monetary judgment entered against you on January 5, 2018, in Federal Court (File Number [number]), and your proposal for satisfying the judgment, contrary to Rule 3-50 of the Law Society Rules.

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