Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: November 10, 2016; Amended June 8, 2017

Pir Indar Paul Singh Sahota

Citations are issued by the Law Society of BC's Discipline Committee and list allegations against a lawyer which 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.  In the course of representing your client, MT, in connection with the transfer to him of an interest in a matrimonial property, you failed to honour one or more of the trust conditions imposed by opposing counsel in her letter dated June 16, 2014 by:

a)  failing to provide opposing counsel, within five business days of the registration of transfer documents, a copy of your letter to the lender enclosing the payout monies;
b)  failing to provide opposing counsel, within five business days of the registration of transfer documents, a copy of the payout statement received from the lender enclosing the payout monies;
c)  failing to provide opposing counsel, within five business days of the registration of transfer documents, a copy of your cheques in payment of the amount owing to the lender;
d)  failing to attend to the registration of the discharge of the mortgage registered against the property under number [number] upon receipt of the discharge;
e)  failing to attend to the registration of the discharge of the mortgage registered against the property under number [number] (transferred to [number]) upon receipt of the discharge;
f)  failing to provide opposing counsel with details of the registration of the discharges in a timely way,
contrary to Rule 7.2-11 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

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

2.  In the course of representing your client, MT, in connection with the transfer to him of an interest in a matrimonial property, you failed to answer with reasonable promptness some or all of communications dated June 20, 2014, July 17, 2014, July 23, 2014, August 16, 2014 and August 18, 2014 from opposing counsel that required a response, contrary to Rule 7.2-5 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia.

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

3.  In the course of representing your client, MT, in connection with the transfer to him of an interest in a matrimonial property, you failed to serve your client in a competent, timely, conscientious, diligent and efficient way so as to provide a quality of service at least equal to that which would be generally expected of a competent lawyer in a like situation, failed to properly supervise your staff, or both, contrary to one or both of Rules 3.2-1 and 6.1-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, by doing one or more of the following:

a)  you instructed your staff to send a letter dated April 17, 2014 prepared by your contract conveyancer which imposed trust conditions on opposing counsel that were not applicable to the transaction, without reviewing or signing the letter;
b)  you signed and sent a letter dated June 17, 2014 and prepared by your contract conveyancer to opposing counsel imposing trust conditions that were not applicable to the transaction;
c)  you instructed your staff to send a letter incorrectly dated June 17, 2014 prepared by your contract conveyancer which imposed trust conditions on opposing counsel that were not applicable to the transaction, without reviewing or signing the letter;
d)  you failed to ensure that your client’s Form A transfer was registered concurrently with or after the discharge of a certificate of pending litigation and court order filed against the property;
e)  you failed to ensure that your contract conveyancer had followed your instructions to forward discharge and payout documents to opposing counsel;
f)  you failed to have a bring forward system in place to ensure that outstanding undertakings and discharges would be appropriately handled and followed up.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or incompetent performance of duties pursuant to section 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

4.  In the course of representing your client, a Credit Union, in connection with the registration of a mortgage in the amount of $550,000 against title to a property to be owned solely by your client MT, you failed to honour one or more of the trust conditions imposed by the Credit Union in its instructions to solicitor dated January 17, 2014 by:

a)  failing to register the mortgage as a first-ranking mortgage;
b)  disbursing the mortgage funds prior to all the funding conditions set out in the Credit Documents and the mortgage instructions having been satisfied or complied with;
c)  disbursing the mortgage funds prior to all other liens, mortgages or encumbrances being discharged;
d)  failing to provide the Credit Union with a state of title certificate showing full registration of the mortgage within 120 days of its submission for registration.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or incompetent performance of duties pursuant to section 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.