Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

 

Citation issued: April 20, 2017

Michael Sheldon Golden

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 April 2014 and April 2015, you acted in a conflict of interest contrary to Rules 3.4-1, 3.4-2 and 3.4-3 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, by representing Mr. LV in matrimonial proceedings against his wife, Ms. TV, in which LV was claiming an interest in real property owned by TV, while also: 

(a)  preparing a promissory note in favour of TN to secure a debt owed to TN by TV and preparing a power of attorney given by TV to TN for purposes of selling the real property owned by TV, when you knew or ought to have known that the intention of TN and TV was that the debt would be repaid from the sale of the real property; and 

(b)  representing TV in the sale of the real property, pursuant to the power of attorney given to TN, but taking instructions from LV regarding the distribution of the sale proceeds. 

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

2.  Between approximately April 2014 until April 2015, you acted in a conflict of interest contrary to Rules 3.4-1, 3.4-2 and 3.4-3 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, by representing TN in connection with the preparation of a promissory note in favour of TN to secure a debt owed to TN by TV while also representing TV in the sale of real property owned by TV that you knew was the subject of a claim by TV’s husband, LV when you knew or ought to have known their interests were or may be adverse. 

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

3.  Between approximately April 2014 until April 2015, when you represented TN regarding the preparation of a power of attorney and a promissory note in favour of TN to secure a debt owed to TN by TV, you failed to advise TN about the sufficiency of the promissory note and the power of attorney to secure the debt owed to her, contrary to Rules 3.1-2 and 3.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia

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

4.  In or around April 2014, when you met with TV and prepared a promissory note and power of attorney on her behalf, you failed to do one or more of the following, contrary to Rule 7.2-9 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia

(a)  urge TV to obtain independent legal representation regarding the promissory note and power of attorney;

(b)  take care to ensure TV was not under the impression that her interests would be protected by you; and 

(c)  make it clear to TV that you were acting in the interests of your client, LV. 

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

5.  On or about April 9, 2015, you improperly withdrew $20,000 of the proceeds of sale of real property held in trust on behalf of TV and disbursed those funds to QP without TV’s authorization or consent, contrary Rule 3-56(1) of the Law Society Rules then in force (now Rule 3-64(1)). 

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

6.  In or around April 2015, you prepared a Release for TN to sign which was intended to settle a debt owed to her pursuant to a promissory note signed by TV for less than the amount reflected on the promissory note, and included wording that improperly purported to, upon payment to TV of the lesser amount, release any potential claims against Michael Golden Law Corporation, 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.