Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Application for Extension of Time

Leonides Tungohan

Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: May 1, 2008

Review board: Gregory Petrisor, Chair, Don Amos, Jeff Campbell, QC, J.S. (Woody) Hayes, Carol Hickman, QC, John Hogg, QC and Linda Michaluk

Decision issued: February 13, 2018 (2018 LSBC 05)

Counsel: Graham MacLennan for the Law Society; Leonides Tungohan on his own behalf

BACKGROUND

On June 5, 2015, a hearing panel found Leonides Tungohan committed professional misconduct in his billing practices and trust accounting and ordered that he pay a fine of $3,000 and costs of $29,200, and that he produce quarterly accountant’ s reports to the Law Society.

Tungohan applied for section 47 review of the hearing panel’ s decision, and while the review was pending, he was granted a stay of the penalty. On December 12, 2016, the Review Board upheld the panel’ s decision (2016 LSBC 45).

On May 30, 2017, the Review Board ordered Tungohan to pay review hearing costs and determined that the accountant’ s reports must cover the period beginning June 5, 2015, with the first report due within 30 days (2017 LSBC 19).

On June 29, 2017, the due date of the first account’ s report, Tungohan requested a “ deferment of enforcement” regarding the payment of the fine and costs and submission of the account’ s reports.

On August 30, 2017, the Review Board dismissed the request to defer submission of the accountant’ s report and extended payment of the fine and costs arising from the section 47 review to December 12, 2017 (2017 LSBC 31).

Tungohan filed two separate appeals in the BC Court of Appeal, one appealing the Review Board’ s decision upholding the hearing panel’ s decision in respect of the fine and costs of the discipline hearing; and the other appealing the Review Board’ s decision respecting clarification of the time period to be covered by the accountant’ s reports and the costs of the review.

On November 24, 2017, the Court of Appeal ruled on the first of Tungohan’ s two appeals, remitting to the Review Board for reconsideration the issue of the costs order arising from the discipline hearing.

Tungohan then applied to the Review Board for an extension of time to pay the costs of the review and to submit the accountant’ s reports, arguing that the second of his appeals to the Court of Appeal would likely be successful because it was similar to the first of his appeals. He also argued that the Law Society did not approve his proposed accountant and did not give him time to provide reports by an approved accountant.

The Law Society supported the extension of time in respect of the payment of the costs of the review until the Review Board has completed its reconsideration of the costs of the discipline hearing.

The Law Society maintained that the first accountant’ s report was due June 29, 2017 and remained outstanding and that Tungohan’ s continued lack of compliance would harm public confidence in the regulation of the legal profession.

DECISION ON APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME

The Review Board:

  • extended time to pay the costs of the review to the date of the Review Board’ s decision in respect of its reconsideration of the costs of the discipline hearing; and
  • dismissed the application for an extension of time to produce accountant’ s reports.

2018 LSBC 05 Decision on an Application for an Extension of Time