Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Review Board on Costs

Leonides Tungohan

Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: May 1, 2008

Written submissions: April 9 and 23 and May 7, 2018

Review board: Greg Petrisor, Chair, Don Amos, Jeff Campbell, QC, Woody Hayes, Carol Hickman, QC, John Hogg, QC and Linda Michaluk

Decision issued: June 4, 2018 (2018 LSBC 15)

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

BACKGROUND

A hearing panel found that Leonides Tungohan had committed professional misconduct, fined him $3,000 and assessed costs of $29,200 (2015 LSBC 26). A Review Board dismissed a review of costs (2016 LSBC 45). The BC Court of Appeal sent the decision on costs back to the review board for reconsideration (2017 BCCA 423).

The initial hearing panel decision on costs was based primarily on the tariff for attendance at each day of hearing. Tungohan argued these costs would be a financial burden, but did not provide evidence of his financial circumstances. He did provide tax and accounting records at the review hearing indicating no significant income from the practice of law. At this second review, he submitted that costs of $29,200 are disproportionate to a fine of $3,000.

The review board considered the Court of Appeal’s comments regarding the hardship of costs for sole practitioners and others with limited means to pay and considered the evidence of financial hardship, which was not before the hearing panel.

DECISION OF THE REVIEW BOARD

The review board set aside the decision on costs and substituted an order of costs in the amount of $12,500, payable within six months of the decision.

2018 LSBC 15 Decision of the Review Board on Costs