Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Application to Dismiss a Review

Donald Franklin Gurney

West Vancouver, BC

Called to the Bar: May 15, 1968

Written Submissions: May 2, 2019

Bencher: Jeff Campbell, QC

Decision issued: July 5, 2019 (2019 LSBC 23)

Counsel: Sarah Conroy for the Law Society; No one appearing on behalf of Donald Franklin Gurney

BACKGROUND

A hearing panel concluded that Donald Franklin Gurney had committed professional misconduct by using his trust account to receive and disburse almost 26 million dollars on behalf of a client without making reasonable inquiries about the circumstances of the transaction (2017 LSBC 15). The hearing panel ordered that Gurney be suspended for six months, pay $25,845 as disgorgement of the legal fees that he had received, and comply with certain trust accounting conditions upon his return to practice (2017 LSBC 32). Gurney filed an application for a review of the findings of facts and determination and disciplinary action, and the Law Society subsequently applied for an order that a review be dismissed on the basis that no steps had been taken to proceed with the review for more than six months. Gurney ceased membership with the Law Society on January 1, 2018.

DECISION OF THE BENCHER

Gurney was required to file a review record within 60 days of filing the notice of review. In the 18 months after filing the notice, Gurney took no steps to advance the review. The Law Society’s application to dismiss the review was granted.

2019 LSBC 23 Decision to Dismiss the Review

2017 LSBC 15 Decision on Facts and Determination

2017 LSBC 32 Decision on Disciplinary Action