Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Admission of Misconduct and Undertakings


James Edward Turner

Victoria, BC

Called to the bar: August 5, 1987

Ceased membership: December 31, 2018

Admission and undertaking accepted: September 26, 2019

AGREED FACTS

In the course of working for more than a dozen clients in immigration-related matters, including applications for permanent residence, study permits, work permits, work permit extensions and sponsorships, James Edward Turner made misrepresentations to his clients or to third parties. Among other things, he claimed that he had submitted an application when he had not, that he was unaware of the status of an application when knew that it had been refused or returned, and that a client had status in Canada when the client did not.

ADMISSION AND UNDERTAKING

Turner admitted that he failed to provide clients with the quality of service required of a lawyer by failing to submit clients’ applications in a timely matter or at all, failing to keep clients reasonably informed about the status of applications, or failing to honestly and candidly advise a client that an application had not been submitted.

Turner admitted his conduct was contrary to the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia and constitutes professional misconduct.

In accepting Turner’ s admissions and undertakings, the Discipline Committee considered that Turner self-reported and cooperated fully with the investigation; his professional conduct record includes a prior citation for similar misconduct and a practice limitation; and Turner’ s explanation, supported by a medical assessment, that at the time of his misconduct Turner was suffering from personal and mental health issues.

Turner voluntarily withdrew membership in the Law Society effective December 31, 2018. He agreed to undertake for 10 years, commencing on September 30, 2019:

  • not to engage in the practice of law in British Columbia until such time as he may again become a member in good standing of the Law Society of British Columbia;
  • not to apply for readmission to the Law Society or elsewhere within Canada prior to September 30, 2029;
  • not to apply for membership in any other law society prior to September 30, 2029, without first advising in writing the Law Society; and
  • not to work in any capacity for any lawyer or law firm in British Columbia, without obtaining the prior written consent of the Discipline Committee.

Rule 4-29 Admission of Misconduct and Undertaking