Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action


Daniel Bruce Geller

West Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: May 15, 1974

Discipline hearing: June 24, 2019

Panel: Jennifer Chow, QC (chair); Eric V. Gottardi; Lance Ollenberger

Decision issued: September 20, 2019 (2019 LSBC 35)

Counsel: Michael Shirreff and Elizabeth Allan for the Law Society; Daniel Bruce Geller on his own behalf

BACKGROUND

In December 2018 the hearing panel found that Daniel Bruce Geller had breached the Law Society Rules by practising law in Yukon while suspended in that jurisdiction (2018 LSBC 40). The panel found that his conduct fell short of that required to support a finding of professional misconduct.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, the panel considered that, while Geller’s conduct did not rise to the level of professional misconduct, it nevertheless amounted to a serious breach of the Law Society Rules, and of professional ethics. Further, Geller’s discipline history included multiple conduct and practice reviews and a citation hearing, and this is the second complaint about Geller practising law in Yukon while administratively suspended. It also considered that Geller reluctantly acknowledged that he breached the Law Society Rules, and tended to minimize his conduct. Public confidence in the legal profession is diminished whenever a lawyer engages in the unauthorized practice of law.

The panel ordered that Geller pay:

  • a fine of $5,000; and
  • costs of $10,335.

2019 LSBC 35 Decision on Disciplinary Action - Notice of Review filed

2018 LSBC 40 Decision on Facts and Determination - Notice of Review filed