Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel on an Application to Exclude a Member of the Public


Hong Guo

Called to the bar: May 4, 2009

Hearing date: February 5, 2020

Panel: Jennifer Chow, QC (chair); Ralston Alexander, QC; and John Lane

Decision issued: February 24, 2020 (2020 LSBC 10)

Counsel: Kathleen Bradley for the Law Society; Gerald Cuttler, QC for Hong Guo; Robert William Gordon Grosz on his own behalf

BACKGROUND

Hong Guo applied to the hearing panel for an order to exclude Robert William Gordon Grosz, a member of the public, from this hearing and any continuation of this hearing.

In her affidavit, Guo states that Grosz was previously employed by her and his conduct frightens and intimidates her. She finds his presence to be distracting, harassing and intimidating and she believes that Grosz will attempt to disseminate evidence maliciously to try to cause her harm.

At this time, Grosz is subject to various orders made by a Law Society hearing panel and by Madam Justice Forth to protect client confidentiality and solicitor-client privilege. A separate order was made to exclude Grosz from another hearing involving Guo.

In his submissions to the panel, Grosz used profanity and made a number of accusations against the Law Society, the courts and numerous other persons and parties. On both days of the hearing when he was present, he interrupted counsel and the panel, spoke over counsel and the panel chair, used profanity and made a number of threats.

DECISION ON APPLICATION

In the panel’s view, the hearing cannot continue with Grosz present, as his attendance is disruptive and disrespectful to the proceedings and raises issues of public safety. The panel agrees with the Law Society’s submissions that Grosz has breached confidentiality and client-solicitor privilege and disregarded the current orders made against him.

The panel found it is in the public interest to exclude Grosz from the hearing and any continuation of this hearing and ordered that:

  • Robert Willing Gordon Grosz is excluded from the hearing room for this hearing and any continuation thereof;
  • Grosz is not entitled to receive, directly or indirectly, a transcript of any of the proceedings or copies of any exhibit or document tendered in evidence or otherwise in these proceedings;
  • if any person other than a party requests a copy of the transcript or any exhibit filed in these proceedings, confidential client information and information protected by solicitor-client privilege must be redacted from the transcript or exhibit before it is disclosed to that person; and
  • no one present at these proceedings may disclose, disseminate or publish any confidential client information or information protected by solicitor-client privilege.

2020 LSBC 10 Decision on an Application to Exclude a Member of the Public