Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action


Amarjit Singh Dhindsa

Abbotsford, BC

Called to the bar: June 8, 2001

Discipline hearing: January 8, 2020

Panel: Michelle D. Stanford, QC, chair, Brendan Matthews and Herman Van Ommen, QC

Decision issued: March 3, 2020 (2020 LSBC 13)

Counsel: Ilana Teicher for the Law Society; Duncan Magnus for Amarjit Singh Dhindsa

BACKGROUND

The hearing panel found that, by disclosing his Juricert password to his staff and permitting them to affix his electronic signature to documents filed with the Land Title Office for over three years, Amarjit Singh Dhindsa had committed professional misconduct (2019 LSBC 11).

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel noted that several Law Society publications pointed out that it was an offence to disclose one’ s Juricert password and that, as gatekeepers of the land title electronic registration system, lawyers must use that authority ethically and responsibly. While this offence is generally dealt with by way of a conduct review, in this case Dhindsa did not admit to sharing his password, and the wrongful conduct occurred frequently and over a long period of time.

Dhindsa had a significant professional conduct record, which included several conduct reviews, a practice standards review and two previous findings of professional misconduct. He had applied for a review of the second finding of professional misconduct.

The panel felt a significant suspension was required because the wrongdoing occurred so often over such a long period of time. The disciplinary action must contain a significant element of specific deterrence because of Dhindsa’ s professional conduct record and because the panel has no confidence that he will change his behaviour unless he experiences a significant suspension.

The panel ordered that Dhindsa:

  1. be suspended for four months; and
  2. pay costs of $16,436.83.

 

2020 LSBC 13 Decision on Disciplinary Action - stay of suspension granted pending s. 47 Review

2019 LSBC 11 Decision on Facts and Determination