Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of a decision of the president’s designate on an application to dismiss the review


Summary of a decision of the president’ s designate on an application to dismiss the review

Daniel Bruce Geller

Called to the Bar: May 15, 1974

Retired membership: December 31, 2019

Written submissions: July 27, 2020

President’ s designate: Dean Lawton, QC

Decision issued: August 11, 2020 (2020 LSBC 37)

Counsel: Mandana Namazi for the Law Society; no one appearing on behalf of Daniel Bruce Geller

BACKGROUND

Daniel Bruce Geller was found by a hearing panel (Law Society of BC v. Geller, 2018 LSBC 40) to have held himself out as counsel for an individual in Yukon when he was suspended by the Yukon Law Society from practising law in that jurisdiction. The panel found that Geller committed a breach of the Law Society Rules but that his conduct fell short of that required to support a finding of professional misconduct. The hearing panel ordered a fine of $5,000 and costs of $10,335 (2019 LSBC 35)

Geller applied for a review of the decision on facts and determination and the decision on disciplinary action. He also applied for an extension of time to pay the fine, which was granted.

After six months passed, the Law Society emailed Geller to ask if he intended to proceed with the review, as he had terminated his practice and retired from the practice of law. He did not respond.

The Law Society applied to dismiss the review. The president’ s designate expressed concern that the email sent to Geller did not explicitly state the Law Society intended to apply for an order dismissing the review and, therefore, did not constitute the required notice under the rules. The president’ s designate adjourned the Law Society’ s application generally with leave to bring it any time 14 days after Geller had been given notice in writing (2020 LSBC 22).

APPLICATION TO DIMISS THE REVIEW

The Law Society brought a renewed application to dismiss the review by reason of it being inactive. Notice of the application was delivered to Geller at his email and mailing addresses. He did not respond to the Law Society. He has now had nine months to proceed with the review and has not provided any explanation why he has not advanced the review.

The president’ s designate dismissed the review.

2020 LSBC 37 Decision on an Application to Dismiss the Review