Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the President’s Designate on an Application for Joinder and Hearing Dates

Aaron Murray Lessing

Called to the bar: May 17, 1991

Application date: April 14, 2021

President’s designate: Christopher McPherson, QC

Decision issued: May 14, 2021 (2021 LSBC 17)

Counsel: Mandana Namazi for the Law Society; no one appearing on behalf of Aaron Murray Lessing

BACKGROUND

The Law Society applied for an order that three citations issued to Aaron Murray Lessing be joined and determined at one hearing and for an order that the joint facts and determination hearing be set for four days in September 2021 or as soon as possible after that date.

Lessing failed to reply to any of the Law Society’s communications about the citations and took no part in the hearing of this application. Lessing ignored all correspondence with the Law Society and did not access any of the documents posted to its web portal concerning the citations. The Law Society repeatedly notified Lessing that proceedings may continue in his absence and without any input from him. His practising status was suspended from December 2, 2019, because he failed to respond to communications from the Law Society on three separate complaint files.

In January 2020 Lessing, through his then counsel, told the Law Society that he intended to resign his membership. Five months later in May, Lessing emailed the Law Society requesting permission to resign. After that, there was no communication from him, other than to update his contact details as of May 7, 2020. The Law Society made repeated attempts to engage with Lessing concerning the three citations.

DECISION

The president’s designate determined that the allegations in the citations have no apparent connection to each other, apart from taking place in part over the same period, and therefore, there is a considerable risk of unfairness or prejudice to Lessing for the citations to be decided at one hearing. The president’s designate denied the application for the citations to be joined.

2021 LSBC 17 Decision on an Application for Joinder