Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel on an Application to Vary an Order

Kenseelan Gounden

Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: 1992

Decision issued: June 11, 2021 (2021 LSBC 26)

Written submissions: April 21, 2021

Panel: John Waddell, QC, Chair, Lance Ollenberger and Chelsea Wilson

Counsel: Jordanna Cytrynbaum for the Law Society; Henry C. Wood, QC for Kenseelan Gounden

BACKGROUND

Kenseelan Gounden admitted that he improperly submitted some or all of $3,524.99 in expense claims to his employer over a period of nearly one year, and to altering receipts to seek reimbursement for more than the original value of the expenses. Gounden also admitted he submitted expense claims to his employer that had previously been submitted to another organization, and did not pertain to his employer. The hearing panel determined that Gounden committed professional misconduct and ordered that he be suspended for 16 months, pay costs of $5,326.25 and be subject to practice conditions following his suspension (2021 LSBC 07).

At that hearing, Gounden sought an order that portions of the transcript and exhibits that contain confidential client information, privileged information or sensitive personal information not be disclosed to members of the public. The panel cited recent amendments to the applicable rules, deemed the order to be unnecessary and declined to make the order.

APPLICATION FOR NON-DISCLOSURE ORDER

Gounden applied to vary the order made by the panel as it pertains to sensitive personal information concerning himself. He submitted that, while non-disclosure orders are unnecessary for matters of confidentiality or solicitor-client privilege, the rule did not extend to personal information imparted by lawyers facing disciplinary tribunals.

The panel accepted the submission and ordered that the transcript and exhibits be redacted for information concerning Gounden that is of a sensitive personal nature before they are disclosed to any person who is not a party in the hearing.

2021 LSBC 26 Decision of the Hearing Panel on an Application to Vary an Order under Rule 5-12