Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action

Jeremy Daniel Knight

Kamloops, BC

Called to the bar: May 4, 2015

Ceased membership for non-payment of fees: January 1, 2018

Discipline hearing: July 7, 2021

Panel: Michael Welsh, QC (chair), David Layton, QC and Brendan Matthews

Decision issued: September 3, 2021 (2021 LSBC 36)

Counsel: Tara McPhail for the Law Society; Jeremy Daniel Knight appearing on his own behalf

BACKGROUND

A hearing panel determined that Knight committed professional misconduct by misappropriating retainer and/or disbursements funds in relation to two of his clients and using the funds for a purpose he knew was not authorized by his client. The panel also determined that Knight failed to comply with his trust accounting obligations concerning the handling of either or both of his client retainer and disbursement funds, including failing to deposit the funds into a trust account, depositing funds into his personal bank account before rendering a bill for legal services, and failing to record all funds received and disbursed (2020 LSBC 48).

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel considered the serious and intentional nature of Knight’s misconduct and his professional conduct record, which included practice standards requirements related to his substance use issues. Knight has apologized to his former employer, acknowledged his misconduct and taken steps to address his substance use issues, and the panel considered these to be mitigating factors.

The panel ordered that:

  1. Knight be suspended for a minimum of 16 months and appear before a board of examiners appointed by the panel or the Practice Standards Committee to satisfy the board of examiners that his competence to practise law is not adversely affected by a dependency on alcohol or drugs;
  2. upon return to practice, Knight be subject to practice conditions including that he must practise in a firm setting with at least one other practitioner, he must practise under a supervision, he is prohibited from operating a trust account and from having any signing authority over a trust account and he enter into and comply with a medical monitoring agreement; and
  3. Knight pay costs of $5,219.63.

 

2021 LSBC 36 Decision on Disciplinary Action