Admitted Discipline Violations

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel on Disciplinary Action

Michael Murph Ranspot

West Vancouver, BC      

Called to the bar: August 1, 1985

Hearing date: October 1, 2021                            

Additional written submissions: November 15, 2021

Panel: Jamie Maclaren, QC (chair), Lindsay R. LeBlanc and Lance Ollenberger

Decision issued: March 18, 2022 (2022 LSBC 11)

Counsel: Kieron G. Grady for the Law Society; Patrick F. Lewis for Michael Murph Ranspot

BACKGROUND

A hearing panel found that Michael Murph Ranspot was in a conflict of interest when he acted for a client, while he was in a personal relationship with her, and loaned her funds without ensuring she had independent legal advice. The panel also found, and Ranspot admitted, that he assaulted his client and romantic partner, was charged with and pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing bodily harm to her, and that his conduct amounted to conduct unbecoming a lawyer (2021 LSBC 24).

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The Law Society sought a four-month suspension to address the two instances of misconduct; Ranspot submitted that a suspension of two weeks to one month was appropriate.

The hearing panel ordered a three-month suspension after it considered the range of disciplinary actions in similar cases, as well as Ranspot’s professional conduct record, which included two previous findings of professional misconduct for breaching accounting rules and rendering false accounts to Legal Aid BC, and failing to serve his client with the quality of service expected of a competent lawyer.

The panel noted that Ranspot entered an early guilty plea in the court action, fulfilled the terms of his 16-month probation order, completed a corrections program and participated in individual and group counselling sessions for about two and a half years. He also entered into a confidential agreement to settle a civil claim that his former partner brought against him for damages arising from the assault.

The panel ordered that Ranspot:

  1. be suspended for three months; and
  2. pay $12,087.24 in costs.

2022 LSBC 11 Decision on Disciplinary Action

2021 LSBC 24 Decision on Facts and Determination