Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Facts, Determination, Disciplinary Action and Costs

Kerri Margaret Farion

Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: December 4, 2006

Suspended: August 4, 2015

Hearing: May 13, 2016

Panel: Craig Ferris, QC (chair); June Preston; Sandra Weafer

Decision issued: June 21, 2016 (2016 LSBC 25) [LINKED]

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Kerri Margaret Farion on her own behalf

FACTS

In the course of investigating a complaint against Farion, the Law Society requested an interview with her. An appointment was scheduled, and on the morning of the agreed-upon date, Farion emailed the Law Society saying she could not make the appointment due to a medical appointment and requested to reschedule.

The Law Society replied immediately with proposed alternative dates and asking for evidence of the medical appointment. Farion did not respond. In total, Farion failed to respond to three letters, one email message and one voicemail message from the Law Society.

DETERMINATION

Farion accepted responsibility for her failure to respond to the Law Society’ s requests to provide a date for the interview and to provide proof of her attendance at the specialist appointment. However, her position was that the Law Society should have further investigated the complaint before interviewing her. In addition, she objected to providing any proof of her attendance at the specialist appointment because she says it is a breach of her privacy rights.

The panel viewed Farion’ s failure to respond as deliberate. She testified that she “ got her back up” and did not view an interview as necessary and did not wish to submit any proof of her attendance at a medical appointment to the Law Society. The failure to respond goes directly to the Law Society’ s ability to regulate its members in the public interest. At the time of this decision, the original complaint that led to the request for an interview has been outstanding and unresolved some 15 months, and much of this delay can be attributed to Farion’ s failure to respond.

The panel determined that Farion had committed professional misconduct.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel ordered that Farion pay:

  • a fine of $2,500; and
  • costs of $2,494.60.

2016 LSBC 25 Decision on Facts, Determination, Disciplinary Action and Costs