Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel

MICHAEL SAUL MENKES

New Westminster, BC

Called to the bar: May 17, 1996

Discipline hearing: May 10, 2016

Panel: Pinder Cheema, QC, chair, Shona Moore, QC and Graeme Roberts

Decision issued: June 20, 2016 (2016 LSBC 24)

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Michael Saul Menkes on his own behalf

AGREED FACTS

In April 2009, Michael Saul Menkes’ s client was attacked by a police dog, and in November 2009 the client and her father retained Menkes to handle a personal injury claim.

In November 2009 Menkes filed a notice of claim with Vancouver Small Claims Registry. He did not at the time serve the notice of claim on the City of Vancouver or the Vancouver Police Board.

Between 2012 and 2013 the client’ s father contacted Menkes's office several times. Menkes admits he did not return the phone calls. The two met once or twice when the father visited Menkes’ s office without an appointment.

In or around November 2013, Menkes checked the status of the file at the Vancouver Small Claims Registry and found only the notice of claim. He had not served the defendants with the notice of claim nor prepared and filed the required certificate of readiness.

Between May 2011 and April 2014 Menkes failed to include the client’ s file in monthly file status reports to the Practice Standards Department, as required.

ADMISSION AND DETERMINATION

The panel found that Menkes had failed to meet his responsibility to provide quality and appropriate legal services to his client. The panel approved Menkes’ s conditional admission of professional misconduct and proposed disciplinary action, both of which had been accepted by the Discipline Committee.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel ordered that Menkes pay:

  • a fine of $7,500; and
  • costs of $1,259.39.

2016 LSBC 24 Decision of the Hearing Panel