Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Facts and Determination

Lawyer 15

Metro Vancouver

Called to the bar: 2011

Hearing: September 21-22 and December 11, 2015 and April 30, 2016

Panel: Pinder K. Cheema, QC (chair), Bruce LeRose, QC and Lance Ollenberger

Decision issued: July 19, 2016 (2016 LSBC 28)

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Joven Narwal for Lawyer 15

FACTS

Lawyer 15 was a co-owner and director of a company that owned an apartment building in Alberta. In February 2011 a tenant in the building called the building manager to say that the tenant had contacted Alberta Health Services and arranged an inspection of his apartment due to concerns about mould. Another investor in the building notified Lawyer 15 of the conversation.

The health inspection took place on February 22, 2011. Shortly after the inspection, Lawyer 15 phoned the tenant to inform him that he would be evicted. Shortly after that phone conversation, Lawyer 15 emailed another of the building owners telling her to serve a notice of eviction immediately.

On March 28, 2011, Lawyer 15 spoke with a peace officer who was investigating the tenant’ s complaint under the Residential Tenancies Act. The peace officer asked whether Lawyer 15 had known of the complaint before the company filed an eviction notice. Lawyer 15 told him he had not been aware of any complaint prior to the eviction notice and that the reason for eviction was the tenant’ s aggressive behaviour.

On February 28, 2012, Lawyer 15 testified in court that he had only become aware the tenant had requested a health inspection after February 22, the date of the eviction notice.

DETERMINATION

The hearing panel determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove that, when Lawyer 15 represented to the peace officer that he was unaware that the tenant had complained to the Alberta Health Authority prior to the company issuing an eviction notice, he knew or ought to have known this was not true.

The panel also determined that there was insufficient evidence to suggest Lawyer 15 gave false testimony when he testified in court that he was unaware that the tenant had complained to the Alberta Health Services before the company issued the eviction notice.

The hearing panel dismissed the citation.

2016 LSBC 28 Decision on Facts and Determination