Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action

PIR INDAR PAUL SINGH SAHOTA

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: August 11, 2006

Discipline hearing: November 24, 2016

Panel: Phil Riddell, Chair and Ralston S. Alexander, QC

Decision issued: May 30, 2017 (2017 LSBC 18)

Counsel: Alison Kirby for the Law Society; Pir Indar Paul Singh Sahota on his own behalf

FACTS AND DETERMINATION

As a result of a compliance audit, a lengthy citation was issued against Pir Indar Paul Singh Sahota comprising seven separate allegations, some of which included several sub-allegations of misconduct. In total, 52 factual incidents were set out in the citation, dealing with events that occurred between July 2008 and July 2011. Sahota essentially admitted all factual allegations but denied the allegations of misappropriation.

The panel found a marked departure from the conduct the Law Society expects of lawyers amounting to professional misconduct, including misappropriation of clients’ funds as a result of financial practices “ so comprehensively inept” that “ it may not be appropriate to characterize his behaviour as negligent.” A summary of that decision can be found here.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel acknowledged this was a unique case. While the misappropriations were very serious, the panel had not found any dishonesty or lack of integrity in Sahota. The panel considered mitigating factors, including that he had no discipline history, he personally gained nothing from the misconduct and there was no impact on his clients; however, the panel noted that there were more than 50 documented instances of rule breaches over a long span of time.

The panel ordered that Sahota:

  1. be suspended for one month;
  2. be prohibited from engaging in any capacity with files involving the purchase, sale or financing of real estate until the restriction is lifted by the Practice Standards Committee; and
  3. pay costs of $14,505.50.

2017 LSBC 18 Decision on Disciplinary Action