Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel


Gerhardus Albertus Pyper

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: December 9, 2002

Hearing: February 10, 2016

Panel: Nancy Merrill, QC, Chair, Joost Blom, QC and Robert Smith

Decision issued: July 31, 2017 (2017 LSBC 27)

Counsel: Kieron Grady for the Law Society; Gerhardus Albertus Pyper on his own behalf

BACKGROUND

This is a decision regarding a preliminary application in a disciplinary proceeding. The panel has not yet heard evidence on the merits of the allegations in the citation. In the preliminary application, Gerhardus Albertus Pyper sought an order that the hearing panel lacks jurisdiction to conduct the hearing, or that the allegations set out in the citation be dismissed or stayed, or that the Law Society as an institution is biased, or other relief as the panel deems just.

Pyper had made a similar application in two prior discipline proceedings. As part of its decision, the hearing panel in the first of those proceedings dismissed the application. Pyper appealed that decision to the BC Court of Appeal and the court dismissed that appeal. The hearing panel found that Pyper had made a full argument for his application, or one essentially similar to it, before the first panel, and was unable to persuade the Court of Appeal that that panel’s decision was unreasonable. The panel saw no unfairness in holding that he cannot reopen the same issues before this panel.

DECISION

The panel held that all the elements of issue estoppel were present and dismissed the preliminary application.

2017 LSBC 27 Decision on Preliminary Application Regarding Jurisdiction and Bias