Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Disciplinary Action

GERHARDUS ALBERTUS PYPER

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: December 9, 2002

Ceased membership for non-payment of fees: January 29, 2015

Suspended: May 23, 2014

Discipline hearing: August 11, 2017

Panel: Herman Van Ommen, QC, Chair, James Dorsey, QC and Dan Goodleaf

Decision issued: October 2, 2017 (2017 LSBC 35)

Counsel: Carolyn S. Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Gerhardus Albertus Pyper on his own behalf

FACTS AND DETERMINATION

On May 23, 2014, Gerhardus Albertus Pyper was suspended from the practice of law. Pyper practised law while suspended by drafting, signing or sending two letters on behalf of clients, on May 26 and June 13, 2014. A hearing panel found that Pyper’ s actions constituted professional misconduct (2016 LSBC 01).

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

In considering disciplinary action, the panel considered four general factors: nature, gravity and consequences of conduct; Pyper’ s character and professional conduct record, which included a previous suspension and practice restrictions; acknowledgment of the misconduct and remedial action; and public confidence in the legal profession, including the disciplinary process. As a result of the review of these four factors, the panel decided that a period of suspension from the entitlement to practise law was required.

The panel ordered that:

  • because Pyper is not a member of the Law Society and is not currently seeking readmission, he be suspended for two months commencing the date on which he is readmitted to practice in the future; and
  • he pay costs of $10,484.16.

DISCLOSURE ORDER

The Law Society sought orders around disclosure of exhibits and transcripts, and the panel ordered that:

  • if any member of the public applies for a copy of the transcript of proceedings regarding this hearing, the transcript must be redacted to remove any identifying or confidential information about Pyper’ s clients; and
  • if any member of the public applies for a copy of any exhibit filed in these proceedings, the exhibit must be redacted to remove client names, identifying information and any solicitor-client information from the exhibit before it is released to a member of the public.

2017 LSBC 35 Decision on Disciplinary Action