Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Facts, Determination and Disciplinary Action

HEATHER CATHERINE CUNNINGHAM

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: June 1, 2001

Discipline hearing: June 16, 2017

Panel: Thomas Fellhauer, Chair, David Layton, QC and Linda Michaluk

Decision issued: October 23, 2017 (2017 LSBC 37)

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Heather Cunningham appearing on her own behalf.

FACTS AND DETERMINATION

Heather Cunningham was ordered by a hearing panel in a previous discipline matter (2017 LSBC 09) to provide a complete and substantive response to the Law Society’ s enquiries related to an investigation into a complaint from her client. Cunningham did not provide a response to the Law Society by the date required by the order.

Cunningham provided no explanation of her failure to comply with the order. The hearing panel determined that her failure to respond constitutes professional misconduct.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

In the process of determining the appropriate disciplinary action, the panel considered the harm caused by a failure to respond to Law Society requests for information needed to investigate a complaint, Cunningham’ s professional conduct record involving similar incidents where she failed to respond, and sanctions in similar cases.

The panel ordered that Cunningham

  1. be suspended for one month, or until she has complied with the order, whichever is last occurring; and
  2. pay costs of $2,542.70.

2017 LSBC 37 Decision of the Hearing Panel on Facts, Determination, Disciplinary Action and Costs