|For immediate release||March 20, 2007|
Law Society disciplines BC lawyers
VANCOUVER — Pursuant to its statutory duty to govern BC’s legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society of BC has disciplined the following lawyers (the lawyer’s year of call to the BC Bar appears in parentheses). Full hearing reports are posted on the Law Society’s website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.
Crawford Grant Edwards (1972, suspended September 16, 2005, ceased membership January 1, 2006), of North Vancouver, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for his involvement in an investment scheme. The panel noted that the respondent ignored warnings given to him by the Law Society that an investment scheme had all the hallmarks of a scam, and that Mr. Edwards continued to maintain that the scheme was legitimate based on sources no reasonably competent solicitor would have relied upon in the circumstances. The hearing panel did not find that Mr. Edwards personally engaged in any fraudulent conduct or was otherwise dishonest. They ordered Mr. Edwards be disbarred and pay costs of $35,815.
Dale Bruce Harder (1972, undertaking not to practice law November, 16, 2001, ceased membership January 1, 2003), of Kelowna, BC, admitted professional misconduct for failing to service his clients properly, failing to hold and remit PST and GST, breaching Law Society accounting rules, failing to prepare proper accounts, failing to adequately supervise an employee, withdrawing trust funds without preparing accounts and practising without insurance. The hearing panel also found that Mr. Harder misappropriated client funds. They ordered that Mr. Harder be disbarred and that he pay $149,053 in costs.
Howard Raymond Berge, QC (1967), of Kelowna, BC, applied for a review of an earlier decision involving a one-month suspension and costs for conduct unbecoming arising from an October 2, 2002 car accident. On October 17, 2006, the Benchers upheld the earlier decision and ordered that Mr. Berge pay partial costs of the proceedings. Mr. Berge has appealed the review decision to the BC Court of Appeal.
Danine Lorraine Geronazzo (1998, ceased membership January 1, 2005), of Victoria, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for attempting to mislead her employers and the Law Society about work she had performed on various client files. On an application for review of penalty, the Benchers upheld the earlier decision which imposed a practice supervision agreement and further ordered a six-month suspension.
Daniel Glen Addison (1993) of Abbotsford, BC, admitted professional misconduct in misleading opposing counsel in adding a defence witness to the List of Witnesses when he knew at that time that the witness had died. The panel hearing panel ordered that Mr. Addison be suspended for 30 days starting March 10, 2007 and that he pay costs in the amount of $6,369.
Jeffrey Francis Murray (1994), of Kelowna BC, admitted that his conduct in dealing with funds in breach of the Legal Profession Act and Law Society Rules amounted to professional misconduct. The hearing panel accepted Mr. Murray’s admission and proposed penalty of reprimand, a $1,500 fine and costs of $2,000.
Leonard Thomas Denovan Hill (1982), of Delta, BC, admitted that he breached an undertaking to pay the outstanding taxes from the mortgage proceeds in a residential conveyance, and that this breach constituted professional misconduct. The panel accepted Mr. Hill’s admission and proposed penalty of a fine of $2,500 and $1,000 in costs.
John Wilson Dobbin (1973, suspended May 31, 2006, ceased membership: January 1, 2007) of Vancouver, BC, admitted professional misconduct in breaching an undertaking to the Practice Standards Committee to provide monthly action plans. Mr. Dobbin also admitted professional misconduct for failing to provide update reports on his medical treatment. The panel ordered that Mr. Dobbin be suspended for a minimum of one year and until he satisfies a board of examiners that his ability to practise law is not affected by a mental disability. The panel also ordered Mr. Dobbin to pay $6,914 in costs. If he resumes practice, the panel ordered he must only do so as an employee or associate and he must undergo a practice review within three months of resuming practice.
Stuart Clendening (1971) of Surrey, BC, admitted professional misconduct in breaching an undertaking to discharge a mortgage in a timely manner and failing to respond to communications from a notary public. The hearing panel ordered Mr. Clendening to pay a fine of $7,500 and costs of $2,500.
Mimi Mankiu Luk (1990, suspended October 24, 2005) of Richmond, BC, admitted professional misconduct in attempting to mislead the Law Society by providing a false document; failing to provide a reasonable quality of service to her client in a divorce matter by failing to keep her client informed; and by failing to take the necessary steps to advance the matter in a timely fashion. The hearing panel accepted Ms. Luk’s admission and proposed penalty of an 18-month suspension retroactive to October 24, 2005 and costs of $8,000. Should Ms. Luk resume practice, the panel ordered that she must practise only in a capacity approved by the Practice Standards Committee and undertake to respond to the Law Society within 14 days of receiving a request for a response; undergo a practice review within the first three months; comply with all of the recommendations of the Practice Standards Committee; continue to be treated by a psychiatrist and provide treatment reports every three months to the Practice Standards Committee; and complete the small firm practice course within six months of the date of the hearing panel decision.
The Law Society of BC is the governing body of the legal profession in B.C. Under the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society is responsible for the licensing, professional conduct and discipline of the more than 10,000 lawyers in B.C. For more information on the regulation and discipline of lawyers see the Conduct and Discipline section of the Law Society's website.
Law Society of BC media contact:
Brad Daisley, Public Affairs Manager
Office: 604 443-5724 or 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in BC