|For immediate release||October 6, 2005|
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 and location of practice appear in parentheses). Full hearing reports are posted on the Law Society’s website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.
William Fredric Murray (1976, Burnaby) admitted his failure to respond to correspondence from opposing counsel regarding his filing of default judgment against opposing counsel’s clients, which correspondence required a reply, constituted professional misconduct. The hearing panel accepted Mr. Murray’s proposed penalty of a $2,000 fine and costs of $1,000.
Stephen Neville Suntok (1995, Victoria) admitted that his conduct in assaulting Ms. H. constituted conduct unbecoming a lawyer. The hearing panel ordered that he be reprimanded, be suspended for 90 days beginning Nov. 1, 2005, enter a counselling program and provide quarterly reports to the Law Society, abstain absolutely from the consumption of alcohol and provide quarterly medical reports to confirm this, and that he pay $8,000 costs within two years of returning to practice.
Gregory Allan Smith (1985, Surrey) admitted his failure to respond to communications that required his response constituted professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered that he be reprimanded and that he pay costs.
Kevin Patrick Doyle (1985, Victoria) admitted his failure to register as required by the Social Services Tax Act, to remit provincial sales tax collected from clients and his failure to remit goods and services tax collected from clients constituted professional misconduct. Mr. Doyle agreed to a fine of $2,000 and costs of $3,000. The hearing panel also rejected Mr. Doyle’s application for anonymous publication of the decision. On appeal by Mr. Doyle of the publication order, the Benchers said that a member is entitled to an anonymous publication order only when no suspension or disbarment is involved and when the member or another identifiable individual will suffer grievous harm if the member’s name is published. The Benchers further said that grievous harm can only occur in rare and exceptional circumstances.
Marianne Walters (1985, Abbotsford) admitted she signed an affidavit and left the date blank so it could be inserted later and that this constituted professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered that she pay a fine of $3,000 and costs of $3,500.
Crawford Grant Edwards (1972, Surrey) was suspended pursuant to s. 39 of the Legal Profession Act pending the conclusion of the hearing of a citation against him relating to his involvement in an investment scheme.
The Law Society of BC is the governing body of the legal profession in BC. It is an independent organization that sets standards for the education, professional responsibility and competence of lawyers in the province. For more information on the regulation and discipline of lawyers see the “Regulatory and Insurance” 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