News Releases

For immediate release December 18, 2003

Law Society disciplines 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). Hearing reports are posted on the Law Society's website.

John Motiuk (1967, undertook not to practise law, Nov. 25, 1999, became a non-practising member Jan. 1, 2001), of Delta, BC, admitted professional misconduct for: paying money to a party in a foreclosure claim contrary to a court order, settling a foreclosure claim without notifying another party in the claim, charging fees in estate matters when he was not entitled to do so, failing to advise the beneficiaries in estate matters to obtain independent legal advice, rendering an account in an estate matter that did not comply with Law Society rules, failing to follow client instructions, attempting to have a client withdraw a complaint, and failing to remit employee salary deductions to the proper authorities. Mr. Motiuk consented to a Law Society hearing panel order that he be required to satisfy a board of examiners appointed by the Law Society that he is competent to practise law should he ever apply to return to the practise of law.

David Michael Ashton (1984, suspended pending hearing Jan. 24, 2003), of Victoria, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for: failing to represent a client in a proficient manner, failing to respond to Law Society enquiries and failing to comply with the terms of a practice supervision agreement. A Law Society hearing panel ordered that Mr. Ashton be reprimanded, that he be entitled to return to practice only as a partner or employee of another lawyer, and that prior to returning to practice he enter into a practice supervision agreement with a lawyer acceptable to the Law Society. The panel also ordered Mr. Ashton to pay costs of $11,240.

Milan Matt Uzelac (1975, undertook not to practice law Dec. 2, 2002), of Vancouver, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for: breach of Law Society accounting rules and failing to report judgments against him to the Law Society. A Law Society hearing panel ordered that Mr. Uzelac be allowed to return to the practice of law provided he enter into a practice supervision agreement with a lawyer acceptable to the Law Society for a period of one year or such lesser time as the Practice Standards Committee directs. The panel also ordered Mr. Uzelac to pay costs of $5,000.

Donald Douglas McLellan (1971) of New Westminster, BC, admitted his breach of an undertaking in a matrimonial matter constituted professional misconduct. Mr. McLellan consented to the hearing panel ordering a reprimand, a $3,000 fine and costs of $1,000.

John Allan Davies (1993), of Salt Spring Island, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for: failing to comply a practice supervision agreement and failing to file a statutory declaration of creditors which were ordered by a previous discipline hearing panel. A Law Society hearing panel ordered that Mr. Davies pay a $1,500 fine and costs of $500.

Glenford Emerson Greene (1980) of Smithers, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for: inappropriately criticising the judiciary in letters to clients and opposing counsel. A Law Society hearing panel ordered Mr. Greene to pay a $3,000 fine and costs of $3,500.

Alan Marsden (1981) of Royston, BC, has been suspended for one month effective Dec. 15, 2003, after a discipline hearing panel accepted his admission of professional misconduct and his proposed disciplinary penalty under Law Society Rule 4-22. The hearing report will be posted on the Law Society's website once the panel has rendered its decision.

H.A. (Sandy) McCandless (1971), of Langley, BC, was suspended for one month effective Jan. 4, 2003 after a discipline hearing panel accepted his proposed penalty under Law Society Rule 4-22 and his admission of conduct unbecoming a lawyer for being wilfully blind to the fact that an agreement he made with a business allowed the business to avoid GST payments and his admission of professional misconduct for purporting to serve a writ by fax delivery when he knew fax delivery was not valid service.

The Law Society of BC was founded in 1869 and is the governing body of the legal profession in BC. It is an independent organization funded by dues paid by all BC lawyers. 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 BC.

For more information on the regulation and discipline of lawyers see the "Discipline Hearings" 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
Cellular: 604-836-3257
Email: bdaisley@lsbc.org
www.lawsociety.bc.ca