Unauthorized practice of law
Under the Legal Profession Act, only trained, qualified lawyers may provide legal services and advice to the public. Further, non-lawyers are not regulated nor are they required to carry insurance to compensate clients for errors and omission in the legal work or claims of theft by unscrupulous individuals marketing legal services. When the Law Society receives complaints about an unqualified or untrained person providing legal assistance, the Society will investigate and take appropriate action if there is a potential for harm to the public.
From March 1 to June 30, 2010, the Society obtained undertakings from 14 individuals and businesses not to engage in the practice of law.
The Law Society has obtained court orders prohibiting the following individuals and business from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law:
- Davood Ghavami of Vancouver has consented to an order prohibiting him from holding himself out as a lawyer, appearing as counsel or advocate, preparing documents for use in a proceeding, giving legal advice, agreeing to place at the disposal of another the services of a lawyer, making an offer to provide any of these legal services, and holding himself out as being qualified or entitled to provide these legal services, except as allowed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Ghavami was further enjoined from identifying Leonard C. Hanson as a lawyer; Hanson is a former lawyer who was disbarred in 1983.
- Blair Franko and Franko d.b.a. IPX Consulting, of Kelowna, was found in contempt of Court for breach of a consent order prohibiting him from giving legal advice, preparing documents for use in a proceeding, preparing documents relating to a proceeding under a statute, and holding himself out as being qualified or entitled to provide these legal services. Franko was ordered to advise his clients that no such further legal services will be provided and to pay $1,000 to the Law Society as a fine for his contempt.