|For immediate release||January 28, 2002|
Law Society disciplines B.C. lawyers
VANCOUVER – Pursuant to its statutory duty to govern B.C.'s legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society of B.C. has disciplined the following lawyers (the lawyer's year of call to the B.C. Bar appears in parentheses):
Stephanie Lee Poschmann (1997), a former lawyer who ceased practising in April 2001, admitted that failing to return a client's phone calls, telling clients and another lawyer that she had completed clients' work when she had not and preparing false documents constituted professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered Ms. Poschmann to satisfy a board of examiners that she is competent to practise law and that she is not adversely affected by a mental disability. She was also ordered to pay costs of $5,000 as a condition of reinstatement.
Alexander Peter Watt (1977), of Kamloops, B.C., applied for a review of a January 2001 decision by a hearing panel that he be reprimanded, pay a $7,500 fine and pay costs of the hearing for conduct unbecoming as a result of his conviction for possession of cocaine. On review, a majority of the eight-Bencher panel deleted the requirements that Mr. Watt pay a fine and that he pay costs.
Douglas Edward Dent (1976), of Vancouver, B.C., admitted that providing legal services for a transaction without advising his client that he had a personal interest in the transaction, failing to advise his client that she had a potential claim against him, failing to advise the client to obtain independent legal advice and failing to report to the professional liability insurer was professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered that Mr. Dent be suspended for one month commencing Feb. 1, 2002 and pay costs of $5,923.22.
The Law Society of B.C. was founded in 1869 and is the governing body of the legal profession in B.C. It is an independent organization funded by dues paid by all B.C. 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 B.C.
For more information on the regulation and discipline of lawyers see The Legal Profession Act:
Section 3: Law Society duty to protect the public.
Part 4: Discipline
The Legal Profession Act is available on the Law Society of B.C. website here.
The Law Society of B.C. makes the following documents available to the media in discipline matters:
Discipline Digest and Discipline Case Digest
Discipline hearings are generally open to the public; please check with the Law Society prior to the hearing if you wish to attend. A list of upcoming hearings is available on the Law Society's website.
Law Society of B.C. media contact:
Brad Daisley, Public Affairs Manager
Office: 604-443-5724 or 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in B.C.