News Releases

For immediate release July 25, 2001

Law Society suspends 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):

Norman Bruce Evans, (1989), of Nanaimo, admitted that his conduct – arranging for a client to loan $4,000 to a member of Mr. Evans' family without telling the client he had an indirect interest in the loan or that the client should obtain independent legal advice – constituted professional misconduct. He also admitted that using confidential client information to arrange the loan constituted professional misconduct. The full amount of the loan has been repaid. A hearing panel ordered that Mr. Evans be suspended for one month commencing Aug. 1, 2001 and that he pay $1,500 toward costs of the hearing.

James Edwin Marks, (1987) a former lawyer who ceased practising in January 2000, of Nanaimo, admitted that withdrawing client funds from his trust account for personal use constituted professional misconduct. The Law Society's Discipline Committee accepted Mr. Marks' admission on his undertaking not to apply for reinstatement to the Law Society for five years.

Mark Edward MacDonald, (1994) a former lawyer who was suspended from practice in January 2000, admitted that withdrawing funds from his trust account for personal use constituted professional misconduct. Mr. MacDonald made full restitution of the misappropriated funds a few days after taking the money. The Law Society's Discipline Committee accepted Mr. MacDonald's admission on his undertaking not to apply for reinstatement to the Law Society for three years.

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.

The Law Society of B.C. since 1949 has maintained a fund to compensate clients who suffer financial loss through a lawyer's misappropriation of trust funds. In cases of misappropriation, the Law Society endeavours to contact persons who may have a claim.

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.

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.

The Law Society of B.C. makes the following documents available to the media in discipline matters:

  • Citation
  • Hearing report
  • Penalty report
  • 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.
Cellular: 604-836-3257
Email: bdaisley@lsbc.org
www.lawsociety.bc.ca