|For immediate release||April 11, 2001|
Law Society disbars lawyer
VANCOUVER – Pursuant to its statutory duty to govern B.C.'s legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society of B.C. has disbarred former Victoria lawyer Bruce Ross Pomeroy for professional misconduct.
A Law Society discipline hearing panel found Mr. Pomeroy guilty of misappropriating client funds. The hearing panel also found him guilty of conflict of interest for investing clients' money in real estate developments while he was personally involved in the development. In addition, the hearing panel concluded Mr. Pomeroy was guilty of lying to clients, reckless conduct and breaches of Law Society accounting rules.
In ordering the disbarment, the discipline hearing panel ¾ which consists of three Law Society Benchers ¾ said "there must be a clear message that misappropriation of client funds is one of the most serious acts of misconduct a lawyer can commit and that it will be dealt with most seriously by the Law Society."
Mr. Pomeroy was called to the B.C. Bar in 1989. He consented to the appointment of a custodian of his legal practice on June 7, 1996 and has not practised law since that date. He ceased being a member of the Law Society December 31, 1996. His disbarment takes effect immediately. Mr. Pomeroy has the right to appeal the hearing panel's decision.
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. In this case, there were four claims for compensation of misappropriated funds. Three claims have been approved for payment. The fourth claim is currently under consideration by the Law Society.
The Law Society of B.C. was founded in 1869 and is the governing body of the legal profession in B.C. 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 is governed by 31 directors who are known as "Benchers." Twenty-five of the Benchers are elected by lawyers from among the profession. In addition, the provincial government appoints six non-lawyers as Benchers to ensure the public interest is represented in all Law Society decisions. The Law Society's authorized spokesperson is the executive director, James G. Matkin.
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 or the B.C. government's website at http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg.
The Law Society of B.C. makes the following documents available to the media in discipline matters:
- 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.