|For immediate release||February 9, 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):
Martin Drew Johnson (1977) of Kelowna, admitted his conduct in a courtroom during a break in a 1997 trial in Prince George — shouting at another lawyer and physical contact with the other lawyer — constituted professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered that Mr. Johnson be suspended from practice for one month commencing May 1, 2001.
Kenneth Nicholas Taschuk (1977) of North Vancouver was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to alert an unrepresented party in a corporate transaction that the unrepresented party misunderstood the nature of the transaction. In March 2000, a hearing panel reprimanded Mr. Taschuk and ordered him to complete a remedial studies program. On appeal by the Law Society, Mr. Taschuk was suspended from practice for two months commencing Mar. 1, 2001 and fined $10,000.
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 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 spokespersons are its president, Richard Margetts, Q.C. and its 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.