News Releases

For immediate release January 25, 2001

Law Society of B.C. disciplines 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 lawyers’ year of call to the B.C. Bar appears in parentheses):

John Wilson Dobbin (1973), of Vancouver, admitted his failure to respond to Law Society correspondence relating to a complaint against him constituted professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered that he be reprimanded, pay $1,500 in costs, and respond to the Law Society’s letters. He was also required to give an undertaking to respond to any future correspondence within 14 days, and to complete a program that would address his failure to respond.

Norman Alexander Morrison (1980), of Vancouver, was reprimanded and ordered to pay $5,000 plus costs for breaching an undertaking to make certain payments in a real estate transaction. Morrison admitted he failed to pay property taxes, failed to forward an interest reserve to the first mortgagee and that he applied a portion of the trust funds to the benefit of his client. Morrison also admitted he failed to eliminate a shortfall in his trust account.

Marnie Arlene Dunnaway (1986), of Vancouver, was found guilty of professional misconduct for unreasonably delaying the entry of a court order, and for breaching an undertaking to pay out funds to another lawyer. Dunnaway was suspended for one week and ordered to $1,100 towards the costs of the hearing.

Filameno Apolinario (1993), of New Westminster, admitted that he breached rules governing accounting and billing procedures. A majority of the hearing panel ordered he be reprimanded, pay a fine of $2,000 and pay $1,000 toward costs of the hearing.

Roger Balraj Singh Bhatti (1984), admitted professional misconduct in improperly certifying a signature on a power of attorney and mortgage. He also admitted gross negligence in failing to ensure that certain documents he witnessed were correctly dated. The hearing panel ordered that he be reprimanded, pay a fine of $5,000 and $1,000 toward costs of the hearing.

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

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