Unauthorized practice of law
Under the Legal Profession Act, only trained, qualified lawyers (or articled students under a lawyer’s supervision) may provide legal services and advice to the public, as others are not regulated, nor are they required to carry insurance to compensate clients for errors and omission in the legal work or claims of theft by unscrupulous individuals marketing legal services.
When the Law Society receives complaints about an unqualified or untrained person providing legal assistance, the Society will investigate and take appropriate action if there is a potential for harm to the public.
From November 11, 2011 to February 15, 2012, the Law Society obtained undertakings from 11 individuals and businesses not to engage in the practice of law.
The Law Society has obtained court orders prohibiting the following individuals from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law:
Charles Bryfogle, of Anaheim Lake, formerly of Kleena Kleene, BC, is prohibited from unlawfully engaging in the practice of law as defined in section 1 of the Legal Profession Act, and from commencing, prosecuting and defending an action in any court on behalf of others without leave of the court. Bryfogle is also required to notify the Law Society with respect to his involvement in any legal matter. On January 17, 2012, after the Law Society’s application, the court found Bryfogle in contempt of the previous order for failing to notify the Law Society of his involvement in several legal matters. The court sentenced Bryfogle to a $5,000 recognizance with several conditions for one year and awarded the Law Society its special costs.
Arron Hong, aka Eric Joon Hong, of Vancouver, BC, provided legal advice and offered to prepare pleadings and other legal documents for a fee. The Law Society obtained an order permanently prohibiting Hong from engaging in the practice of law as defined in section 1 of the Legal Profession Act. The court awarded the Law Society its costs.