|For immediate release||June 28, 2012|
Lawyer not permitted to practise law for almost four years after accessing child pornography
Vancouver – Kelowna lawyer Brian Clark Rea, who agreed not to practise law over three years ago in the face of criminal charges, has been told he cannot practise law for a further six months by a Law Society hearing panel, bringing the effective period of suspension to almost four years.
Rea pled guilty in April 2010 to the Criminal Code charge of accessing child pornography, at which time he was sentenced to 14 days in jail and two years probation with a number of conditions. The Law Society secured Rea’s commitment not to practise law shortly after the criminal charges were laid and he has not practised since March 2009.
Upon conclusion of the criminal proceedings, the Law Society commenced discipline proceedings. A hearing panel has now determined that a formal suspension of six months, beginning June 27, 2012, is appropriate to extend to nearly four years the total period that Rea has not practised law. In addition and to further protect the public, Rea will be subject to a number of conditions when he returns to practice, including not representing any person under the age of 16 and not practising in the area of family law.
Though the hearing panel had no similar case upon which to base its decision, the panel referenced several other matters and determined that the equivalent of a significant suspension was warranted, given the very serious nature of Rea’s conduct. The panel cited comments of the sentencing judge in the criminal proceeding, who stated that “those who possess child pornography perpetuate the harm to society in general, and to vulnerable children in particular.”
More information is contained in the hearing report.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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