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 purporting to provide legal assistance, the Society will investigate and take appropriate action if there is a potential for harm to the public.

From February 17 to August 14, 2012, the Law Society obtained undertakings from 25 individuals and businesses not to engage in the practice of law.

The Law Society has obtained court orders prohibiting the following individuals and businesses from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law:

Richard Flynn Marr, aka Flynn Marr, dba R. Flynn Marr & Associates, a former lawyer of Burnaby, BC, consented to an order permanently prohibiting Marr from engaging in the practice of law as defined in section 1 of the Legal Profession Act.

Joanne Lillian Power, dba www.joannesuncontesteddivorceshop.webs.com and Joanne’s Uncontested Divorce Shop Inc., of Burnaby, BC, offered to provide various divorce services, including separation agreements, and commissioning ­affidavits for a fee. The court granted the Law Society an order permanently prohibiting Power 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.

Robert Earl Williamson, dba Robertson Legal Research and www.legalresearchbc.ca, a former lawyer of Vernon, BC, consented to an order prohibiting him from providing legal advice and drafting, settling or revising documents for use in legal proceedings, regardless of whether a fee is charged.

Marlane Lauren, of Vancouver, BC, was found in contempt of a court order prohibiting Lauren from engaging in the practice of law, from falsely representing herself as a lawyer, and from commencing, prosecuting or defending a proceeding in any court on behalf of another party (see Winter 2011 Benchers’ Bulletin). After finding Lauren in contempt for drafting pleadings, giving legal advice and other legal services for a fee, the court ordered Lauren to pay restitution in the amount of $3,000, a fine of $5,000 and the Law Society’s ­special costs.

Gerald P. Scallion, aka Gerry Scallion, dba www.formsonline.biz, of ­Coquitlam, BC, consented to an order permanently prohibiting Scallion from engaging in the practice of law and from falsely representing himself as a lawyer as defined in sections 1 and 15(4) of the Legal Profession Act. The court awarded the Law Society its costs.

Sid Kemp, aka Sidney W. Kemp. The Law Society received information alleging that former member Sidney Kemp of ­Vancouver, BC had represented himself as a lawyer and provided legal services for a fee. These allegations were denied by Kemp. Kemp consented to an order ­whereby he agreed not to represent ­himself as a lawyer and not to engage in the practice of law as defined in section 1 and section 15(4) of the Legal Profession Act.