Citation issued: February 22, 2013

thomas paul Harding 

Citations are issued by the Law Society of BC's Discipline Committee and list allegations against a lawyer which will be considered at a discipline hearing. Please note that allegations in a citation are unproven until a discipline hearing panel has determined their validity.

Nature of conduct to be inquired into:

Conduct Related to Your Client DA

1. Between approximately January 2007 and May 2011, in the course of representing your client DA, the plaintiff in British Columbia Supreme Court Vancouver Registry Action No. [number] (the “Action”), you failed to serve your client in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner so as to provide a quality of service at least equal to that which would be expected of a competent lawyer in a similar situation, contrary to Chapter 3, Rules 3 and 5 of the Professional Conduct Handbook. In particular, after being retained by your client, you failed to take any substantive steps to advance the Action for over four years.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38 of the Legal Profession Act.

2. Commencing in May 2011, you acted contrary to Chapter 4, Rule 5 of the Professional Conduct Handbook by failing to give written notice to the Lawyers Insurance Fund immediately or at all, as required by section 4.1 of the BC Lawyers’ Compulsory Professional Liability Insurance Policy (the “Policy”), of an error or circumstance which could form the basis of a claim against you, after you had been notified of and later served with an application to dismiss the Action for want of prosecution.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38 of the Legal Profession Act.

3. Commencing in May 2011, you failed to recommend to your client DA, the plaintiff in the Action, that she obtain independent legal advice when you knew, or had a reasonable apprehension, that you had made an error or omission which might be damaging to your client by failing to advance the Action, contrary to Chapter 4, Rule 5.1 of the Professional Conduct Handbook.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38 of the Legal Profession Act.

Conduct Related to Your Clients PJ and ZS

4. Between approximately May 2007 and November 2011, you acted contrary to Chapter 4, Rule 5 of the Professional Conduct Handbook by:

(a) failing to give written notice to the Lawyers Insurance Fund of the claim for special costs made against you and your client, PJ, in British Columbia Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry Action No. [number], in connection with a contempt of court application brought by you, as required by section 4.1 of the Policy; 

(b) failing to give written notice to the Lawyers Insurance Fund of the claim for special costs made against you and your client, ZS, in British Columbia Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry Action No. [number] in connection with a contempt of court application brought by you, as required by section 4.1 of the Policy.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

5. In or around February 2010, in the course of representing your client ZS, the plaintiff in British Columbia Supreme Court, New Westminster Registry Action No. [number], you acted in a conflict of interest when you negotiated a settlement on her behalf which included a release of a claim for special costs against you personally and a release of a claim for special costs against your client when you had a direct or indirect financial interest in that settlement, contrary to Chapter 7, Rule 1 of the Professional Conduct Handbook.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct, pursuant to section 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.