|For immediate release||June 3, 2013|
Law Society disbars lawyer Malcolm Hassan Zoraik
Vancouver – The Law Society has ordered lawyer Malcolm Zoraik to be disbarred.
In June 2010, Zoraik was convicted in BC Provincial Court of public mischief and fabricating evidence. He was found to have created a letter which falsely alleged jury tampering and then placed that letter in the courthouse in Victoria.
In his reasons for sentence, the Provincial Court Judge said: “In short, Mr. Zoraik manufactured a letter which he knew was likely to become evidence before a court, and indeed sought to have a court rely upon that manufactured evidence.” Zoraik appealed his convictions, but his appeal was dismissed in June 2012.
Independent of the criminal proceedings, the Law Society conducted its own investigation into Zoraik’s conduct. The Law Society’s board of governors (Benchers) relied upon Rule 4-40 of the Law Society Rules to expeditiously deal with the matter.
Rule 4-40 is only used in exceptional circumstances. It forgoes the need for a citation and citation hearing, allowing the Benchers to summarily suspend or disbar a lawyer who has been convicted of an offence that was proceeded with by way of indictment.
In their decision, the Benchers noted the seriousness of Zoraik’s misconduct and the significant threat it presented to public confidence in the legal profession and justice system.
“For such a system to work, and for the public to have confidence that it is working properly, lawyers must uphold the law and its proper administration,” stated the decision. “Failure to do so subverts public confidence in the judicial system.”
While Zoraik has now been ordered disbarred, the public has been protected by the fact the Law Society obtained a written undertaking from Zoraik in June 2010 that he would not engage in the practice of law.
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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