Citation issued: May 29, 2013

Leonides Tungohan

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:

1. Between October 2009 and March 2010, you received trust funds totaling $19,250 (the “Funds”) from your client RG in a real estate litigation matter and you did not handle the Funds in accordance with Division 7 of Part 3 of the Law Society Rules, and in particular:

a) you failed to deposit $17,250 of the Funds into a pooled trust account and instead deposited that amount into your firm’s general account or your own personal account purportedly in payment of fees for services, when you had not delivered a bill or issued a receipt containing sufficient particulars, contrary to Rules 3-51(1) and 3-63(3);

b) you withdrew some or all of $2,000 of the Funds from trust when you had not prepared or delivered a bill to your client, contrary to Rule 3-57(2);

c) you failed to record the receipt of $250 in cash in accordance with Rule 3-61.1;

d) you did not record each trust or general transaction related to the Funds, promptly or at all, contrary to Rules 3-59(1) and 3-63.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

2. You failed to notify the Executive Director of the Law Society in writing of the circumstances of a judgment in the amount of $18,627.03 granted against you on April 18, 2011 in British Columbia Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry Action No. S110974, and your proposal for satisfying such judgment, contrary to Rule 3-44 of the Law Society Rules.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

3. Between December 2009 and May 2011, you withdrew trust funds purportedly in payment of your fees from your pooled trust account without first preparing a bill and immediately delivering the bill to your clients contrary to Rule 3-56 and Rule 3-57(2) of the Law Society Rules on some or all of the following 17 occasions:

(a) on or about December 23, 2009, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from your client NR in connection with an immigration matter; 

(b) on or about December 23, 2009, you withdrew some or all of the $500 retainer you received from your client LR in connection with a sponsorship appeal; 

(c) on or about December 23, 2009, you withdrew some or all of $1,500 retainer you received from your client JL in connection with a Federal Court judicial review; 

(d) on or about December 23, 2009 and January 7, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $2,120 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client ZS in connection with an immigration matter; 

(e) on or about December 23, 2009 and January 7, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $2,120 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client CM in connection with an immigration matter; 

(f) on or about December 23, 2009 and January 7, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $2,120 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client XM in connection with an immigration matter; 

(g) on or about January 7, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $600 cash retainer you received from your client JH in connection with a family law matter; 

(h) on or about January 22, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client LX in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(i) on or about January 22, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client LF in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(j) on or about January 22, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client ZN in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(k) on or about January 22, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client LP in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(l) on or about January 22, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from ML on behalf of your client CH in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(m) on or about February 10, 2010 and March 9, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $2,885 retainer you received from SH on behalf of your client LQ in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(n) on or about February 10, 2010 and March 9, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $2,885 retainer you received from SH on behalf of your client CJ, also known as CM, in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(o) on or about April 23, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from WX on behalf of your client PY in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(p) on or about April 23, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,000 retainer you received from WX on behalf of your client CK in connection with an immigration law matter; 

(q) on or about September 30, 2010, you withdrew some or all of the $1,950 retainer you received from your client FE in connection with an immigration law matter.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

4. Between December 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, you failed to maintain your books, accounts and records in accordance with Division 7 of Part 3 of the Law Society Rules, by some or all of the following:

(a) you did not record all funds received and disbursed in connection with your law practice by maintaining the records required under Division 7 of Part 3, contrary to Rule 3-59; 

(b) you did not retain all supporting documents for both trust and general accounts, contrary to Rule 3-59; 

(c) you did not promptly record trust and general transactions in accordance with Rule 3-63; 

(d) you did not maintain trust account records in accordance with Rule 3-60; 

(e) you did not prepare a monthly trust reconciliation for your pooled trust account within 30 days of the effective date of the reconciliation, contrary to Rule 3-65; 

(f) you did not keep billing records in accordance with Rule 3-62.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.

5. Between December 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009, you made payments from trust funds when your trust accounting records were not current, contrary to Rule 3-56(1.2) of the Law Society Rules.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or breach of the Act or rules, pursuant to s. 38(4) of the Legal Profession Act.