|For immediate release||October 9, 2013|
Lawyer who misled court suspended for one month, ordered to pay $10,000 in costs [updated November 6, 2013] [updated September 18, 2015]
Vancouver – A Law Society hearing panel has ordered lawyer Vivian Chiang to be suspended for one month, beginning November 1, 2013. The panel also ordered Chiang to pay the Law Society $10,000 in costs.
[Updated November 6, 2013: On November 4, 2013 Chiang's application for a stay of proceedings pending the hearing of a review with respect to the one-month suspension was granted. The decision on application for Stay of Proceedings is available here].
[Updated September 18, 2015: On November 10, 2014, a Benchers' review panel upheld the decision to suspend Chiang. On July 21, 2015, the BC Court of Appeal dismissed Chiang's appeal of the suspension. Chiang served her suspension from July 22, 2015, through August 21, 2015.]
The history of the case dates back to 2007 when Chiang was cited for allegedly misleading the BC Supreme Court during several earlier appearances. In June 2009, a majority of the hearing panel dismissed all allegations contained in the citation, with one member of the panel issuing a dissenting opinion. The decision is available here.
The Law Society requested a review of the majority’s ruling and, following that review, the Benchers found Chiang had committed professional misconduct in relation to one of the Law Society’s allegations. The Benchers’ decision from December 2010 is available here.
Chiang then appealed the Benchers’ decision to the BC Court of Appeal, but in January 2013 her case was dismissed. The decision is available here. Chiang sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, but leave was denied in June.
In explaining the one-month suspension, the Law Society hearing panel underscored the seriousness of Chiang’s misconduct, as well as the fact she failed to acknowledge any wrongdoing. “The obligation to be forthright and honourable to the court in the course of a presentation is a core value of our profession,” wrote the panel.
“Her continued insistence, even at the disciplinary action hearing, that the impugned behaviour was merely a miscommunication suggests to the panel that the seriousness of the misconduct has still not been recognized by the respondent.”
The panel’s decision on disciplinary action is available here.
Chiang’s suspension will begin November 1, 2013 and she must pay the Law Society $10,000 in costs by August 31, 2014.
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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