|For immediate release||December 2, 2013|
Law Society suspends Abbotsford lawyer for one month following finding of professional misconduct
Vancouver – A Law Society hearing panel has ordered the one-month suspension of lawyer Philip Richard Derksen, after finding he committed professional misconduct. Derksen was also ordered to pay the Law Society $2000 in costs.
Derksen was cited in April 2013. It was alleged he had failed to provide prompt, comprehensive responses to the Law Society in connection with two investigations into complaints of alleged misconduct.
During the hearing in June, Derksen admitted that he had not responded adequately to some of the inquiries from the Law Society regarding the investigations. He also admitted that his behaviour constituted professional misconduct.
The Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, which is the regulatory guide governing lawyers’ behaviour, states lawyers must “reply promptly and completely to any communication from the Law Society.”
In its decision, the hearing panel underscored the importance of the rule. “Obtaining the full and timely cooperation of its members in investigations is critical to effective regulation. A serious sanction is necessary to illustrate that commitment and capability to the public.”
Derksen’s one-month suspension is scheduled to begin January 1, 2014.* He was also ordered to respond to all of the Law Society’s previous communications.
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.
* On December 9, 2013 the Law Society and Derksen agreed the one-month suspension will begin December 21, 2013.
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