|For immediate release||February 20, 2015|
Lawyer suspended, fined for disclosing confidential client information
Vancouver – The Law Society sets standards of professional responsibility for BC lawyers and articled students, and upholds those standards through a complaints and discipline process. These standards and processes are important to maintain public confidence and trust in lawyers. Accordingly, the Law Society has ordered that lawyer Donald Roy McLeod of Victoria be suspended and fined for professional misconduct.
In its earlier decision, a hearing panel found that in November 2012, McLeod disclosed confidential client information without authorization in a Notice of Application and supporting affidavit he filed seeking that he and his law firm be removed as counsel for two of his clients. He had been representing his clients in two civil actions and was seeking to be removed as counsel in one of those actions. His application and supporting affidavit were also served on the opposing party.
In its decision on sanction, the panel noted, “The protection of client confidentiality is critical to the proper functioning of the solicitor-client relationship and is at the very core of every lawyer’s duty towards his or her clients.” It went on to say, “This Panel has decided in favour of a significant sanction, both as a specific deterrent and reminder to Mr. McLeod about the importance of client confidentiality and as a more specific observation of the importance to the profession and to the administration of justice generally.”
McLeod will serve a one-week suspension beginning May 17, 2015 and is required to pay a fine of $2,500 plus $5,000 in costs for the hearing.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 11,000 practising lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
For further information or to arrange an interview contact: