Citation issued: may 11, 2015

Pir Indar Paul Singh Sahota

Citations are authorized by the Law Society of BC's Discipline Committee and list allegations against a lawyer that 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 approximately July 2008 and February 2013, you misappropriated, or improperly withdrew client trust funds when your trust accounting records were not current and there were insufficient funds on deposit to the credit of the clients, contrary to one or both of Rule 3-55 or Rule 3-56(1.2) of the Law Society Rules, on one or more of the following occasions:

(a) On or about July 16, 2008, you withdrew trust funds totaling $800.50 on behalf of your client M (file number) in payment of your fees and disbursements when you held only $249.54 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $550.96. You withdrew additional trust funds of $323.75 on or about April 16, 2010 in payment of your fees and disbursements increasing the trust shortage to $874.71;

(b) On or about May 1, 2009, you withdrew trust funds of $584.75 on behalf of your client A (file numbers) in payment of your fees and disbursements when you held no funds to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $584.75;

(c) On or about December 1, 2009, you withdrew trust funds totaling $580,509.87 on behalf of your client R (file number), including funds in payment of your fees and disbursements of $731, when you held only $577,599.07 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $2,910.80. You withdrew additional trust funds on or about March 19, 2010 ($1,271.97) and April 20, 2010 ($437.15) increasing the trust shortage to $4,619.92;

(d) On or about February 5, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $405,140.80 on behalf of your client B (file number), including funds in payment of your fees and disbursements of $736.00, when you held no funds to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $405,140.80;

(e) On or about April 8, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $285.44 on behalf of your client Rp (file number) when you held only $177.44 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $108;

(f) On or about April 16, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $60.50 on behalf of your client P Holdings (file number) in payment of your fees and disbursements when you held only $10.50 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $50;

(g) On or about April 16, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $2,824.25 on behalf of your client B (file number) in payment of your fees and disbursements when you held only $650.50 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $2,173.75;

(h) On or about April 16, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $670.50 on behalf of your client S (file number) in payment of your fees and disbursements when you held only $295.50 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $375;

(i) On or about July 14, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $160 on behalf of your client N (file number) when you held only $100.50 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $59.50;

(j) On or about July 22, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $603,440.58 on behalf of your client G (file number), including funds in payment of your fees and disbursements of $876.20, when you held only $603,311.60 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $128.98;

(k) On or about October 26, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $4,367.48 on behalf of your client M (file number), including funds in payment of your fees and disbursements of $591.25, when you held only $695.48 to the credit of that client, resulting in a trust shortage of $3,672;

(l) On or about May 20, 2011, you withdrew trust funds totaling $2,500 on behalf of your client M (file number) in payment of your fees when you held only $2,000 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $500;

(m) On or about April 18, 2011, you withdrew trust funds totaling $201.15 on behalf of your client G (file number) in payment of your fees and disbursements when you held no funds to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $201.15;

(n) On or about June 2, 2011 and July 7, 2011, you withdrew trust funds totaling $262.12 on behalf of your client M (file number), including funds in payment of your fees and disbursements of $188.72, when you held no funds to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $262.12;

(o) On or about February 5, 2013, you withdrew trust funds totaling $3,132.60 on behalf of your client B (file number) when you held only $454 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $2,678.60.

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

2. Between July 2008 and July 2011, you misappropriated, or improperly withdrew client trust funds when your trust accounting records were not current, there were insufficient funds on deposit to the credit of your client(s) and the amount withdrawn in purported payment of your fees and disbursements did not match your bill(s) to your client(s), contrary to one or more of Rule 3-55, Rule 3-56(1.2) and Rule 3-57 of the Law Society Rules, on one or more of the following occasions:

(a) On or about July 16, 2008, you withdrew trust funds totaling $790 on behalf of your client S (file number), purportedly in payment of your fees and disbursements, when you held only $625.50 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $164.50. You withdrew additional trust funds totaling $85.50 on or about April 22, 2009 and April 16, 2010 increasing the trust shortage to $250;

(b) On or about September 2, 2010, you withdrew trust funds totaling $279,209.34 on behalf of your client D (file number), of which $711.20 was purportedly in payment of your fees and disbursements, when you held only $275,134.14 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $4,075.20;

(c) On or about February 14, 2011, you withdrew trust funds totaling $56 on behalf of your client K (file number) purportedly in payment of your disbursements when you held only $44.80 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $11.20;

(d) On or about June 28, 2011 and July 21, 2011, you withdrew trust funds totaling $868.90 on behalf of your client S (file number), of which $795.50 was purportedly in payment of your fees and disbursements, when you held no funds to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $868.90;

(e) On or about July 7, 2011, you withdrew trust funds totaling $320,203.69 on behalf of your client D (file number), of which $951.20 was purportedly in payment of your fees and disbursements, when you held only $137,203.69 to the credit of that client resulting in a trust shortage of $182,999.99.

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

3. On or about January 26, 2011, you improperly withdrew trust funds totaling $247,547.39 on behalf of your client S (file number) when you had insufficient funds on deposit to the credit of your client, contrary to Rule 3-56(1.2) of the Law Society Rules, due to your failure to deposit funds received from or on behalf of that client, contrary to Rule 3-51 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.

4. You did not immediately eliminate the trust shortages referred to in allegation 1 of this citation relating to one or more of your clients S (file number), M (file number), B (file number), N (file number), K (file number), or M (file number), upon discovery of the shortages, contrary to Rule 3-66 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.

5. Between approximately August 2010 and April 2013, you failed to deposit trust funds in a pooled trust account as soon as practicable, contrary to Rule 3-51 of the Law Society Rules, on one or more of the following occasions:

(a) You failed to deposit the sum of $4,075.20 received on or about August 23, 2010 on behalf of your client D (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about September 8, 2010;

(b) You failed to deposit the sum of $500 received on or about September 26, 2011 on behalf of your client M (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about November 23, 2011;

(c) You failed to deposit the sum of $12,712. received on or about October 22, 2012 on behalf of your client B (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about December 13, 2012;

(d) You failed to deposit the sums of $2,451.60 and $227 received on or about December 3, 2012 on behalf of your client B (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about December 13, 2012;

(e) You failed to deposit the sum of $450 received on or about December 11, 2012 on behalf of your client B (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about December 24, 2012;

(f) You failed to deposit the sum of $454 received on or about January 28, 2013 on behalf of your client B (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about February 12, 2013;

(g) You failed to deposit the sum of $2,451.60 received on or about February 15, 2013 on behalf of your client B (file number) into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(h) You failed to deposit the sum of $500 received on or about April 15, 2013 on behalf of your client L into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(i) You failed to deposit the sum of $250 received on or about April 16, 2013 on behalf of your client D into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(j) You failed to deposit the sum of $300 received on or about April 18, 2013 on behalf of your client C into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(k) You failed to deposit the sum of $1,200 received on or about April 18, 2013 on behalf of your client F into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(l) You failed to deposit the sum of $200 received on or about April 19, 2013 on behalf of your client G into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(m) You failed to deposit the sum of $210 received on or about April 22, 2013 on behalf of your client B into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(n) You failed to deposit the sum of $500 received on or about April 22, 2013 on behalf of your client R into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(o) You failed to deposit the sum of $500 received on or about April 22, 2013 on behalf of your client C Doors into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013;

(p) You failed to deposit the sum of $300 received on or about April 26, 2013 on behalf of your client P into your pooled trust account until on or about May 13, 2013.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or Rules, pursuant to section 38 of the Legal Profession Act.

6. Commencing in or around June 2011, you maintained more than $300 of your own funds in your pooled trust account, contrary to Rule 3-52(4) of the Law Society Rules. In particular, you failed to deposit into your general account 12 trust cheques dated between June 28, 2011 and March 1, 2013 payable to Sahota Law Corporation in payment of your fees and disbursements.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or Rules, pursuant to section 38 of the Legal Profession Act.

7. Commencing in January 2008 and continuing to May 2013, you failed to maintain accounting records in compliance with the provisions of Part 3 Division 7 of the Law Society Rules and in particular you failed to do one or more of the following:

(a) between January 2008 and December 2009, you did not prepare monthly trust reconciliations for your pooled trust accounts within 30 days of the effective date of the reconciliation or at all, contrary to Rule 3-65 of the Law Society Rules;

(b) between December 2009 and May 2013, you did not prepare monthly trust reconciliations for your pooled trust accounts within 30 days of the effective date of the reconciliation, contrary to Rule 3-65 of the Law Society Rules;

(c) on approximately 12 occasions between November 2009 and September 2011, you failed to issue receipts for cash received, contrary to Rule 3-61.1 of the Law Society Rules;

(d) between January 2011 and May 2013, you failed to record transactions on your trust accounts in chronological order and in a manner which identified the source and form of funds received, contrary to Rules 3-60 and 3-61 of the Law Society Rules;

(e) between January 2011 and May 2013, you failed to maintain accounts receivable listings for each client, contrary to Rule 3-61 of the Law Society Rules;

(f) between December 2009 and September 2011, you failed to retain all supporting documentation for your trust accounts including bank statements, cancelled cheques, and bank deposit slips, contrary to Rule 3-59(4) of the Law Society Rules;

(g) between December 2009 and September 2011, you failed to keep file copies of all bills delivered to clients in accordance with Rule 3-62 of the Law Society Rules;

(h) from September 2010 to February 2011, you failed to record trust transactions for your trust accounts promptly and, in any event, not more than seven days after a trust transaction, contrary to Rule 3-63(1) of the Law Society Rules;

(i) from January 2008 to September 2011, you failed to record transactions for your general account promptly and, in any event, not more than 30 days after each general transaction, contrary to Rule 3-63(1) of the Law Society Rules;

(j) from December 2009 to February 2011, you failed to maintain a trust transfer journal in accordance with Rule 3-60(c) of the Law Society Rules;

(k) from February 2011 to September 2011, you failed to ensure that the trust transfer journal maintained for your practice contained the information required by Rule 3-60(c) of the Law Society Rules;

(l) you failed to properly record trust transactions relating to your clients S (file number), L (file number) and K (file number) as required by Rule 3-60 of the Law Society Rules;

(m) you failed to keep your trust accounting records at your chief place of practice, including but not limited to, records relating to PST, GST/HST, payroll, trust account deposit books, and client files relating to your clients K (file number) and A (file number), contrary to Rule 3-68 of the Law Society Rules;

(n) on two occasions in June 2009, you failed to record the identity of the client on whose behalf trust funds were received, contrary to Rule 3-60(a)(iii) of the Law Society Rules.

This conduct constitutes professional misconduct or a breach of the Act or Rules, pursuant to section 38 of the Legal Profession Act.