|For immediate release||September 29, 2016|
Law Society suspends Vancouver lawyer Susan Ben-Oliel for repeated failures to respond [Updated December 6, 2016]
Vancouver, September 29, 2016 – 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 Susan Ben-Oliel of Vancouver be suspended starting October 1, 2016.
The suspension follows hearings on two out of four citations to date in 2016 for Ben-Oliel’s repeated failures to respond to Law Society correspondence during the course of its investigation of complaints against her.
The first citation, issued in January 2016, resulted in a hearing on June 9, 2016. The panel issued a fine and an order that required her to provide a substantive response to the Law Society’s correspondence within three weeks. The written reasons are available here.
The second and third citations were issued in June 2016 for additional instances of failing to respond to the Law Society. The panel issued an order on September 1, 2016 suspending her for four months, commencing October 1, 2016. [Updated December 6, 2016: the written reasons are available here.]
A fourth citation was issued for Ben-Oliel’s failure to comply with the order made at the hearing on June 9, 2016. At the hearing for the fourth citation on September 23, 2016, the panel imposed an additional minimum two-month suspension, to commence after her existing four-month suspension ends. The suspension is to endure until Ben-Oliel provides a complete and substantive response as ordered, or for two months, whichever period is longer. The written reasons are available here.
Ben-Oliel has not attended any of the hearings but her lawyer attended the hearing on June 9, 2016 on her behalf.
The Law Society of British Columbia upholds and protects the public interest in the administration of justice by ensuring the independence, integrity and competence of lawyers, establishing education and professional development standards for lawyers, regulating the practice of law and preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons.
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