|For immediate release||January 5, 2017|
Law Society protects the public by taking action against unauthorized practice of law
Vancouver, January 5, 2017 – The Law Society of British Columbia takes action against those who put the public at risk by performing unregulated and uninsured legal services or misrepresenting themselves as lawyers. When the Law Society receives a complaint, it will investigate and take appropriate action if there is a potential for harm to the public.
From October 3, 2016 to January 5, 2017, the Law Society obtained undertakings from two individuals and one business not to engage in the practice of law. During that time period, the Law Society also obtained orders prohibiting the following individuals and businesses from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
On November 17, 2016, Madam Justice Russell granted an injunction prohibiting Charles David Parent, also known as Charles Parent-Quinn and Chase Parent-Quinn, of Surrey, from engaging in the practice of law, from representing himself as a lawyer and from commencing, prosecuting and defending proceedings in any court. In 2001, Parent had falsely represented himself as a lawyer and had performed various legal services with respect to a family law matter for a fee. After the Law Society’s involvement, Parent signed an undertaking whereby he agreed to abide by the provisions of the Legal Profession Act. In 2016, he breached his undertaking when he offered to appear as an advocate and to draft and file documents for a party before the Residential Tenancy Branch for a fee. In addition to the injunction, the court awarded the Law Society $3,500 in costs.
On December 1, 2016, Mr. Justice Jenkins granted an injunction prohibiting former lawyer John Frederick Carten, of Vancouver, from engaging in the practice of law, from representing himself as a lawyer or otherwise capable or qualified to engage in the practice of law, and from commencing, prosecuting or defending proceedings in any court on behalf of others. The Law Society alleged that Carten had breached the Legal Profession Act by offering legal services on Craigslist, representing a party in the Supreme Court for a fee and prosecuting litigation on behalf of others in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. In addition, the Law Society alleged that Carten improperly referred to himself as counsel and a lawyer on websites.
Andrew James Smith, of Victoria, doing business as Options Legal Services, Options Legal Solutions and Options Business Solutions consented to an injunction prohibiting him from engaging in the practice of law, from representing himself as a lawyer and from commencing, prosecuting or defending proceedings in court on behalf of others. The order is effective December 20, 2016. The Law Society alleged that Smith offered to provide various legal services for a fee, including offering to give legal advice, prepare agreements and court documents and to perform legal research. The Law Society was awarded its costs of $2,600.
To read the orders, search by name in the Law Society’s database of unauthorized practitioners.
The Law Society acts against the unauthorized practice of law to ensure only trained, qualified lawyers (or articled students or paralegals under a lawyer’s supervision) may provide legal services and advice to the public, as others are neither regulated nor insured. The Law Society 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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