Law Society disciplines BC lawyers


    VANCOUVER, March 20 /CNW/ - Pursuant to its statutory duty to govern BC's
legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society of BC has disciplined
the following lawyers (the lawyer's year of call to the BC Bar appears in
parentheses). Full hearing reports are posted on the Law Society's website at
www.lawsociety.bc.ca.

    Crawford Grant Edwards (1972, suspended September 16, 2005, ceased
membership January 1, 2006), of North Vancouver, BC, was found guilty of
professional misconduct for his involvement in an investment scheme. The panel
noted that the respondent ignored warnings given to him by the Law Society
that an investment scheme had all the hallmarks of a scam, and that Mr.
Edwards continued to maintain that the scheme was legitimate based on sources
no reasonably competent solicitor would have relied upon in the circumstances.
The hearing panel did not find that Mr. Edwards personally engaged in any
fraudulent conduct or was otherwise dishonest. They ordered Mr. Edwards be
disbarred and pay costs of $35,815.

    Dale Bruce Harder (1972, undertaking not to practice law November, 16,
2001, ceased membership January 1, 2003), of Kelowna, BC, admitted
professional misconduct for failing to service his clients properly, failing
to hold and remit PST and GST, breaching Law Society accounting rules, failing
to prepare proper accounts, failing to adequately supervise an employee,
withdrawing trust funds without preparing accounts and practising without
insurance. The hearing panel also found that Mr. Harder misappropriated client
funds. They ordered that Mr. Harder be disbarred and that he pay $149,053 in
costs.

    Howard Raymond Berge, QC (1967), of Kelowna, BC, applied for a review of
an earlier decision involving a one-month suspension and costs for conduct
unbecoming arising from an October 2, 2002 car accident. On October 17, 2006,
the Benchers upheld the earlier decision and ordered that Mr. Berge pay
partial costs of the proceedings. Mr. Berge has appealed the review decision
to the BC Court of Appeal.

    Danine Lorraine Geronazzo (1998, ceased membership January 1, 2005), of
Victoria, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for attempting to
mislead her employers and the Law Society about work she had performed on
various client files. On an application for review of penalty, the Benchers
upheld the earlier decision which imposed a practice supervision agreement and
further ordered a six-month suspension.

    Daniel Glen Addison (1993) of Abbotsford, BC, admitted professional
misconduct in misleading opposing counsel in adding a defence witness to the
List of Witnesses when he knew at that time that the witness had died. The
panel hearing panel ordered that Mr. Addison be suspended for 30 days starting
March 10, 2007 and that he pay costs in the amount of $6,369.

    Jeffrey Francis Murray (1994), of Kelowna BC, admitted that his conduct
in dealing with funds in breach of the Legal Profession Act and Law Society
Rules amounted to professional misconduct. The hearing panel accepted Mr.
Murray's admission and proposed penalty of reprimand, a $1,500 fine and costs
of $2,000.

    Leonard Thomas Denovan Hill (1982), of Delta, BC, admitted that he
breached an undertaking to pay the outstanding taxes from the mortgage
proceeds in a residential conveyance, and that this breach constituted
professional misconduct. The panel accepted Mr. Hill's admission and proposed
penalty of a fine of $2,500 and $1,000 in costs.

    John Wilson Dobbin (1973, suspended May 31, 2006, ceased membership:
January 1, 2007) of Vancouver, BC, admitted professional misconduct in
breaching an undertaking to the Practice Standards Committee to provide
monthly action plans. Mr. Dobbin also admitted professional misconduct for
failing to provide update reports on his medical treatment. The panel ordered
that Mr. Dobbin be suspended for a minimum of one year and until he satisfies
a board of examiners that his ability to practise law is not affected by a
mental disability. The panel also ordered Mr. Dobbin to pay $6,914 in costs.
If he resumes practice, the panel ordered he must only do so as an employee or
associate and he must undergo a practice review within three months of
resuming practice.

    Stuart Clendening (1971) of Surrey, BC, admitted professional misconduct
in breaching an undertaking to discharge a mortgage in a timely manner and
failing to respond to communications from a notary public. The hearing panel
ordered Mr. Clendening to pay a fine of $7,500 and costs of $2,500.

    Mimi Mankiu Luk (1990, suspended October 24, 2005) of Richmond, BC,
admitted professional misconduct in attempting to mislead the Law Society by
providing a false document; failing to provide a reasonable quality of service
to her client in a divorce matter by failing to keep her client informed; and
by failing to take the necessary steps to advance the matter in a timely
fashion. The hearing panel accepted Ms. Luk's admission and proposed penalty
of an 18-month suspension retroactive to October 24, 2005 and costs of $8,000.
Should Ms. Luk resume practice, the panel ordered that she must practise only
in a capacity approved by the Practice Standards Committee and undertake to
respond to the Law Society within 14 days of receiving a request for a
response; undergo a practice review within the first three months; comply with
all of the recommendations of the Practice Standards Committee; continue to be
treated by a psychiatrist and provide treatment reports every three months to
the Practice Standards Committee; and complete the small firm practice course
within six months of the date of the hearing panel decision.

    The Law Society of BC is the governing body of the legal profession in
B.C. Under the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society is
responsible for the licensing, professional conduct and discipline of the more
than 10,000 lawyers in B.C. For more information on the regulation and
discipline of lawyers see the Conduct and Discipline section of the Law
Society's website.




For further information: Law Society of BC media contact: Brad Daisley,
Public Affairs Manager, Office: (604) 443-5724 or 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in
BC; Email: bdaisley@lsbc.org, www.lawsociety.bc.ca