Law Society disciplines lawyers

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Law Society disciplines lawyers

TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - In keeping with the Law Society of Upper Canada's mandate to govern Ontario's legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society disciplined the following lawyers. The notation following a lawyer's name indicates year of call to the Bar and his/her age. Orders for which a member receives an admonition are not published. A hearing panel, which usually includes two lawyers and a layperson, is responsible for determining the appropriate disposition of the matter.

A detailed listing of the particulars in each case can be found on the Law Society's web site at www.lsuc.on.ca. A link to discipline decisions can be found under "Hot Topics" on the left side of the screen.

Gregory Francis Bidzinski (1989, 41) of the City of Toronto was found to have failed to comply with the Order of the Law Society Hearing Panel dated April 11, 2001, made against him by failing to comply with four terms of the Order, including failing to enrol in and complete continuing legal education courses and a Bar Admission course; by failing to provide confirmation that he had referred existing family law files to other

members in good standing with the Law Society; and by failing to pay the Law Society's costs.

Hearing panel ordered that:

- the member's rights and privileges are suspended for a definite period of one month commencing at the conclusion of his current administrative suspension;

- the member shall be suspended for a further indefinite period until the two following conditions have been met to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Law Society:

- the member complies with the requirements set out in paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Order of the Hearing Panel dated April 11, 2001; and

- the member provide an explanation for the discrepancy between the representation he made to the Society on April 11, 2001 that he only had three family law files, and his subsequent representation he made to the Society that he had 100 family law files;

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have since expired, the member is required to comply with the terms set out in the four paragraphs of the Order with the exception of the already expired time limits before he can be reinstated from this suspension.

(Counsel for Society, Amanda Worley / Counsel for member, Mark Trenholme)

Adam John Bull (1986, 43) of the City of Toronto was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to serve two clients in a

conscientious, diligent and efficient manner; for failing to make a meaningful reply to the Law Society's written and telephone

communications; and for failing to deposit $650 of trust monies received from two clients into a trust account.

Hearing panel ordered that:

- the member be suspended for a period of one month, such suspension to commence on August 1, 2002; and

- the member shall refund the total sum of $650 to each of two former clients in the following instalments:

- $325 by way of cheque made payable to each client and delivered to the Law Society on or before September 30, 2002;

- $325 by way of cheque made payable to each client and delivered to the Law Society, on or before December 31, 2002.

(Counsel for Society, Amanda Worley / member unrepresented)

Donald John Cosway (1964, 69) of the City of Toronto was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to serve four clients in a

conscientious, diligent and efficient manner; for failing to fulfil two

undertakings regarding the discharge of a mortgage and the removal of a property instrument from title; for failing to cooperate with the Law Society by failing to take steps to enforce the payment order filed with the Federal Court on behalf of a client, despite numerous promises to do so and by failing to provide prompt and meaningful responses regarding complaints from clients; and for failing to promptly meet a financial obligation to the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company, by failing to pay the deductible.

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- the member be granted permission to resign his membership in the Law Society effective August 31, 2002, if by no later than that date, he has met all of the following conditions, failing which, that he be disbarred:

- the member will not accept any new clients or any new legal work for existing clients as of the date of this order;

- the member will immediately inform all clients in active matters that they should take their files to a solicitor of their choice except as provided for below;

- the member will as of the date of this order, cease to practise law, except for work performed prior to August 31, 2002, with the written consent of his clients having been informed of this order and under the supervision of another member of the Law Society, regarding the real estate files listed at Appendix A to this order;

- the member will obtain and deliver to a former client a replacement cheque in the amount of $460.48; - the member will tender his written resignation to the Secretary; and

- the member pay the amount of $5,000 to the Lawyer's

Professional Indemnity Company, within one year of the date of this order.

(Counsel for Society, Emile Carrington / Counsel for member, Miles O'Reilly, Q.C.)

Norman Epstein (1979, 48) of the City of Toronto was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to promptly release monies held in trust on behalf of his clients to a successor law firm, despite a Direction by his clients to do so; and for failing to do all that could reasonably be done to co-operate with a successor lawyer by failing to answer with reasonable promptness, professional communications and by failing to facilitate the orderly and timely transfer of the former

client's matter.

Hearing panel ordered that:

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of $1,200 within six months, at a rate of not less than $200 a month.

(Counsel for Society, Emile Carrington / Counsel for member, Lorne Waldman)

Salim Abdulrasul Kanji (1983, 49) of the Town of Unionville, was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to reply to the Law

Society's written and verbal communications regarding a complaint on behalf a client.

Hearing panel ordered that: - the member is reprimanded.

(Counsel for Society, Lisa Freeman / Counsel for member, Harry Black, Q.C.)

Michael McKenzie Lynch (1968, 61) of the City of Toronto was found guilty of professional misconduct for engaging in the practise of law during the period from July 23, 1999 to August 14, 2000 while he was suspended by Summary Order, dated June 25, 1999.

Hearing panel ordered that:

- the member's rights and privileges are suspended for a period of 30 days commencing July 29, 2002.

(Counsel for Society, Janice Duggan / Counsel for member, Robert N. Kostyniuk, Q.C.)

Patrick Thomas Edward Corkery McCool (1984, 57) of the City of Toronto was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to serve his

client in a conscientious and efficient manner and for billing his client and applying trust funds in payment of that account without first fulfilling a condition on the face of a billing agreement, namely holding in trust approximately $2752 in respect of amounts billed to the Ontario Legal Aid Plan for work done after cancellation of the Legal Aid

Certificate pending Legal Aid's decision whether to allow coverage for that time period.

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- the member is reprimanded;

- the member shall pay to the Law Society, within six months of the date of this order, a fine of $1,000;

- the member shall pay to the Law Society, within six months of the date of this order, costs in the amount of $4,000.

(Counsel for Society, Beth Asher / Counsel for member, Janet Lieper)

Wayne Sydney Novak (1978, 52) of the Town of Thornhill was found guilty of professional misconduct for depositing settlement trust funds which belonged, in part, to his client into his firm's general bank account; for mishandling $13,500, more or less, from his client; for failing to preserve and keep safely client files; for acting in a conflict of

interest; for improperly depositing $165,640.25, more or less, of trusts funds received from clients into a bank account he maintained as the executor of an estate; for failing to prepare and provide a full and final accounting to his client regarding the disposition of the proceeds of the sale of property; for failing to serve his client, in a

conscientious, diligent and efficient manner; and for breaching an Order of Convocation dated April 25, 1997, which suspended his rights and privileges as a member of the Law Society effective May 1, 1997, including his right to practise law, by acting and/or practising and/or holding himself out as a barrister and solicitor throughout the period from May 1, 1997 to August 25, 1997, inclusive.

Hearing panel ordered that:

- the member's rights and privileges are suspended for a period of two months commencing July 1, 2002;

- the member is not to practise in the area of real estate law until such time as he has submitted to the Secretary of the Law Society proof that he has completed a minimum of 14 hours of continuing legal education in the area of real estate law;

- the member is not to act at any time after the date of his

undertaking, dated June 4, 2002, as a solicitor performing estate work;

- the member is not to permit himself to be an executor on any will made after the date of his undertaking, except where the testator

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- the member will undertake to the Law Society as follows: - within two months of the date of his undertaking to provide to the Secretary of the Law Society a list of all wills wherein he is currently named as executor or co-executor, trustee or co-trustee; - to provide notice to the Secretary of the Law Society

immediately upon the commencement of his duties or appointment as the executor or trustee of an estate;

- to permit the Law Society to audit any of his files or records with respect to executorship or trusteeship matters at any time during normal business hours subject to three days notices.

- the member will undertake to pay, within six months of the date of his undertaking, the following amounts

- $1,011.28 to BW;

- $1,011.28 to the estate of GR; - $1,011.28 to ML; and

- $1,412.53 to LW.

(Counsel for Society, William Donegan / Counsel for member, Mark Sandler) Henry Paul Swierszcz (1979, 49) of the City of Hamilton was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a barrister and solicitor for attempting to obtain confidential information about a client of another lawyer (person A) by preparing and sending a false document in the name of that lawyer to a trust company; and for attending at and trespassing upon, the property of a potential witness (person B) in a Law Society proceeding, subsequent to providing an assurance to her solicitor that he would refrain from any attempt to contact her.

Hearing panel ordered that: - the member is reprimanded;

- the member shall have no contact with person B for a period of two years;

- the member shall pay costs to the Law Society fixed in the amount of $1,000 within 90 days; and

- the names of person A and person B shall not be published. (Counsel for Society, Emile Carrington / Counsel for member, Jeffrey Manishen)

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