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Discipline Decision 2015

http://www.canlii.org/en/nl/nlls/doc/2015/2015canlii85270/2015canlii85270.html

SUMMARY

TAKE NOTICE THAT an Adjudication Tribunal of the Disciplinary Panel of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, having conducted a hearing pursuant to the Law Society Act, 1999, found Keith S. Morgan, of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, guilty of conduct deserving of sanction. The Adjudication Tribunal found that by failing to be absolutely frank and candid in his dealings with an unrepresented party and by failing to disclose material facts or supplying false information, Mr. Morgan did not discharge with integrity his duties, contrary to the Rule in Chapter 1 of the Code of Professional Conduct. The Tribunal did not find that Mr. Morgan acted with intention to mislead the unrepresented party. Rather, Mr. Morgan failed to inform himself about the aspects of the law which related to his engagement and did not re-visit past acts or positions upon learning the relevant law. The Tribunal’s assessment is that such conduct reflects adversely upon Mr. Morgan, the integrity of the legal profession and the administration of justice as a whole.

The Adjudication Tribunal ordered, pursuant to subsection 50(3)(a) of the Law Society Act, 1999 that:

1. Keith S. Morgan is hereby reprimanded, pursuant to s. 50(3)(a) of the Act;

2. Pursuant to s. 50(3)(l) of the Act, Keith S. Morgan shall:
(a) pay $17,000 plus HST of 13% ($2,210), for a total of $19,210 toward the Law Society’s counsel fees. The Law Society shall bear its own fees of the sentencing hearing;
(b) pay 100% of the transcription/copying expenses associated with this matter through to its conclusion; and
(c) pay 100% of the Law Society’s hearing panel expenses, being the cost of participation by the lay representative through to its conclusion.

3. The Law Society shall publish a summary of the reasons for decision in both the hearing on the merits and the hearing on sanction, in accordance with the Law Society Rules and s. 51(4) of the Act.

4. The Decision and Order shall take effect upon service in accordance with Law Society Rule 9.14.