Discipline Decision 1998
By a decision of Benchers dated October 28, 1998 Owen Myers was found guilty of professional misconduct pursuant to section 52 of the Law Society Act. The Complaint involved one client and related to the time period between October 1993 and March 1995. The violation arose from Mr. Myer’s:
(i) failure to respond and misleading responses to inquiries from a client;
(ii) failure to co-operate with a new solicitor retained to take over the matter;
(iii) failure to return a retainer or satisfactorily account for same despite requests; and
(iv) failure to respond to requests for information under Law Society Rule 9.05.
Benchers ordered that Mr. Myers be suspended for a period of one month from that date upon which he next becomes a practising member of the Law Society; that he deliver to the client a letter of apology in respect of the first three allegations in the Complaint, together with the sum of $535.00; and that Mr. Myers pay the expense incurred by the Society in the investigation and hearing of the Complaint.
Mr. Myers has appealed the decision of Benchers to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland, Trial Division, by Notice of Appeal dated November 17, 1998.
Discipline Decision 1999
By a decision of Benchers dated December 21, 1999, Owen Myers was found guilty of professional misconduct pursuant to section 52 of the Law Society Act. The Complaint involved six clients and related to the time period between January 1993 and June 1995. The violation arose from Mr Myers’:
(i) failure to comply with Law Society Rules 2.19, 2.20, 5.03(4), 5.05(1), 5.06(2), 5.07(1), 5.07(4), 5.07(6), 5.08 and 5.09(1)(ii),(iii),(iv),(v),(vi),(x) and (xi);
(ii) failure to provide competent representation in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner; and
(iii) failure to return a retainer or the portion thereof which was not earned for services rendered or to satisfactorily account for same.
Benchers ordered that Mr Myers be suspended for a period of thirty days from that date upon which he next becomes a practising member of the Law Society; that he reimburse his former clients in the amount of five thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine dollars and fifty cents ($5,839.50) within ninety (90) days from the expiry of his suspension; and that Mr Myers pay the expense incurred by the Society in the investigation and hearing of the Complaint.
Discipline Decision 2017
TAKE NOTICE THAT an Adjudication Tribunal of the Disciplinary Panel of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, pursuant to the Law Society Act, 1999, found Owen Myers of St. John’s, NL guilty of conduct deserving of sanction. The Adjudication Tribunal determined that Mr. Myers failed to keep the client informed of the status of the file, failed to attend hearing dates and failed to file documents in compliance with a Court Order, which conduct constitutes conduct deserving of sanction. The Adjudication Tribunal concluded that such conduct undermines the very essence of professional honesty, integrity and the duty owed to a client and therefore constitutes a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct.
The matter proceeded by way of a joint submission on the basis of an Agreed Statement of Facts. However, the parties had not agreed with respect to publication and this issue was determined by the Adjudication Tribunal. An excerpt from the Decision follows.
In terms of promoting a transparent and accountable regulatory process, the Adjudication Tribunal is of the view that subsections 49(2)(m) and 51(3) in the Act recognizes a range of conduct deserving of sanction and that conduct resulting in serious sanctions such as suspension, restrictions or disbarment, for the protection of the public, must be afforded the highest degree of transparency through publication of a summary of a decision in a newspaper. For conduct that does not meet the level of sanction set out in subsection 51(3) of the Act, it is left to the discretion of the Adjudication Tribunal to consider the appropriateness of a publication in the context of the mitigating factors. In this case, the Adjudication Tribunal is of the view that a publication would be appropriate only if the Respondent continues practice or returned to practice at a future date.
The Adjudication Tribunal ordered, pursuant to subsection 49(2) of the Law Society Act, 1999 that:
(i) if Owen Myers as of the date of this Decision has not retired and continues practicing law, publication shall in in accordance with the timeline specified in subsection 51(3) of the Act; or
(ii) if Owen Myers as of the date of this decision no longer has practicing status but returns to practice at some future date, a summary of the Decision shall be published within fourteen (14) days of Mr. Myers’ return to practicing status;