The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member that the member’s failure to communicate with and to respond to another member’s correspondence, and the member’s failure to cooperate with the Law Society’s investigation, do not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Law Society rule 9.07(1) and Chapter VII, rules 7.1-1 and 7.2-5, of the Code of Professional Conduct (2013). The Complaints Authorization Committee counsels the member that the Law Society Rules and Code of Professional Conduct prescribe a duty to respond promptly to communications from other lawyers and a duty to cooperate with the investigation by responding fully to communications from the Law Society.
The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s communication with the opposing lawyer, through written correspondence and a voice-mail message, which included inter alia, personal criticism of the opposing lawyer and the statement “I am going to recommend to my client to take some kind of action – I’m not sure what kind yet because I know there is something very wrong with this email that you sent, um, in so many ways.”, is inconsistent with the proper tone of a professional communication and does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter VII, rules 7.2-1 and 7.2-4, of the Code of Professional Conduct. The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned the member to refrain from the use of inappropriate comments in professional practice and to ensure that future communications, both verbal and written, are consistent with the proper tone of a professional communication from a lawyer. Furthermore, the Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned the member that private communications between lawyers must also be consistent with the standard prescribed by the Code of Professional Conduct.
The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s distribution of a Brief criticizing the Court and the judiciary does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter V, rule 5.6-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct (2013). The Complaints Authorization Committee noted the member’s submission “that the member has a duty as a lawyer and officer of the Court to bring these matters to the attention of the legal community and the public generally.” The Complaints Authorization Committee cautions that the member’s obligation, if any, in these circumstances was ameliorated by the fact that the member was a party to the proceedings. Furthermore, and as acknowledged by the member, an application to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was the procedurally correct next step.