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The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member for :

  1. ) failing to properly account for the funds provided by a client, thus being unable to quantify the dollar value earned on the file and not being able to immediately return all unearned retainer to the client;
  2. ) improperly taking the client’s acknowledgement of the $2,000 refund to mean that the taxation process was no longer necessary; and
  3. ) failing respond to communications about the client’s bill in a timely manner.

The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled the member that:

  1. ) in the future all money earned in a matter is to be properly accounts for, and unearned amounts returned immediately following the conclusion of the matter;
  2. ) it is inappropriate to ignore the taxation process and all necessary steps should be taken to continue the member’s participation; and (iii) in the future, the member should make the effort to respond to all client communications in a more timely manner.

The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member that the member improperly withdrew from a file. The Committee determined that maintaining carriage of a file gives the impression that the member is capable and competent of representing the client. When the member determined that the matter was not in their practice area, the member should have notified the client that the member could not represent them or communicated that the member would not be able to offer representation beyond receiving the decision. The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled the member that they should have withdrawn from the file earlier than the member did or communicated the limitations of the member’s representation of the client.


The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s email correspondence to beneficiaries of an Estate was neither courteous nor professional in its tone, and does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter II, rule 2.1-1, and Chapter VII, rules 7.2-4 and 7.3-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct. The Committee found the following provisions of the Code of Professional Conduct relevant:

  1. ) 2.1-1 A lawyer has a duty to carry on the practice of law and discharge all responsibilities to clients, tribunals, the public and other members of the profession honourably and with integrity;
  2. ) 7.2-4 A lawyer must not, in the course of a professional practice, send correspondence or otherwise communicate to a client, another lawyer or any other person in a manner that is abusive, offensive, or otherwise inconsistent with the proper tone of a professional communication from a lawyer; and
  3. ) 7.3-1 A lawyer who engages in another profession, business or occupation concurrently with the practice of law must not allow such outside interest to jeopardize the lawyer’s professional integrity, independence or competence [emphasis added].

The Committee noted that it was difficult to decipher when the member ceased acting as both Executor and solicitor for the Estate and that the email communications were sent from the member’s law office email account. The Committee specifically cautions the member that the complainants, as beneficiaries, had the expectation that information would be provided in a courteous and professional manner.