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Discipline Decision – 1988


It was alleged that Carter had caused to be paid a sum or approximately $11,000.00 out of the trust account of Carter to another law firm on behalf of a client who did not have any or sufficient funds on deposit in Carter’s trust account. It was alleged that Carter allowed this deficiency to remain in his trust account for about 8 months. It was also alleged that Carter failed to abide by an escrow condition which he gave to or accepted from another member of the Law Society, in that Carter held the sum of about $148,000.00 in escrow pending delivery to that other member of various documents. All of these allegations arose from the same transaction. The Panel of the Discipline Committee found that Carter was guilty of professional misconduct. Benchers accepted the findings of fact of the Committee, and found the lawyer guilty of professional misconduct. Benchers agreed that Carter would be issued a letter of reprimand, fined $2,000.00, ordered to pay the costs of the hearing (approximately $2,300.00) within 4 months, and ordered to send a letter of apology to the other member of the Law Society.

Discipline Decision – 1993


It was alleged that Alan Carter had:

  1. ) Failed to reconcile his trust account,
  2. ) Allowed his secretary to withdraw funds from his trust account,
  3. ) Failed to properly transfer out of his trust account to his general account earned and billed fees for which trust funds were on deposit,
  4. ) Failed to ensure that this trust account was added and balanced monthly,
  5. ) Accepted $150,000.00 from his client (“Client A”) for the purpose of investing on her behalf and failed to properly secure the funds, maintain adequate records and advise the client of the status of the investment,
  6. ) Withdrew $150,000.00 from his trust account in the name of Client A and placed these funds elsewhere without the client’s written request,
  7. ) Invested $100,000.00, being a portion of funds which were deposited with him for investment by Client A, in a company in which he had direct financial interest without disclosure to the client, and
  8. ) Placed $50,000.00 belonging to Client A in his own name.

After a hearing of the matter, the Panel recommended to Benchers that Carter be found guilty of all these allegations. Benchers found Carter guilty of professional misconduct, suspended him from practice for 15 months, and ordered that he pay for the Law Society’s costs of the investigation and hearing. He was also required, prior to resuming practice, to produce an accountant’s certificate indicating that he had a trust accounting system in place which met the Law Society rules. Upon resuming practice, his trust account cheques would have to be co-signed by a member of at least 5 years standing, which condition would apply for 5 years.

Discipline Decision – 1995


It was alleged that Alan Carter:

  1. ) Committed fraud on a client by obtaining receipt of monies ($10,000.00) to invest on behalf of his client and subsequently converted these monies to his own use, and was found guilty of a breach of s.380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code, resulting in a two month incarceration, and
  2. ) Failed to conduct himself in a professional manner towards another client by failing to
    1. ) pursue an action on behalf of his client in a competent manner and in the proper time,
    2. ) honestly and candidly advise his client of the true status of the client’s action, and
    3. ) acknowledge that Carter had made a mistake in the conduct of that action and to promptly assist the client to obtain alternate legal advice and to promptly notify his insurers.

After a hearing into the matter, the Panel recommended that Carter be disbarred. Benchers found Carter guilty of professional misconduct and ordered that he be disbarred and that he pay for the expenses incurred by the Law Society in the investigation and hearing of the complaint. In deciding to disbar the member, Benchers considered the seriousness of the incident, the lack of mitigating factors, the Law Society’s responsibility to the public and a prior (similar) disciplinary offence.