Discipline Decision – 2005
On November 16, 2005, pursuant to section 48(3) of the Law Society Act, 1999, an Adjudication Panel of the Discipline Committee of the Law Society found William J. Parsons of Mount Pearl, NL, guilty of conduct deserving of sanction. By Order of the Adjudication Panel dated November 22, 2005 Mr. Parsons was disbarred and ordered to pay pay two-thirds of the expenses incurred by the Law Society in relation to the Complaints relating to him and Glenn C. Bursey.
The Complaint alleged that Mr. Parsons conduct constituted a breach of the Law Society Rules respecting trust accounts and also was contrary to the Code of Professional Conduct in that Mr. Parsons did fail to act with integrity; did fail to act with competence and to provide a proper quality of service; did fail when advising clients; did fail to act with impartiality and to avoid conflict of interest between clients; did fail in his duty respecting preservation of clients property; did fail in his responsibility to the profession generally; did fail in his responsibility to lawyers individually; and did fail to avoid questionable conduct. Mr. Parsons entered a guilty plea to the Complaint.
The Agreed Statement of Facts filed with the Panel stated inter alia:
From in or about January, A.D., 1999 to in or about May, A.D., 2004, William J. Parsons acted for his client, Myles-Leger Ltd. dealing primarily with real estate transactions. In some transactions where William J. Parsons acted for the Vendor, Myles-Léger Ltd., William J. Parsons or a member of William J. Parsons Law Office acted for the purchaser as well.
While he was acting for Myles-Léger Ltd., William J. Parsons acted on approximately fifteen (15) real estate transactions, and acted on or assisted another member of his law firm with an additional twenty-one (21) real estate transactions.
William J. Parsons failed to fulfill trust conditions and his undertakings with respect to the discharge of mortgages and used trust monies for purposes not in accordance with trust conditions.
The Adjudication Panel found that although there was no evidence of misappropriation of funds for Mr. Parsons own use, Mr. Parsons acted as a conduit- transferring funds to Myles-Leger in order to facilitate its continued operation. The Panel noted that Mr. Parsons exhibited a profound absence of appreciation for the role of a solicitor and acted with a reckless indifference to all of those who could be affected by his actions. Consequentially, the Panel found that Mr. Parsons must not be permitted to practice law in Newfoundland and Labrador.