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Notice of Upcoming Hearings

Disciplinary Hearings

As the regulatory body of lawyers in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador is authorized under the Law Society Act, 1999 to file complaints against members.

A complaint is authorized by the Complaints Authorization Committee when the Committee is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds to believe a lawyer has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction.  A complaint is an unproven allegation until an adjudication tribunal makes a determination on its validity. At any hearing a settlement may be proposed.

Law Society disciplinary hearings generally take place at the Law Society office at 196-198 Water Street, St. John’s, and are open to the public. However, the adjudication tribunal has the right to make certain parts of the hearings, or even the entirety of a hearing, private at their discretion.

 

Notice of the Hearing Date

Respondent: Ronald Cole, QC
Type of Hearing: Conduct
Date:
Time:
Place: Zoom

General Nature of the Charges:

In accordance with s. 45(3) of the Law Society Act, 1999, (the “Act”) the Complaints Authorization Committee (the “Committee”) has determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Ronald Cole, QC (the “Respondent”) has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction and, in accordance with s. 45(3)(b) of the Act, the Committee has instructed the Vice-President to file a Complaint against the Respondent on the basis that the Respondent is guilty of conduct deserving of sanction in that he:

Code of Professional Conduct

  1. Failed to take reasonable steps to maintain a normal lawyer and client relationship in circumstances where his client’s ability to make decisions was impaired in contravention of s. 3.2-9 and related commentaries thereto.

 

Notice of the Hearing Date

Respondent: H. Edmund Montague
Type of Hearing: Conduct
Date: April 20, 2021
Time: 9:30 am
Place: Zoom

General Nature of the Charges:

In accordance with s. 45(3) of the Law Society Act, 1999, (the “Act”) the Complaints Authorization Committee (the “Committee”) determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that H. Edmund Montague (the “Respondent”) has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction and, in accordance with s. 45(3)(b) of the Act, the Committee instructed the Vice-President to file a Complaint against the Respondent on the basis that the Respondent is guilty of conduct deserving of sanction in that he:

Law Society Rules:

  1. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.02 by failing to maintain proper and sufficient records relating to trust money and trust property received and disbursed in connection with his practice.
  2. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.03 by failing to deposit clients’ trust money into his trust account.
  3. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.04 by inappropriately withdrawing money from his trust account and by withdrawing money from his trust account without providing billing or other written notification to his client.
  4. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.09 by failing to produce to the Law Society’s Trust Auditor information and/or explanations required for his audit.
  5. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rules 9.04 and 9.07 by failing to respond, in writing or otherwise, to two (2) allegations within fourteen (14) days or within a reasonable time, without reasonable excuse.
  6. ) Failed to comply with Part XVI of the Law Society Rules by failing to collect all information necessary to identify clients as outlined in rule 16.03.

Code of Professional Conduct:

  1. ) Failed to discharge all responsibilities to clients, tribunals, the public and other members of the profession honourably and with integrity in contravention of s. 2.1 of the Code of Professional Conduct and related commentaries thereto.
  2. ) Failed to provide courteous, thorough and prompt service to clients in contravention of s. 3.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct and related commentaries thereto.
  3. ) Failed to obtain written consents from each party when acting on behalf of both sides of a transaction in contravention of s. 3.4-7 of the Code of Professional Conduct and commentary 1 in particular.
  4. ) Failed to encourage and/or uphold public respect for the administration of justice in contravention of s. 5.6 of the Code of Professional Conduct and related commentaries thereto.
  5. ) Failed to reply promptly and completely to communications from the Law Society in contravention of s. 7.1-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct.
  6. ) Failed to meet financial obligations in relation to his practice in contravention of s. 7.1-2 of the Code of Professional Conduct.
  7. ) Failed to be courteous and civil and act in good faith with all persons with whom he had dealings with in the course of his practice in contravention of s. 7.2-1 of the Code of Professional Conduct and related commentaries thereto.
  8. ) Failed to answer with reasonable promptness all professional letters and communications from other lawyers that require an answer and failed to be punctual in fulfilling all commitments in contravention of s. 7.2-5 of the Code of Professional Conduct.
  9. ) Failed to fulfill every undertaking given in contravention of s. 7.2-11 of the Code of Professional Conduct and related commentaries thereto.

 

Notice of the Hearing Date

Respondent: Brian Wentzell
Type of Hearing: Conduct
Date: May 19, 2021
Time: 9:30 am
Place: Zoom

General Nature of the Charges:

In accordance with s. 45(3) of the Law Society Act, 1999, (the “Act”) the Complaints Authorization Committee (the “Committee”) has determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Brian Wentzell (the “Respondent”) has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction and, in accordance with s. 45(3)(b) of the Act, the Committee has instructed the Vice-President to file a Complaint against the Respondent on the basis that the Respondent is guilty of conduct deserving of sanction in that he:

Did fail to discharge with integrity all duties owed to clients, the court, other members of the profession and the public; did fail to be competent to perform any legal services undertaken on a client’s behalf and did fail to serve the client in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner so as to provide a quality of service at least equal to that which lawyers generally would expect of a competent lawyer in a like situation; did fail to be honest and candid when advising a client and did fail to use reasonable efforts to ensure that the client comprehends the lawyer’s advice and recommendations; did fail when acting as an advocate to treat the tribunal with courtesy and respect and did fail to represent the lawyer’s client resolutely, honourably and within the limits of the law; and did fail to observe in the spirit as well as in the letter the rules of professional conduct set out in the Code of Professional Conduct; further particulars of which include the following:

  1. ) Mr. Wentzell acted as counsel for the Plaintiffs in cause 2008 03T 0093;
  2. ) On December 20 and 21, 2010, Mr. Wentzell on behalf of his clients entered into a settlement agreement without the specific instructions or authorization of his clients to do so;
  3. ) On December 20 and 21, 2010, Mr. Wentzell breached his fiduciary duty to his clients by settling the claims of his clients in cause 2008 03T 0093 without proper instructions from his clients;
  4. ) Mr. Wentzell filed an affidavit dated March 8, 2011 in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division in cause 2008 03T 0093 without the consent of his clients; and
  5. ) Mr. Wentzell filed an affidavit dated 6 November 2013 in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division in cause 2008 03T 0093, which affidavit contained false and/or potentially misleading information, to wit: “That my authority to settle was based on specific instructions received from P.R., the duly authorized representative of the Plaintiffs, in a December 20, 2010 telephone conversation (the “telephone conversation”).”

Code of Professional Conduct:

  1. ) To comply with the rule respecting a lawyer discharging with integrity all duties owed to clients, the court, other members of the profession and the public, as contained in Chapter I of the Code of Professional Conduct, titled “Integrity” (see the rule; commentaries 1, 2 and 3; and notes 1, 2 and 3);
  2. ) To comply with the rule respecting a lawyer having a duty to be competent to perform any legal services undertaken on a client’s behalf and respecting a lawyer having a duty to serve the client in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner so as to provide a quality of service at least equal to that which lawyers generally would expect of a competent lawyer in a like situation, as contained in Chapter II of the Code of Professional Conduct, titled “Competence and Quality of Service” (see rule (a) and rule (b); commentaries 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10; and notes 3, 4 and 7); and
  3. ) To comply with the rule respecting a lawyer having a duty to observe in the spirit as well as in the letter the rules of professional conduct set out in the Code of Professional Conduct, as contained in Chapter XIX of the Code of Professional Conduct, titled “Avoiding Questionable Conduct” (see the rule; commentaries 1, 2 and 10; and notes 1 and 2);

 

Notice of the Hearing Date

Respondent: Susan LeDrew, Q.C.
Type of Hearing: Conduct
Date: TBD
Time:
Place:

General Nature of the Charges:

In accordance with s. 45(3) of the Law Society Act, 1999, (the “Act”) the Complaints Authorization Committee (the “Committee”) has determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Susan LeDrew, QC (the “Respondent”) has engaged in conduct deserving of sanction and, in accordance with s. 45(3)(b) of the Act, the Committee has instructed the Vice-President to file the within Complaint against the Respondent on the basis that the Respondent is guilty of conduct deserving of sanction in that she:

Law Society Rules:

  1. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.02 by failing to prepare monthly trust reconciliations.
  2. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.04 (now rule 5.05) by:
    1. ) inappropriately withdrawing money from her trust account; and
    2. ) failing to properly document transfers, from her trust account.
  3. ) Failed to comply with Law Society rule 5.05 (now rule 5.06) by failing to report trust shortfalls to the Law Society.

Code of Professional Conduct:

  1. ) Failed to discharge all responsibilities to her clients and other members of the profession honourably and with integrity in contravention of s. 2.1 of the Code of Professional Conduct and related commentaries thereto.