Friday, June 18, 2021

"At Times, Volatile"

A "personal romantic relationship" with a client in a proceeding involving her common law marriage also was a volatile one and led to findings of misconduct by a hearing panel of the British Columbia Law Society.

On November 9, 2016, the Respondent pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing bodily harm of CC.  The Crown proceeded summarily.  The sentencing hearing occurred on January 12, 2017.At the sentencing hearing, an agreed statement of facts was entered as an exhibit, and the following content of it was read into the record at the sentencing hearing:

  1.       The complainant, CC, and the accused, Michael Ranspot, had been in a relationship for approximately four years until the date of the incident underlying the criminal charge.
  2.       The relationship between the parties was, at times, volatile.
  3.       On December 30, 2015, the parties had planned to spend the evening together at the complainant’s home in East Vancouver, which she rented from the accused.  The apartment is approximately 520 sq. feet in size; it is a small one bedroom unit.
  4.       The accused spent the day working in West Vancouver.  He attended at a walk-in clinic in North Vancouver sometime after 5:00 p.m. to obtain some outstanding test results.
  5.       He arrived at the complainant’s apartment around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.  They had dinner together and spent the evening watching TV and listening to music in the living room.  The complainant was sitting in the armchair and the accused was lying on the couch.  Both of them were drinking wine.
  6.       An argument arose sometime after 2:00 a.m.  The verbal argument led to a physical interaction between the accused and the complainant; which began with the accused properly defending himself while sitting on the couch which caused some of the complainant’s injuries.  The complainant and the accused then continued to engage in a physical interaction while both on their feet in and around the couch.  In the course of the exchange on their feet, the accused’s use of force exceeded what was reasonable in the circumstances and caused injury to the complainant.
  7.       When the interaction ended, after some minutes, the complainant went to the bedroom.
  8.       The accused retrieved his clothes and changed out of his pyjamas in the living room.
  9.       The complainant telephoned her friend around 3:05 a.m.
  10.    The accused collected some personal items and left the apartment.
  11.    The complainant telephoned the police around 3:13 a.m.  The police attended the apartment shortly thereafter, immediately noting that the apartment was in disarray with broken glass on the floor, an upended coffee table and blood smeared on the carpet.  [This is the accused’s blood, as a result of his thumb being bitten during the altercation].
  12.    The complainant was transported to St. Paul’s Hospital by ambulance.  She was observed to have the following injuries: bruising to her left forehead; lump on right lateral side in hair; laceration at the left eye tear duct; an approximate 3” scratch­type abrasion below right eye extending to her upper cheekbone, very light bruising to right jaw, as well as light bruising to right elbow, left tricep, and left calf.
  13.    The accused attended the Cambie Police Station on December 31, 2015 where he was arrested.  He was observed to have the following injuries: left eye bruise; right bicep bruise; left arm/bicep bruise; bite mark to left thumb; scratches to left wrist; scratches to upper right back/shoulder.

The Hearing Panel  found that the attorney had engaged in a conflict of interest in the relationship and by providing the client with interest-free loans. 

CBC (Bethany Lindsay) reported on the bar case

Nearly five years after West Vancouver lawyer Michael Murph Ranspot pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm against a former girlfriend, his victim is still waiting to see if the Law Society of B.C. will take any disciplinary action.

"Honestly, I just can't get my head around it," she told CBC News. "I'm not really understanding why it's taken this long. I've had different thoughts about it — mainly that this person has got power because of who he is, and maybe that's one of the reasons."

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2021/06/a-personal-romantic-relationship-with-a-client-in-a-dissolution-matter-also-was-a-volatile-one-on-november-9-2016-the-resp.html

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