Monday, January 24, 2022

Transparent Discipline Promotes Public Confidence

The web page of the Ontario Law Society is an excellent example of discipline transparency.

Among the features is a weekly update of pending proceedings and decisions.

From today's update

The Law Society initiated both a capacity and a conduct application against Mr. Phillips after he, in separate incidents in the fall of 2017, assaulted a man in a parking lot with a baseball bat and threatened to go “thermo nuclear” on a shopping centre. After a number of assessments of Mr. Phillips by forensic psychiatrists, the parties agreed that he had been incapacitated due to illness from January 2018 to December 2020, during a which a further incident of vandalism and threatening behaviour had taken place. The parties jointly proposed a detailed treatment plan with strict conditions that would allow Mr. Phillips to resume practice, which the panel accepted. As to the misconduct application, the Law Society argued that Mr. Phillips was not incapacitated in the fall of 2017, in that his delusional behaviour had been caused by voluntary marijuana use, and therefore a finding of misconduct was justified in relation to the earlier incidents. The panel, reviewing the medical evidence, found that although Mr. Phillips’ delusional behaviour was exacerbated by substance use, it stemmed from psychosis, a recognized mental illness and therefore he was incapacitated during the earlier incidents as well. It therefore dismissed the conduct application.


Mr. King entered an agreed statement of facts and acknowledged that he engaged in professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming by: i) failing to record cash payments and in doing so depriving his law partner of her share of firm profits; ii) pre-taking and taking excessive and unauthorized fees for executor compensation; iii) committing sexual assault against a client and failing to report the criminal charge to the Law Society. The panel accepted the parties’ joint submission that Mr. King be permitted to surrender his licence.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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