Tuesday, May 17, 2022
The Manitoba Law Society Discipline Committee Panel has ordered a reprimand with conditions
Mr. Fawcett's Conduct Unbecoming a Lawyer charge occurred outside of his professional obligations. From approximately August 2016 through July 2020, Mr. Fawcett made unwanted communications of a sexual nature to five women.
Fawcett knew each of these women through his work as a lawyer, the unwanted communications were outside of the course of Mr. Fawcett's professional activities. None were directly connected with any client matter or other professional activity. All of these communications took place while Mr. Fawcett was under the influence of alcohol.
He sought treatment after bar complaints were filed
Having regard to Mr. Fawcett's successful management of harmful substance abuse in the past and his willingness to give certain undertakings to the Society, this complaint was initially resolved by Mr. Fawcett's formal Undertaking dated July 8, 2020.
This Undertaking included provisions as to treatment and reporting upon the progress of that treatment to the Society. It also contained undertakings including to:
abstain from the consumption of alcohol. If I experience a relapse of consumption of alcohol, I will notify the Society in writing forthwith; and
have no contact with any female member of the Society by FaceTime, text, email or other direct messaging or video communications application, for any reason other than for strictly work related matters. If I intend on communicating with a female Lawyer of the Society for a non-work-related reason, in the manners described, I will first obtain the written authorization of the Society.
Fawcett complied with the treatment undertakings but breached [the above] undertakings almost immediately.
It is determined it is appropriate in the circumstances in accordance with Section 72(1) of The Legal Profession Act that the member be granted a reprimand. This is reserved for the exceptional circumstances found in this case.
The conditions include monitored abstinence and continuing treatment. (Mike Frisch)