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Victoria lawyer suspended six weeks for professional misconduct

Donald Roy McLeod was also fined more than $16,000 for his actions
Victoria lawyer Donald Roy McLeod was suspended from practice for six weeks by the Law Society of B.C. for professional misconduct related to an adult guardianship case. (Black Press Media file photo)

The provincial law society has suspended a Victoria lawyer for six weeks for professional misconduct related to an adult guardianship dispute, and his cumulative professional conduct history.

In a decision announced Monday (Aug. 15), a hearing panel of the Law Society of BC tribunal ordered Donald Roy McLeod be suspended for his actions dealing with an opposing lawyer during the adult guardianship case, also known as a committeeship.

McLeod, acting for the children of an elderly parent, was found to have repeatedly refused to accept that the parent was represented by another lawyer and wouldn’t hand over the hearing date or materials related to his clients’ application for a committeeship order. Such an order was obtained at a hearing attended by neither the parent or their lawyer, despite the fact McLeod should have or ought to have known the application would have been opposed, a Law Society release stated.

The panel found McLeod’s tactics cost the parent and their counsel time and money that could otherwise have been avoided.

In its decision, the panel emphasized the seriousness of the misconduct, McLeod’s many years of experience as a lawyer and past issues relating to professional conduct, which includes three conduct reviews and a separate disciplinary action for similar misconduct. That history, combined with the most recent misconduct, led the society to hand out a stiffer punishment than would be the case for someone without such blemishes on their record.

McLeod was also ordered to pay costs of $16,503.41. The suspension took effect on Aug. 15.

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