The Law Society of British Columbia has suspended a Kelowna lawyer for professional misconduct, meaning he will not be practicing for the next year.
In a release from the society, they say a hearing panel found that Douglas Warren Welder acted in a conflict of interest while representing a client in a foreclosure proceeding against a former client.
In its decision, the panel said, “Acting in a conflict of interest amounts to a breach of one of the bastions of the legal profession, ranking with confidentiality, loyalty to clients, fulfilling undertakings, safeguarding trust funds, and duties to the Courts. Failure to uphold these bastions leads to disintegration of the public’s confidence in the profession.”
Welder’s suspension will begin on June 1 and will not be lifted until he completes 12 credits of approved Continuing Professional Development this year, and a remedial course on professional ethics.
After the suspension is lifted, he will also have to undergo two consecutive practice reviews, which successfully demonstrate satisfactory trust accounting procedures, satisfactory file management, appropriate conflict checks and decisions, and an understanding of substantive legal issues at the level of a competent lawyer.
Welder has also been ordered to pay $13,692 in costs.