Kelowna lawyer convicted of uttering threats faces Law Society hearing

Local lawyer faces hearing

A Kelowna lawyer is now awaiting the outcome of a Law Society hearing held Tuesday, after the BC Court of Appeal upheld his criminal conviction last summer for uttering threats.

William Thomas Clarke was charged in March 2018 for uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm on Dec. 16, 2017 in Kelowna. The court filing is designated as an “intimate partner” matter.

After a two-day trial, Clarke was found guilty and he was handed a conditional discharge, with a 12-month period of probation.

Clarke appealed the conviction to the Supreme Court of B.C. in October 2019, but the court upheld the trial judge's decision. He went on to appeal to the BC Court of Appeal last July, but that court also upheld the decision.

The Law Society of B.C. issued Clarke a citation last October, outlining the allegations of Clarke's conduct that is “unbecoming of the profession,” and on Tuesday, a “facts & determination hearing” was held.

“They're trying to determine the facts that happened in this case,”said Vinnie Yuen, BC Law Society spokesperson.

“If a finding of professional misconduct is found by the panel, then it moves to a disciplinary action hearing, where they determine what the disciplinary action could be.”

Yuen said the Law Society could impose anywhere from a fine to disbarment.

While it's not clear when a decision from Tuesday's hearing will come, Yuen says the Law Society aims to complete decisions within 90 days.

Clarke practices divorce and other family law matters in Kelowna, at The Courtyard Law Offices.

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