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B.C. lawyer who spoke to media breached publication ban: Law Society

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A B.C. lawyer who represented a father in a high-profile case to block his son from receiving gender reassignment treatment, has been found to have committed professional misconduct for breaching publication bans.

According to an April 3 Law Society of B.C. decision, William Carey Linde, who practices under the name Carey Linde, broke publication bans by posting online about aspects of the case and speaking to media outlets.

The Law Society found that Linde had provided information about a person’s gender identity and mental health, along with information about treatments, to an American media outlet even though this information was covered under a court-ordered publication ban.

Linde was accused of five breaches of professional conduct which related to two high-profile cases about minors receiving gender reassignment treatment.

In one case, a mother tried to block her 17-year-old son from having gender reassignment treatment, although lost her case in court.

In another case, a father tried to block his 15-year-old from receiving gender reassignment treatment. In this case, the father spent a couple of weeks in prison for breaching court orders after he spoke to the media about the case.

The order had bared the father from attempting to persuade his son to abandon treatment and prevented him from addressing his son as a girl or using female pronouns. An earlier court decision says the father repetitively referred to the son as a female in court.

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The Law Society ruled that while the father in the case had "deliberately" disobeyed court orders Linde had not.

"The word intentional is the best term for what the (Law Society) finds (Linde) did here," the decision reads.

Linde admitted he'd "inadvertently" breached some of the court orders but he argued that no harm had been done.

"It is however the potential harm that could flow from the breaches, as accepted by the court, that is exactly why (Linde) should have exercised more care," the Law Society ruled.

The decision says Linde has been practicing law for 50 years and had accused the Law Society of a long-standing bias against him throughout his career.

The lawyer submitted documents dating back to 1971 and an issue he'd had with the Law Society when he got a library card for his dog while at law school.

The Law Society rejected the accusation of bias.

Ultimately, the Law Society found Lorne to have committed professional misconduct in three of the five allegations.

"The (Law Society) accepts that the non-compliance, while not necessarily deliberate, was nevertheless intentional. Intentional in that (Linde) knew better and had he been more prudent, his breaches would have been avoided."

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What penalty he will face will be decided at a later date.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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