Charles Albas suspended, fined by law society for misconduct | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Charles Albas suspended, fined by law society for misconduct

Penticton lawyer Charles Albas has been suspended for four months and ordered to pay costs of the Law Society of British Columbia following the results of a disciplinary hearing against him.
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November 02, 2016 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - A well known Penticton lawyer faces fines and disciplinary action following a decision by the Law Society of British Columbia this week.

Charles Louis Albas faces is formally suspended from practicing law for four months and must pay $5,706.10 to the Law Society of British Columbia for the costs of his hearings following a decision of the hearing panel Oct. 31. Albas was found guilty of committing professional misconduct on May 30.

The panel found Albas guilty on eight allegations of professional misconduct that included borrowing money from clients and failing to disclose material facts to the court, among others.

This isn't the first time Albas has been sanctioned by the law society. Albas, who is Central Okanagan-Similkameen MP Dan Albas’ father, was fined $7,000 plus costs in a disciplinary hearing in 2015 for professional misconduct for naming himself as beneficiary in a client’s will and his wife as beneficiary in another.

In the most recent case, two of his clients are still owed $224,000 and $120,000, though the law society panel concluded there is “virtually no chance these victims will ever be made whole.”

Albas, who was present at the sanction hearing, told the panel "he is 64 years of age; a broken man; he had to move communities because of shame; he has suffered for ten years from chronic depression; he has no means to pay for anything, is truly remorseful and feels a lot of shame and self-loathing," adding he had taken himself out of practice by ceasing to be a member of the Law Society of British Columbia.

He argued unsuccessfully he shouldn’t be burdened with costs because of his personal bankruptcy.

The panel concluded a suspension of four months to be appropriate, acknowledging “although there is virtually no chance the Law Society can collect on costs awarded because of the respondent’s bankruptcy, the panel has concluded that, for general deterrence purposes, costs of $5,706.10 be awarded to the Law Society."

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