Vernon lawyer loses bid to delay law society conduct hearing | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon lawyer loses bid to delay law society conduct hearing

Vernon lawyer Leonard Marriott.
Image Credit: North Valley Law

A Vernon lawyer accused of filing "false or misleading" information to the BC Supreme Court when dealing with a property transfer has failed in a last-minute attempt to have a conduct hearing adjourned.

On June 20, The Law Society of BC dismissed Leonard Marriott's application to adjourn his conduct hearing which is now scheduled to start today, June 24.

Marriott, who owns North Valley Law, stands accused of filing materials with the Supreme Court that he "knew or ought to have known contained false or misleading information" and he failed to make sure the documents were "forthright and accurate."

The precise circumstances of what took place aren't yet known, but the hearing relates to an estate matter that took place between May 2019 and September 2020.

Marriott stands accused of failing to "adequately investigate the facts and identify the legal issues" in the case.

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The Law Society said Marriott failed to disclose the existence of a will and "accurately represent" the value of the estate.

The regulator said he didn't give his client "complete and accurate relevant information" about their case and failed to take "appropriate steps" to protect the client's interests.

A court filing shows that Marriott had twice retained lawyers for the case but in both instances, the lawyers removed themselves as counsel.

The case is one of two disciplinary proceedings the legal regulator is taking against Marriott.

In May, he faced another hearing where he stands accused of misappropriating $27,000 of a client's money.

The Law Society said he failing to provide the "quality of service required of a competent lawyer."

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The second case also relates to an estate matter that took place between 2018 and 2021.

The Law Society said Marriott, while acting as executor and trustee of the estate, "improperly withdrew" from his trust account "some or all of $71,149" without following the correct protocol.

The Law Society has yet to decide on that case.

A court filing from early 2023 shows that Marriott owes the Canada Revenue Agency $175,000 and has unpaid child support in Ontario for more than $63,000.

At the time, the court had ordered the sale of a 10-acre piece of land in Enderby which was on the market for $550,000.

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None of the allegations have been proven.

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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