Friday, February 01, 2008

Lawyer Fined for Conduct Unbecoming while Student Member of the Law Society

In 2005, the Osgoode tribunal found a former student, Shane Smith, guilty of academic dishonesty for selling papers to another student while a law student, and a student-at-law. Following the decision from the Osgoode Tribunal, the Law Society of Upper Canada commenced an investigation into the conduct of Smith while a student member of the Law Society, and has recently fined the now-lawyer for conduct unbecoming.

Law Times reports:

Shane Smith was reprimanded by a law society hearing panel last month for conduct unbecoming a student licensee. He was given one year to pay the fine and an additional $1,000 in costs.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Smith acted contrary to parts of the Law Society Act when, while he was an articling student, he “provided and sold papers, which he and another student member had researched and written, to M, who was then a student in the MBA program at York University’s graduate school of business, with the knowledge that the papers would be submitted to the graduate school of business as M’s work.”

The student who received the course work is not named in the statement of facts.

Smith, 31, who currently works for IBM Canada Ltd., was called to the bar in July 2004.

But while the LSUC decision pertains to Smith’s activities while he was articling and M was an MBA student, documents obtained by Law Times show the scandal reached back to their law school days.
Articling students, now referred to as student licensees, are bound to the same Rules of Professional Conduct as lawyers called to the Ontario bar.

- Annie Noa Kenet, Toronto

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