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Luke is a lawyer, but he also provides services which do not require any professional license whatsoever. Like, for example, software development, or registered agent.

One day, providing such services, Luke stuffs up. He faces big non-criminal penalties (for example, for breaching an NDA).

A somewhat related answer says:

if the registered agent is a lawyer, disclosing client confidences could be career ending for the lawyer

How exactly could that work given that Luke acts not in his capacity as a lawyer, and only does a civil wrong?

Can lawyers be disbarred for committing civil wrongs not related to their activity in the capacity as a lawyer?

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    how does Luke mess up? Does he comingle funds? Does he just fail to answer his phone? Does he feed one of his client peanuts, which he is allergic to?
    – Trish
    Mar 9 at 12:59
  • @Trish Say he breaches an NDA. Or causes damages due to negligence.
    – Greendrake
    Mar 9 at 13:34

1 Answer 1

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The Ontario Rules of Professional Conduct say:

If a lawyer is charged with an offence described in By-Law 8 of the Law Society, he or she shall inform the Law Society of the charge and of its disposition in accordance with the by-law.

And in commentary to that rule:

By-Law 8 relates to the reporting of serious criminal charges under the Criminal Code and charges under other Acts that bring into question the honesty of a lawyer or that relate to a lawyer's practice of law. Such a charge may be a red flag that clients may need protection. The Law Society must be in a position to determine what, if any, action is required by it if a lawyer is charged with an offence described in By-Law 8 and what, if any, action is required if the lawyer is found guilty.

Also:

Dishonourable or questionable conduct on the part of a lawyer in either private life or professional practice will reflect adversely upon the integrity of the profession and the administration of justice. Whether within or outside the professional sphere, if the conduct is such that knowledge of it would be likely to impair a client's trust in the lawyer, the Law Society may be justified in taking disciplinary action.

The BC Code comments that:

Dishonourable or questionable conduct on the part of a lawyer in either private life or professional practice will reflect adversely upon the integrity of the profession and the administration of justice. Whether within or outside the professional sphere, if the conduct is such that knowledge of it would be likely to impair a client’s trust in the lawyer, the Society may be justified in taking disciplinary action.

The lawyer must also report any conduct that raises a substantial question as to the honesty, trustworthiness, or competency of a lawyer, including themselves.

The Rules require that:

a person who is charged with an offence under a federal or provincial statute, or an equivalent offence in another jurisdiction, must immediately provide to the Executive Director written notice of the charge

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    Similar rules and analysis in the United States.
    – bdb484
    Mar 9 at 14:48

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