Conduct & Character: Recent Law Society Tribunal Decisions

Paralegal Professionals

The Law Society Tribunal is an independent adjudicative tribunal within the Law Society of Upper Canada, consisting of staff and appointed adjudicators. It processes, hears and decides regulatory cases about Ontario lawyers and paralegals, in the public interest.


    Ali Amiri, of Oakville, will get a new hearing before a new panel of the Hearing Division.

    Amiri had been suspended for 180 days and ordered to pay more than $18,000 in costs to the Law Society. He had been found to have engaged in professional misconduct by: practising beyond the scope of his licence, failing to conduct himself in a way that maintained the integrity of the profession, marketing his legal services in a manner that was misleading and/or confusing, and failing to maintain the proper books and records of his paralegal practice.



    Artem Djukic, of Brampton, has been suspended on an interlocutory basis starting Jan. 9, 2015.


    Adrienne Denise Garth, of Toronto, has had her licence revoked for professional misconduct, effective Jan. 19, 2015. She is also to pay the Law Society $50,000 in costs by 2020. A Hearing Panel found that the paralegal had acted without integrity in such matters as her dealings with other licensees and with clients; failing to serve clients; and misappropriating funds. She had also failed to apply for a Certificate of Approval from the Law Society of Upper Canada for her Paralegal firm TLC Law Corporation.


    The Law Society has refused a paralegal licence for disbarred lawyer Harry Kopyto. His “good character” hearing found Kopyto ungovernable. He advised the panel that if granted a Class P1 licence, he intended to continue to disregard By-Law 4 insofar as it restricted the scope of paralegal practice – and that, if a paralegal licence were denied, he intended to disregard the law and continue to provide legal services” as he had “hundreds of times.” The former lawyer had applied for a paralegal licence in 2007 and had filed several applications and motions before courts and tribunals related to paralegal scope of practice and his application.


    A Feb. 2 Decision and Order found that Leonard Howard Libman, of Thornhill, is now of good character. His application for a P1 licence is allowed.


    Tyler Edward Murphy, of Severn Bridge, has been found to be of good character and is eligible to be admitted to the Law Society as a paralegal.


    Penetanguishine paralegal Paul Louis Pauze is suspended indefinitely. A Hearing Division panel order from Feb. 6 finds that the suspension is to continue until Pauze provides information related to a client complaint.


    Robert Joseph Potomski, a Windsor paralegal, has been given a deadline to comply with orders or have his licence revoked. The Jan. 26 Hearing Division Order directs that, if he has not complied with the previous orders in 30 days, Potomski’s licence shall be revoked.

    In May 2013, Potomski was found to have engaged in professional misconduct for failing to co-operate with two Law Society investigations and failing to provide details of his compliance with by-laws related to licence suspension. His licence had been suspended by a Hearing Panel in December 2011.

    The paralegal is ordered to pay $30,000 in costs to the Law Society.


    An applicant who can be identified only by the initials S.A.T. has been turned down for a paralegal licence, after a good character hearing. A Hearing Division panel rejected the application Jan. 29.


    Diane Lynn Smith, of Barrie, has had her licence revoked. She had been found to have failed to complete work for a client, not return messages, failed to file a statement of claim, missed deadlines, misled client, failed to respond and be candid with a client, failed to account for funds, or provide an account, and other issues. A Hearing Panel found: “Given the nature, duration, and repetition of the misconduct, the Paralegal’s previous suspension for similar misconduct, the number of clients adversely affected, the likelihood of future misconduct, and her complete lack of co-operation with the Law Society, revocation was the only appropriate penalty – The Paralegal’s licence to provide legal services was revoked and she was ordered to pay costs of $12,000 to the Law Society.”


    Zenon Stephen Spyrc, of Flamborough, has been suspended. The Law Society brought a motion for an interlocutory order under s. 49.27 of the Law Society Act. Effective Dec. 5, 2014, the Order includes $7,000 in costs to the LSUC.

    Spyrc was being investigated for a number of allegations. These include: practising while suspended, impersonating another paralegal while entering a guilty plea on behalf of a client in traffic court when his licence was suspended, falsely stating in his paralegal licensing application that he was not subject to any criminal charges, misleading a criminal court judge, and failing to advise the Law Society when he was charged with personation and obstruct justice under the Criminal Code. The hearing panel noted a “significant risk of harm to the public and to the public interest in the administration of justice.”


    Toronto paralegal Benito Antonio Zappia has been found to have engaged in professional misconduct. He was reprimanded and ordered to pay the LSUC $2,500.
Related Cases & Tribunal Information
Tribunal Information:
    Law Society Tribunal Decisions at CanLII
%d bloggers like this: