A Law Society hearing panel has ordered the suspension of Kelowna lawyer Doug Welder for 45 days for what it calls his “deliberate and prolonged” failure to co-operate with Law Society of B.C. investigators during an investigation.
Welder was found to have failed to respond to questions in letters from the society and to respond to a request to provide details of bank accounts.
These failures amounted to professional misconduct and Welder will not be permitted to practice law during the suspension, which takes effect Oct. 1.
The law society says it is mandated to protect the public interest and will continue to pursue ongoing investigations.
To that end, if a lawyer does not cooperate with an investigation, he or she may face disciplinary action, as in this case, said the society in a news release.
The ongoing investigation by the society involves an allegation that Welder participated in a fraudulent investment scheme.
The society says the probe has faced obstacles because of Welder’s earlier failure to cooperate.
It noted that Welder has now complied with the society’s requests for information.
There are three reports related to the Welder decision and all are available in the hearing reports section of the law society’s web site.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.