What is the effect of a finding of no misconduct in a professional conduct review panel finding no misconduct?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Golden (Re), 2019 LSBC 15 (CanLII):

The comments of both the review panel, which reversed a finding of no misconduct, and the hearing panel on disciplinary action, in Law Society of BC v. Coglon, 2002 LSBC 21 and 2006 LSBC 14, respectively, and are also fitting. As the hearing panel stated at para. 20: A lawyer who places himself or herself in a position of conflict can never be sure in advance whether actions taken in this context will result in damage. The conflict avoidance provisions … are not simply remedial: they are preventative for the simple reason that the only safe way to deal with conflicts is to avoid them altogether. A lawyer must not be allowed to gauge the seriousness of a conflict with reference solely to the harm it may cause. Such would turn the avoidance of conflict into a game of probability in which lawyers play the odds, weighing potential benefits and liabilities in each conflict as it arises.

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