The Law Society of B.C. is investigating allegations that a Kamloops lawyer has continued practising, despite being under a three-month suspension and subject to a custodianship.
Nickolaus Harold MacDonald Weiser’s current suspension – the sixth he has been issued in his legal career – was for practising law during a previous suspension in March 2021.
Weiser’s suspension took effect on Sept. 25, but the Law Society has since received information suggesting he “covertly” resumed offering legal services, a spokesperson told CTV News in a statement.
“We are also investigating an allegation that he broke into his office to remove a computer after he was suspended,” the spokesperson said. “We take these concerns very seriously in keeping with our mandate to protect the public.”
Weiser’s practice has temporarily been taken over by an appointed custodian, a measure the Law Society of B.C. sometimes uses when lawyers are unable to work due to suspension, disbarment or illness.
CTV News has been unable to reach Weiser to comment on the allegations. A recorded message on his office phone line explains that he is suspended and directs questions to the Law Society.
The tribunal that ordered Weiser’s latest suspension described his decision to continue practising while suspended two years ago as “misconduct of a most serious nature.”
“(Weiser’s) conduct conveyed a lack of concern for his professional obligations and respect for the Law Society’s regulatory role,” the tribunal’s decision reads. “In the absence of compliance, regulation becomes ineffective, and the public suffers harm. A significant suspension would have a specific and general deterrence impact.”
Weiser admitted to providing various legal services and supervising staff in order to complete “time-sensitive” work during a five-day suspension. The work involved a lease agreement, a property conveyance and the drawing and execution of a will.
Beyond practising, Weiser exhibited a “pattern of ignoring requests” from the Law Society of B.C. dating back to April 2018, according to the decision, and failed to provide “complete and timely responses” to the regulatory body during two separate investigations.
The Law Society spokesperson noted that investigators have not made a determination on the latest allegations. It’s unclear what additional disciplinary measures Weiser could face if the claims are substantiated.