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Uncooperative B.C. lawyer suspended for second time in past year

Hearing panel finds lawyer acted in a conflict of interest and improperly borrowed money from a client.
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The law society says Nickolaus H.M. Weiser has a lengthy professional conduct record.

A Law Society of BC hearing panel has suspended Kamloops lawyer Nickolaus H.M. Weiser for eight months, making this the second time he’s been suspended in the past year.

The suspension is in addition to numerous administrative suspensions and comes as Weiser faces another disciplinary hearing for trust account violations.

On March 10, 2023, the society had proven its case that Weiser acted in a conflict of interest in concurrently representing a company in which he had a financial interest but also provided a loan to clients involved in a real estate transaction. He also borrowed $366,545 from the company, which was also his client. The violations occurred between January 2013 and September 2016.

Weiser did not attend his disciplinary hearing last November where the society recommended a six-month suspension for professional misconduct.

The panel found Weiser “engaged in a pattern of disregard for the mandatory conflict rules” and “there is no evidence before the Panel indicating the Respondent has acknowledged his misconduct or undertaken remedial action to ensure the misconduct found by the Panel does not again occur.”

The panel noted Weiser was suspended for three months in July 2023 for practicing law while suspended in March 2021 and for “failing to respond and cooperate in the Law Society’s investigation.”

Weiser had been suspended under an administrative order for failing to produce documents for society investigators.

As such, the panel handed Weiser an eight-month suspension.

The panel stated that the society’s submission “underestimates the impact of the public confidence in the profession, the potential harm that could have occurred to [Weiser’s] clients, the deception of [Weiser’s] behaviour in failing to advise his borrower clients of his personal interest in the loan transactions, and the previously described egregious act of executing the loan amending agreement on behalf of a client and another person.

“While recognizing the need to sanction all the acts of professional misconduct, there is especially a need to condemn the act of executing the loan amending agreement.”

On Aug. 15, 2023, Weiser was found to have committed further professional misconduct when a panel determined he used his firm’s trust account for his personal financial benefit and in the absence of legal services to receive and disburse $198,000 of his own funds which were proceeds of an unlicensed cannabis business. Weiser also drafted seven misleading documents as support for purported loans related to the $198,000 and made “numerous misrepresentations” to the society.

Weiser has yet to face a disciplinary hearing for that misconduct.

Furthermore, Weiser was issued a fourth citation on May 4, 2023 for allegedly failing to comply with society orders against him. A panel has yet to hear those allegations in full.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca