December 25, 2022 – 2:30 PM
A B.C. lawyer who had a sexual relationship with a consumer has been suspended from practising legislation for 4 weeks by the regulator.
In accordance with a Dec. 9 Legislation Society of B.C. choice, Dustin Gerald Ellis was working as a professional bono lawyer for a authorized assist group in Vancouver when he had a short-lived sexual relationship with a consumer.
The choice says that in December 2021 the lawyer texted his consumer and stated he couldn’t reply her name as a result of he wasn’t alone within the workplace and he didn’t need to share their “vibe.”
The consumer texted again “Okay, so we do have vibe.”
A few weeks later the lawyer and the consumer started having a sexual relationship.
The choice says they shared sexually specific textual content messages and sexually specific images of themselves.
A number of days later the consumer known as the connection off.
“The (consumer) suggested the lawyer by textual content that she was not enthusiastic about pursuing the connection, personally or professionally. She suggested that she could be representing herself shifting ahead,” the choice reads. “She informed the lawyer she felt their relationship had been inappropriate and that he had been sexually harassing her from their first telephone name. She famous that he labored in an atmosphere the place he handled weak individuals and that he exerted energy over them, and so ought to be extra conscious of his actions. She ended the messages by advising that she would report him.”
The lawyer then texted the consumer and denied sexually harassing her, and agreed to not contact her.
Ellis then informed his employer what had occurred and was instantly fired.
The lawyer signed a consent settlement with the Legislation Society admitting that his actions constituted skilled misconduct.
The Legislation Society stated the connection put Ellis in a battle of curiosity and that he did not act “honourably and with integrity” by having the intimate relationship.
“It’s aggravating that the lawyer engaged in a private and sexual relationship with a weak consumer whereas working for a professional bono authorized assist group,” the Legislation Society stated.
The Legislation Society revoked Ellis’ licence for 4 weeks and in addition barred him from practising household legislation or felony legislation till it decides he can accomplish that once more.
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