B.C. Lawyer Disbarred for Second Time, Facing Serious Disciplinary Actions Including Misappropriation of Trust Funds

Richmond, British Columbia – A lawyer from British Columbia has been disbarred for the second time by the provincial law society, following a hearing panel by the society. Hong Guo, who previously faced disbarment in November 2023 due to her inability to rehabilitate her professional conduct, has now been disbarred once again. The Law Society of British Columbia issued a statement announcing Guo’s disbarment and also ordered her to pay $45,497 in costs. This decision comes after the society found Guo guilty of misappropriating and mishandling trust funds, violating trust accounting rules, and engaging in conflicts of interest, misrepresentation, and false representation.

Guo, who ran for mayor of Richmond in 2018, also repeatedly failed to respond to the society’s inquiries and provided incorrect or misleading information. The tribunal hearing panel described Guo as “evasive and untruthful” and declared her as ungovernable, meaning she refuses to accept the authority and direction of the law society. Guo was not available for comment.

It should be noted that Guo is not the first lawyer in British Columbia to face disbarment multiple times. Aaron Murray Lessing faced disbarment for the third time in 2022, although it was recognized that the measure was largely symbolic. This case highlights the importance of professionalism and ethical conduct in the legal profession, as well as the consequences that practitioners may face for misconduct.

The disbarment of Hong Guo raises questions about the ability of lawyers to rehabilitate and adhere to professional standards. The disciplinary actions taken by the Law Society of British Columbia serve as a reminder that the legal profession expects its members to uphold the highest levels of integrity and ethical behavior. Furthermore, the society’s decision to disbar Guo for a second time underscores the seriousness of her offenses and the need to prioritize the protection of clients’ interests.

This incident may also impact public perception of lawyers and their trust in the legal system. The disbarment of a lawyer not only reflects negatively on the individual involved but can also erode public confidence in the legal profession as a whole. It is crucial for legal governing bodies to take decisive actions to maintain the credibility and integrity of the profession. In disbarment cases such as this, it is essential for the law society to fulfill its duty of protecting the public and upholding the standards of the legal profession.