90-03 : Withdrawal of Complaints to Society

When complaints against a lawyer are submitted to the Law Society, the member who is the subject of the complaint ~l sometimes contact the complainant in an effort to resolve the matter.

While the Society encourages the speedy and satisfactory resolution of all complaints against members, the Discipline Committee has recently become aware of some instances in which the member complained about has sought to settle the dispute on condition that the complainant will formally withdraw his or her complaint to the Society.

The Discipline Committee wishes to make members of the profession aware that once a complaint has been filed with the Society, the committee will proceed to consider any matter which in its opinion merits further investigation and will take whatever action is deemed appropriate. The committee is not precluded from completing its investigation by the purported withdrawal of a complaint, nor is it necessarily bound by any settlement between the lawyer and the client. Similarly, the member complained about is not relieved of the obligation to respond in writing to the Society within 14 days of receiving notice of a complaint.

(August 1990)