A hearing panel of the Law Society Tribunal has ordered that Langley lawyer Sumit Ahuja be suspended for seven months, starting on December 17.
The hearing panel found that during a period when an active addiction distorted his judgment, Ahuja committed professional misconduct by misappropriating client funds, failing to attend court on behalf of a client and failing to follow accounting and billing rules.
In imposing the suspension, the panel considered the serious nature of Ahuja’s misconduct and prior conduct history, as well as evidence that Ahuja voluntarily made restitution with his clients, completed treatment for substance use issues and unconditionally took responsibility for his misconduct.
The panel noted that Ahuja voluntarily complies with monitoring and testing beyond the requirements recommended by his medical team and required by the Law Society, and that without the context of his active addiction and subsequent efforts at rehabilitation the normal outcome would be disbarment.
The panel’s decision on facts and determination is available here and the decision on disciplinary action is available here.