The Law Society of B.C. (LSBC) has suspended a Surrey lawyer who was charged with assault and mischief in June 2018 following an altercation with his wife.
Narindarpal Singh Kang holds a Queen’s Counsel (QC) designation but nevertheless faces a two-month suspension after admitting his personal actions constituted conduct unbecoming of the legal profession.
Kang avoided a criminal conviction when his charges were stayed by the B.C. Prosecution Service (Crown) and a common law peace bond against him was enforced in November 2018, requiring him to stay clear of his spouse.
According to an LSBC hearing panel, Kang had a physical altercation with his spouse on June 15, 2018 after a social function. He had been drinking, an argument ensued and Kang struck the back of his spouse’s head several times and used profane language. The spouse was uninjured, according to the panel’s report.
Kang behaved himself during the course of the six-month peace bond and Crown directed a stay of proceedings, according to the panel.
Conduct unbecoming of the profession typically occurs in a lawyer’s private life, in contrast to professional misconduct, which occurs in a lawyer’s practice, noted the panel, made up of lawyers Kimberly A. Henders Miller, Lisa R. Feinberg and public representative John Lane.
“This Panel has no hesitation in finding that, in participating in an act of intimate partner violence, the Respondent (Kang) engaged in conduct unbecoming the profession,” the panel ruled.
Kang was also fined $1,000.
“In determining the disciplinary action, the panel considered the serious nature of intimate partner violence, as well as character reference letters provided by Kang, his acknowledgement of his actions and remorse, and the range of penalties in similar cases,” stated the society in a news release.
Kang operates Kang Lawyers. He specializes in family, criminal and immigration law. According to his website, he was appointed by the Governor-General in Council as an immigration judge at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in 2002.
Kang is the second lawyer with a Queen’s Counsel designation who has been suspended this week by the LSBC. The society also suspended Vancouver lawyer Paul Doroshenko on Tuesday for two months after he admitted to professional misconduct.
Only 7% of practicing lawyers in B.C. are designated QC at one time. The B.C. Attorney General issues the designations, which are based on a lawyer being able to “demonstrate professional integrity, good character and excellence in the practice of law.”
Glacier Media has asked the attorney general’s office what, if any, protocol exists to strip a QC designation, as no such information exists on the government’s website nor is there any clause in the Queen’s Counsel Act.
QC applications are reviewed by an advisory committee that includes: the Chief Justice of British Columbia; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia; the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court; two members of the Law Society appointed by the Benchers; the President of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch; and the Deputy Attorney General.
Some Canadian provinces have stopped making such appointments.