A hearing panel of the Law Society Tribunal has suspended West Vancouver lawyer, Michael Murph Ranspot, for three months in two separate instances of professional misconduct.
His suspension will start on May 30, 2022. Ranspot also must also pay $12,087.24 in costs to the Law Society.
The hearing panel found that Ranspot had a conflict of interest when he acted for a client with whom he was in a relationship and loaned her funds without ensuring she had independent legal advice. The panel also found, and Ranspot admitted, that he assaulted his client and romantic partner for which he was charged with and pled guilty to one count of assault causing bodily harm.
Ranspot used excessive force during an altercation, and caused several injuries to the victim for which she was treated at a nearby hospital. The assault occurred in 2015.
In the circumstances, the hearing panel found that his actions constitute conduct unbecoming a lawyer. At a hearing on April 12, 2021, Ranspot admitted that his assault on his client mounted to conduct unbecoming the profession.
In ordering the three month suspension, the hearing panel considered the range of disciplinary actions in similar cases involving lawyers who verbally or physically assaulted their partner. The panel considered Ranspot’s professional conduct record, which also included two previous findings of professional misconduct.
The panel also noted that Ranspot had entered an early guilty plea in the criminal proceeding from the assault, had fulfilled the terms of his 16-month probation order and completed a corrections program.
He has participated in individual and group counselling sessions for about two and a half years.