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Edmonton lawyer disbarred for misappropriating clients’ funds

A file photo of the scales of justice. File Photo

A high-profile Edmonton criminal lawyer has been disbarred after the Law Society of Alberta found he misappropriated funds from his clients’ trust accounts.

Shawn Beaver was disbarred from practising law in Alberta, the Law Society announced Wednesday.

The self-governing association of lawyers also sanctioned him for “breach of the accounting rules of the Law Society, failing to be candid with the Law Society, failing to meet financial obligations in relation to his practice, failing to attend to the sale of real property by him in the manner expected of a careful and prudent solicitor, and in relation to the sale of real property by himself, failing to act with integrity.”

A hearing committee found that Beaver deserved to be sanctioned in connection with seven out of 12 total citations.

The Law Society said Beaver was disbarred “effective immediately” on Wednesday and that he was ordered to pay $120,000 in costs.

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“Disbarment is the most severe sanction the Law Society can impose,” the association said in a news release. “Mr. Beaver’s practice will now be closed by the custodian who was put in place when he was suspended.”

Tony Young, the president of the Law Society of Alberta, said they have mechanisms in place to make sure people are taken care of in respect to any claims they might have due to Beaver’s actions.

“To date, there’s been 85 paid claims from the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association amounting to over $290,000 as a result of Shawn Beaver’s actions,” said Young.

Beaver had practised in Edmonton until his membership was suspended in May 2015.

-With files from 630 CHED.

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