British Columbia

Vancouver lawyer Catherine Sas suspended for professional misconduct

A prominent Vancouver lawyer and QC has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

Sas was found to have misapropriated funds held in trust for clients.

Vancouver immigration lawyer Catherine Sas (seen here with her client, Randy Quaid) has been suspended from practising for four months. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

A prominent Vancouver lawyer and QC has been suspended for four months and ordered to pay costs by the Law Society of British Columbia after being found guilty of professional misconduct.

Catherine Sas will be suspended from practising law from March 1 for four months and must pay $32,038.49 in costs following the judgment.

Sas, a noted immigration lawyer in the city, represented American actor Randy Quaid in his attempt to be granted refugee status in Canada.

The misconduct relates to the handling of funds following the wrapping up of her private practice, when she joined a law firm in 2010.

"Sas billed clients for disbursements that had not been incurred and paid to her law corporation money held in trust for those clients," The Law Society said in a statement Thursday.

"She also withdrew funds held in trust to pay her law corporation for charges assessed to clients, without immediately delivering bills to those clients."

Her motive for misappropriating "approximately $1,947 from 23 clients", the Society concluded, "was to clean up the accounting records relating to her sole practice and to wind up that practice."