A Nanaimo Lawyer was disbarred after being convicted for the sexual assault of a prospective client.
On Dec. 6, the Law Society of B.C. sanctioned Marc Andre Scheirer for misconduct after he was convicted for sexually assaulting a potential client five years ago.
According to society’s tribunal hearing decision, Scheirer was visited by the client in February 2018 when she wanted to get the terms of bail varied for her husband, who had been charged with domestic assault, to allow him to resume cohabitation with her.
During the interview with the prospective client, the lawyer “moved closer to her, putting his head on her chest, rubbing her leg and moving his hand towards her crotch. She tried to stand up; he pushed her down and said, ‘nicer you are to me now, the sooner we get your husband home.’”
He was convicted for the crime in November 2020, and was sentenced to a suspended sentence and two years’ probation in March 2021.
“These events have had a devastating impact on [the victim], requiring medication, and has made her fearful of not just lawyers, but other professionals where there is a power imbalance,” noted the decision. “[Scheirer’s] conduct was predatory, reprehensible and should be given the highest possible sanction. Anything less would impact the confidence of the public in the legal profession and cast doubt on the ability of the law society to govern itself.”
Scheirer also had on his file a citation for “alarmingly similar circumstances” of “inappropriate and offensive behavior towards a female client,” in which he had to enter into undertakings to not practise criminal law, not to practise family law and not to meet with any person under the age of 19 unless there is another person over 19 in the room.
The society will order no costs from the lawyer due to his “dire financial circumstances” and ongoing medical issues, the decision noted.Follow @Baileyseymour02