A former Victoria lawyer can no longer practise law for 10 years after facing discipline from the Law Society of British Columbia.
James Edward Turner was an immigration lawyer who used to work out of 210-612 View St. He was called to the bar in 1987, and voluntarily stopped working in December 2018.
Turner admitted to 31 allegations of misconduct in which he lied in more than a dozen cases relation to immigration matters. These allegations included telling clients he’d submitted their applications when he had not, that he was unaware of the status of an application when he knew that it had been returned or refused, and that a client had status in Canada when they did not.
|Turner Immigration is now permanently closed. (Screenshot/ Google)|
In one case, which ran from 2014 to 2017, Turner took on a client who asked him to prepare and submit a post-graduate work permit application, which had to be filed before April 30, 2017. On April 28, Turner submitted an incomplete paper application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), knowing that it would be rejected because it was not signed. Turner later submitted an online application in May 2017 without paying the required application fee.
In June 2017, Turner received notice of rejection for these applications, but when his client asked him about the status of the papers he lied and said he hadn’t heard back yet. The client later spoke with the IRCC directly and learned of the status, and when he broached the topic with Turner, he lied once again saying he’d been unaware.
The client then asked for a restoration of status application to be filed and Turner took until September to file the copy, even though he told his client in July that it had been put forward.
In similar cases, Turner lied about submitting Labour Market Impact Assessments, work permits, permanent resident applications, spousal sponsorship applications and more.
Because of his ensuing apology and self-report of misconduct, the Discipline Committee said Turner was cooperative with the investigation.
During his explanations, Turner said that he’d been suffering from personal and mental health issues at the time, which was supported by a medical assessment.
Turner voluntarily withdrew his membership in the Law Society effective Dec. 31, 2018 and has agreed not to re-apply for admission before Sept. 30, 2029.
Black Press Media reached out to Turner for comment, but he did not respond by the time of publication.