Former professional practices lawyer suspended for faking expense claims. (File photo)

B.C. lawyer overseeing professional standards at society suspended for faking expense claims

He had previously been the Manager for Professional Conduct

A lawyer overseeing professional standards at the Law Society of B.C. has been suspended for falsifying expenses.

Kenseelan Gouden was given a 16-month suspension connected to his tenure as CEO of the Courthouse Libraries Society, according to a decision issued Feb. 16 by the Law Society’s Disciplinary Committee.

Gouden has been directed to pay $5,326.25. His suspension begins March 1.

The infractions happened between 2017 and 2018. When confronted by his employer in 2018, Gouden admitted to submitting false, inflated and duplicated expense claims.

He resigned as CEO and paid back over $4,000 he had wrongfully claimed. Another 26 improper claims came to light after this.

Among the falsified claims were several for trips not related to work, receipts modified to have higher values and some knowingly duplicated expenses.

The matter was referred to the Law Society’s Discipline Committee for a hearing, which was held in October 2020.

The committee received character letters from Gouden’s colleagues and expert opinions from doctors who treated him. His psychologists did not consider Gouden to be at risk for re-offending, instead recommending continued therapy and high level of supervision.

Personal references spoke of Gouden’s “remorse for his misconduct and efforts to rehabilitate himself,” adding that the behaviour was “utterly out of character,” and argued he is “an effective lawyer worth saving.”

He has been a lawyer in good standing for 27 years with no prior disciplinary action.

When he resumes law practice, Gouden will be subject to a supervision agreement and is not allowed to operate a trust account. He also will be required to continue psychotherapy.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


Lawyers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

L-R: The Nelson Skating Club’s Vienna Ferguson, Oceane Cheon and Paisley Jarvis wait for their performance times during the Kootenay Region Virtual Competition on Feb. 20. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Skating Club competes in regional event

The Kootenay Region Virtual Competition was held Feb. 20

Former owner and new manager Cole Johnston holds up the Reo’s sign outside its new location on Hall Street. The video rental store will reopen March 17. Photo: Submitted
Civic Theatre to reopen Reo’s at new location

The theatre has purchased the video rental store

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read