Breach Of Trust In Relation To Professional Colleges and Regulators

Edward Prutschi, Criminal Lawyer with Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman of Toronto, discusses breach of trust in relation to professional colleges and regulators.

Another aspect to the breach of trust scenario is the resulting disciplinary action imposed by the colleges and regulatory committees that oversee various professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, investment advisors, teachers, and so on. Many professions regulate themselves, and it is important that your criminal lawyer communicate with someone that has expertise in the administrative law questions that are raised by these regulators. Even if the criminal case was resolved in a favourable way, it’s important that the client understand what the implications are going to be when the regulatory body or professional college learns what happened in the criminal case. Frequently we will talk to health law professionals, educational professionals or others in the administrative law field to make sure that, before we go ahead to trial with any plea, the client has a clear understanding of what certain results will do to their licensing status.

A regulatory college is going to be interested in the charge, so how we dispose of that charge is important. For instance, we have scenarios where the Crown may make a very generous offer. But, it is very important for us not to rush to advise the client, “Look! This is a good offer. Take it.” We need to give the client an accurate assessment of what the implications of that offer are going to be to their profession. For some professions a discharge is not an acceptable resolution to the issue. In these cases, we need to really consider whether the Crown is able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. We may go back to the Crown and say, “Look, I know the intention is to give this person a break, but you have to understand that the break that you are giving them still results in the termination of their employment. So, it is really not the benefit that we all think it is. Let’s try to figure out something else that is going to allow them to continue to work.” There is great value in your solicitor consulting the individual college or regulating body that is involved in your unique case and figuring out what the implications and options might be.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman for a consultation.

This information is taken from an interview from, November, 2011 with Ed Prutschi, Criminal Lawyer with Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, a Toronto Criminal Defence Law Firm. This article and website provide general information on legal and related matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should consult and retain qualified legal professionals in your area to advise you about your particular situation and the law in your jurisdiction as laws vary from province to province, state to state and country to country.