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Lawyer suspended

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 26/04) - A Toronto-based divorce lawyer has been suspended from practising in the NWT after skipping a client's trial and ignoring several court orders.

Tracey Foster was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Northwest Territories Law Society on Oct. 14, following a disciplinary hearing earlier that month.

A panel of three lawyers fined Foster $3,000 and suspended her licence for two months.

"Ms. Foster's actions... put her client in jeopardy," read a written decision from the law society.

The complaints originated nearly four years ago while Foster was arguing a civil case in the NWT Supreme Court.

According to the law society, Foster skipped a contempt of court trial in May of 2001. Her client, armed only with a letter, was convicted and fined $1,000. In an unusual move, Foster was ordered to pick up the tab.

"Ms. Foster clearly failed to serve her client," the panel said.

Foster was also cited for ignoring a series of court-imposed deadlines for filing documents during a period that ran from July 2000 to October 2001.

"By her repeated disregard of court orders she undermined the public's respect for the administration of justice," the panel concluded.

Foster declined to comment on the suspension.