The former general counsel for Vision TV has been disbarred for professional misconduct when he was working for the faith-based television network in 2007.
According to the Law Society of Upper Canada, Brant David Kostandoff, who now lives in Vancouver, B.C, lost his licence for several reasons including creating and distributing false letters patent to his employer, the CRTC, and others.
He was also found to have engaged in the following professional misconduct:
- Failing to serve his client/employer by failing to incorporate it in his capacity as general counsel;
- Creating and distributing a false affidavit and a falsified shareholders’ agreement;
- Creating and providing to his employer LawPRO application forms falsely indicating that he was obliged to pay premiums and by falsely stating that he had paid the premiums by credit card;
- Misleading his employer into believing that he had incurred expenses for LawPRO premiums which he had not paid;
- Accepting money from his employer for fictitious LawPRO expense claims;
- Signing for the chairman and CEO of his employer rather than circulating documents for proper execution.
Kostandoff was ordered to pay costs in the amount of $12,132.03 within six months from the date of this order. He was not present and not represented at the LSUC hearing Aug. 13.
A member of the LSUC until December 2007, Kostandoff in fact reported himself to the society for conduct in breach of Rule 33 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and also resigned from the television network. He has not worked as a lawyer since.
In an affidavit provided to the law society hearing panel in July, Kostandoff stated, “I have no intention of returning to the practice of law in Ontario or any other jurisdiction.”
In January 2008, Kostandoff submitted an application to resign as a member of the LSUC but the society refused to accept the resignation. In March of that year, the LSUC commenced an investigation that took three years to complete. In his statement, Kostandoff was critical that while the LSUC’s investigation was not completed until March 2011, the actual time spent on the matter was 10 days.
Kostandoff sold his home in July 2008 and left Ontario for British Columbia to become a photographer but indicates in the affidavit he was not successful.
He insists if the discipline matter had reached a hearing within the LSUC guideline of 18 months of being filed, he would have had the financial resources to attend the hearing in person.
Kostandoff joined the VisionTV group of channels as director of legal affairs in June 2001. His responsibilities included representing VisionTV on the Canadian Association of Broadcasters committees devoted to regulatory and copyright issues for specialty and pay television.
In 2003, he was promoted to the position of director of legal and corporate affairs and in 2005, to the position of general counsel for VisionTV.
Prior to joining VisionTV, Kostandoff was manager of professional standards and arbitration for the Toronto Real Estate Board where he worked from 1999 to 2001. He oversaw dispute resolution and ethics for the 15,000-plus realtors in the Toronto area, and advised the board of directors on corporate governance and contracts. Before that, he was a senior Associate at Mills & Mills LLP in Toronto.
Kostandoff, who holds a law degree from the University of Victoria, was called to the bar in 1998.