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'Canada's Smartest Person' admits misappropriating funds, barred from practising law for 10 years

A Kamloops man named “Canada’s Smartest Person” has been barred from practising law for 10 years after admitting to professional misconduct.

Braden William Lauer’s Law Society of British Columbia membership has been terminated after the former lawyer committed 11 instances of rule-breaking between January and August 2021.

Among those instances were five acts of misappropriating funds totalling nearly $10,000.

He also admitted two instances of breaching accounting rules, three of failing to provide clients with “the quality of service expected of a competent lawyer” and one of “misrepresenting to a client the status of their matter.”

Lauer achieved TV game show fame in 2014 when he won CBC’s Canada’s Smartest Person.

<who> Photo credit: CBC </who> A screengrab showing Lauer after he was named "Canada's Smartest Person."

He was a 22-year-old UBC law student at the time.

According to CBC, the show “challenges assumptions about what it means to be smart.”

“Rather than compare IQs, contestants tackle a series of tests that measure six types of intelligence: musical, physical, social, logical, visual, and linguistic,” the national broadcaster explained.

Lauer described himself as “Einstein meets Sherlock” in promotional material for the show.

“The way I describe myself is pretty true and pretty sad,” he told CBC. “I like to think I’m smart, but I’m very inept at some regular day things.”

According to the agreement between Lauer and the Law Society, the former lawyer has agreed not to apply for reinstatement to the society in BC or anywhere else in Canada for nine and a half years commencing April 16.

The agreement also explains that Lauer “is remorseful” for his actions and “has accepted responsibility for the misconduct from the start.”

It adds: “[Lauer] has also explained that, as a result of the misconduct, he has suffered from worsening health issues for which he received treatment including a recent hospitalization.”



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