We missed this one when it came out on May 5. Doug Christie has lost his appeal to the Law Society of B.C. for unprofessional conduct:
Christie loses Law Society appeal
By Joanne Hatherly, Times Colonist May 5, 2009
Victoria lawyer Doug Christie has lost his appeal to the Law Society of British Columbia of the 2007 ruling that he had engaged in professional misconduct.
Christie will be forced to pay a $2,500 fine and $20,000 in costs to the Society. However, the original payment date of January 2010 has been extended to April 2011.
"The worst part of this decision is knowing you're innocent, and being disbelieved," Christie said.
The 2006 complaint against Christie was lodged by another lawyer in connection with three subpoenas the Society said Christie issued improperly in 2003.
In the original decision from the Society's hearing panel in December 2007, they found that Christie altered the subpoena called "Form 21" so that it appeared to compel the recipients to provide documents, when in fact, the subpoena only requires that the person bring the documents to a court hearing at which a judge makes a decision on their admission.
Christie said he never altered the form, but that it was typed out by another person who changed the text that drew the complaint.
"I didn't type it. My client's husband drew it up because my wife, who had been my secretary, was going through chemotherapy," Christie said.
"I didn't look carefully at it enough to realize it didn't conform with the rules the way it should have, but I didn't alter the document."
Christie appealed the 2007 Law Society ruling against him on six grounds, including that the length of time it took for the decision was unacceptable, that the penalty is excessive, and that the Law Society did not take adequately into account the degree of stress Christie was undergoing at the time the subpoenas were issued, especially the stress associated with his wife's battle with breast cancer and his own illness.
Christie said the $22,500 that he now owes the Society will form a "hardship" for him.
"I do an awful lot of work for nothing for people who can't afford lawyers. That's why I've always had a very low income compared to most lawyers," Christie said.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
Gee, $22,500. That's a lot of money. Well, considering how much help he has rendered to bigots in the guise of "free speech" we're sure they'll be falling all over themselves to help him raise the necessary money to pay the fine.
Start passing around that hat, boys.