April 22, 2010
Victoria lawyer Doug Christie has lost another appeal of a decision by the Law Society of B.C. that he committed professional misconduct and should pay a fine of $2,500, plus costs of $20,000.
The B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed Christie's appeal in a judgment released this week. The matter stems from a 2006 complaint against Christie, lodged by another lawyer, in connection with three subpoenas the society said Christie issued improperly in 2003.
In its original December 2007 decision, a society panel found Christie altered a subpoena so it appeared to compel the recipients to provide documents. Christie said the document had been typed up by his client's husband because Christie's wife, who was also his secretary, was ill. Christie said he saw the error in the document but did not change it. He argued the error was inadvertent and the result of severe stress he was going through.
Regardless, the law society ruled in 2007 that Christie acted unprofessionally. Christie paid the $2,500 fine but appealed the costs. In 2009, the society reviewed the decision and confirmed it. He then appealed to the B.C. Court of Appeal.
That's got to smart.