Summary of Decision of the Benchers on an Application to Introduce Fresh Evidence


Pamela Suzanne Boles

Vancouver, BC

Called to the bar: November 17, 1989

Application to introduce fresh evidence: May 4, 2016

Benchers: Gregory Petrisor, Chair, Jeff Campbell, QC, Lisa Hamilton, Dean Lawton, Sharon Matthews, QC, Steven McKoen and Mark Rushton

Decision issued: September 23, 2016

Counsel: Mark D. Andrews, QC and Gavin Cameron for the Law Society; Richard C. Gibbs, QC for Pamela Suzanne Boles

BACKGROUND

A number of monetary judgments were entered against Pamela Suzanne Boles or her law corporation, and she or her corporation failed to satisfy them within seven days after the date of entry of each judgment. She also failed to notify the Law Society of the circumstances of each judgment and her proposal for satisfying each judgment, contrary to Law Society Rule 3-44(1).

A hearing panel found that Boles breached Law Society rules, but did not commit professional misconduct (2016 LSBC 02). The Law Society seeks a review of the hearing panel’s determination.

Boles applied for an order that the Law Society disclose documents and information regarding lawyers who have failed to report such information in the past and what has been done in respect of those failures to report, and to include that evidence in the record for the review. Boles argued that such information is relevant because it will assist in determining whether her conduct constitutes professional misconduct.

The Law Society argued that the information sought is not relevant or admissible. The Legal Profession Act and Law Society Rules prohibit disclosure of a complaint, or a lawyer’s response to a complaint, or any documents created by the Law Society concerning an investigation, audit, inquiry, hearing or review.

DECISION

In reaching their decision, the Benchers considered that they will have to determine whether Boles’s conduct constitutes professional misconduct, and the critical determination in this application to introduce fresh evidence is whether the information sought by Boles is relevant.

The Benchers concluded that information concerning breaches of Rule 3-44 committed by other lawyers over a specific time period and the outcome of each such breach would not, in and of itself, be helpful in that determination. The Benchers did not accept that there were special circumstances that would allow them to hear evidence that was not part of the record.

The Benchers dismissed Boles’s application to introduce fresh evidence.

 

2016 LSBC 32 Decision on Application to Introduce Fresh Evidence