Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision on Costs

Lawyer 17

Nanaimo, BC

Called to the bar: August 1, 1985

Hearing: February 6, 2018

Panel: Philip Riddell, Chair, Don Amos and Shona Moore, QC

Decision issued: April 18, 2018 (2018 LSBC 12)

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Richard Gibbs, QC, for Lawyer 17

BACKGROUND

A hearing panel dismissed a citation against Lawyer 17, which alleged that he had committed professional misconduct when he failed to comply with a previous hearing panel’s order (2017 LSBC 10). The panel advised the parties that, if they were unable to agree on costs, they may make written submissions.

After reviewing the written submissions, the panel ordered a one-day oral hearing to deal with Lawyer 17’s entitlement to “special costs,” specifically whether an order for costs above the tariff is reasonable and appropriate and, if so, what those costs should be. At the hearing, Lawyer 17 claimed special costs of $50,000.

Both parties agreed that the tariff that applies to summary proceedings should not apply in this case because it required a one-and-a-half-day hearing, oral evidence from Lawyer 17 and one other person, and consideration of extensive documentary evidence.

The panel agreed that a strict application of the tariff is not appropriate in this case, but was not prepared to order special costs on the basis sought by Lawyer 17.

DECISION

With regard to the length of the hearing, the numbers of written submissions requested by the hearing panel and the factual complexity of the case, the panel concluded that costs in the amount of $10,000 plus disbursements was reasonable and appropriate.

2018 LSBC 12 Decision on Costs