Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Admission of Misconduct and Undertakings


David Allen Kidd

Nanaimo, BC

Called to the bar: January 9, 1987

Ceased membership: February 20, 2019

Admission and undertaking accepted: May 27, 2020

AGREED FACTS

David Allen Kidd was working as Deputy Regional Crown Counsel in Nanaimo when he met with a family member of a homicide victim to discuss the trial. The family member had found a handwritten document by the victim regarding her relationship with her boyfriend, who was charged with first-degree murder for her death. At the meeting, Kidd saw that the family member had the document, but did not read or take it from her possession.

Kidd remembers telling the family member that anything she gives him, he is obligated to give to defence. He remembers telling her he does not see how the document is relevant. The family member remembers it differently. She recalls telling Kidd she brought the document and right away Kidd said he did not want to deal with it as it will just “fuel the fire.” She said  she did not tell him many details about the document, but did say that it was partly in relation to the victim’s relationship with the accused.

At a subsequent meeting, Kidd and a newly assigned Crown counsel met with the victim’s family member and other members of the family at the Port Alberni Courthouse. Kidd remembers the family member bringing a bag with the document inside. Kidd said when the family member tried to present the document, he did not want the new crown counsel to be taken by surprise, and so he told the family member “not right now.” The family member recalled it differently and stated she did not bring the document to this meeting. Kidd said he recalled informing new Crown counsel of the written document immediately after the second meeting; however the new Crown counsel did not recall Kidd advising him of the written document.

According to the newly assigned Crown counsel, he met with the family member approximately two months later, at which the family member first informed him of the written document. Immediately after the meeting, the new Crown counsel took steps to obtain the document. Some time later, the RCMP contacted the family member to  take custody of the document. However, the family member was not able to locate the document.

Subsequently, the new Crown counsel wrote to defence counsel to provide details of the circumstances regarding the existence and later loss of the document. The Crown directed a stay of proceedings in relation to the homicide charges. The stay of proceedings was the result of a number of issues and not limited to Kidd’s conduct. The Public Alliance conducted a review into the prosecution of the matter and issued a public statement in that regard.

In a decision by the trial judge, following the stay of proceedings in relation to a media application for access to court records, the judge referred to the new Crown counsel’s letter to defence counsel.

ADMISSION AND UNDERTAKING

Kidd admitted he committed professional misconduct when he failed to take reasonable steps in relation to the written document, including ensuring that he understood the nature of the document, informed other prosecutors on the file of the document, advised police officers to preserve the document and disclosed the document to the accused. Kidd also admitted that he failed to keep records of his knowledge and dealings with the written document.

Kidd agreed to undertake for five years, commencing on May 29, 2020:

  • not to engage in the practice of law in British Columbia with or without the expectation of a fee, gain or reward, whether directly or indirectly;
  • not to apply for re-instatement to the Law Society of British Columbia;
  • not to apply for membership in any other law society (or like governing body regulating the practice of law) without first advising in writing the Law Society of British Columbia; and
  • not to permit his name to appear on the letterhead of, or work in any capacity whatsoever, for any lawyer or law firm in British Columbia, without obtaining the prior written consent of the Discipline Committee of the Law Society.

Should Kidd wish to apply for reinstatement to the Law Society when his undertaking expires in 2025, he will have to satisfy the Law Society’s Credentials Committee that he is of sufficiently good character and repute to practise law in BC.

 

Rule 4-29 Admission of Misconduct and Undertaking to Discipline Committee