Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the President on an Application for Production of Documents

Troy John Dungate and Trevor Scott Dungate

Prince George, BC

Hearing date: December 7, 2020

Decision issued: December 14, 2020 (2020 LSBC 60)

President: Craig A.B. Ferris, QC

Counsel: Michael D. Shirreff and Jessie I. Meikle-Kahs for the Law Society; Troy John Dungate and Trevor Scott Dungate appearing on their own behalf.

BACKGROUND

Troy John Dungate and Trevor Scott Dungate practise law together and were the subject of an investigation by the Law Society regarding how they charged disbursements. They retained a lawyer to represent them and a fee dispute arose. The lawyer was discharged and sought to tax the account for services. Dungate and Dungate entered into an agreement with the lawyer whereby they paid an agreed portion of the disputed fees and also gave the lawyer the undertaking that would allow the lawyer to pursue the remaining amount.

The Law Society’s position is that the undertaking was to advise the lawyer when the Law Society had closed its investigation. Dungate and Dungate’s position was that the undertaking was to advise of the conclusion of the investigation “such that the prejudice you claim would no longer be a factor.” They said there is no obligation to advise the lawyer of the closure of the investigation as there remains ongoing prejudice. They are requesting the investigation and trust assurance files to assist them to show the prejudice of the investigation is ongoing, notwithstanding the closure letter.

DECISION

The president determined that the investigation files may be relevant to Dungate and Dungate’s position on the undertaking, and they have a right to see what the Law Society was investigating. The president rejected the request for trust assurance files, as any allegations arising from a trust audit would be contained in the investigation files.

The president ordered the Law Society to produce investigation files.

2020 LSBC 60 Decision on an Application for Production of Documents