Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel on Disciplinary Action

John (Jack) Joseph Jacob Hittrich

Surrey, BC

Called to the bar: August 1, 1986

Written materials: December 3, 2020 and February 9, 2021

Panel: Steven McKoen, QC, Chair, Anita Dalakoti and Gavin Hume, QC

Decision issued: May 12, 2021 (2021 LSBC 16)

Counsel: Julia Lockhart for the Law Society; John (Jack) Joseph Jacob Hittrich acting on his own behalf

BACKGROUND

A hearing panel found that, despite a court ruling that he and his clients did not have the right to access certain transcripts, John (Jack) Joseph Jacob Hittrich committed professional misconduct by filing the transcripts in a court proceeding and providing the transcripts to an expert without inquiring or informing himself about clearly marked restrictions on doing so. Hittrich should have been aware of the sensitive nature of the transcripts due to the limitations on use affixed to their cover and to each page.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The panel noted that Hittrich did not deliberately mislead the court – rather, the representations he made were reflective of his failure to inform himself of the relevant rules. Hittrich’s actions in filing an affidavit appending transcripts that were clearly marked as being subject to restrictions without inquiring about such restrictions, failed to meet the standard the Law Society expects of lawyers. The panel considered Hittrich’s professional conduct record that involved conduct reviews and a finding of professional misconduct resulting in a three-month suspension.

The panel ordered that Hittrich:

  1. be suspended for two months; and
  2. pay costs of $12,985.19.

2021 LSBC 16 Decision of the Hearing Panel on Disciplinary Action