Complaints, Lawyer Discipline and Public Hearings

Summary of Decision of the Hearing Panel

Terrence Edward Hudson

Smithers, BC

Called to the bar: November 30, 2005

Discipline hearing: April 21, 2017

Panel: James E. Dorsey, QC, Chair, Jeff Campbell, QC and Carol Gibson

Decision issued: May 29, 2017 (2017 LSBC 17)

Counsel: Carolyn Gulabsingh for the Law Society; Henry C. Wood, QC for Terrence Edward Hudson

FACTS

On October 16, 2014, in the course of representing a client in family law proceedings in Provincial Court, Terrence Edward Hudson became involved in a verbal altercation with opposing counsel. The disagreement became heated, until the judge intervened and expressed his disappointment in the conduct of counsel. The judge concluded the case conference, referred the parties to the judicial case manager and adjourned. Hudson apologized to the court and court staff in writing later that day.

The opposing party and the court made complaints to the Law Society about Hudson’s behaviour.

The hearing panel noted that incivility in court or another formal or informal setting intended to achieve a resolution of differences between parties is obstructive to the proper functioning of the process and impedes the orderly administration of justice. The impact of such behaviour was clearly evident in this case. It abruptly led to the breakdown of the proceedings and the intervention of the presiding judge.

ADMISSION AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Hudson made a conditional admission that he committed professional misconduct in the course of the verbal altercation with opposing counsel. Hudson consented to pay a fine of $5,000 and hearing costs of $1,241.65.

Hudson had a professional conduct record consisting of conduct reviews, although the conduct reviews were for dissimilar and unrelated behaviour. He was unqualified in acknowledging his misconduct to the Law Society and to the panel, and has taken steps to manage his affairs so that he will not repeat his impulsive behaviour.

The Discipline Committee accepted Hudson’s conditional admission of professional misconduct and the proposed disciplinary action and instructed discipline counsel to recommend acceptance by the hearing panel.

The hearing panel accepted Hudson’s admission and the proposed disciplinary action and ordered that Hudson pay:

  • a fine of $5,000; and
  • costs of $1,241.65.

2017 LSBC 17 Decision of the Hearing Panel