News Releases

For immediate release June 3, 2004

Law Society disciplines BC lawyers

VANCOUVER - Pursuant to its statutory duty to govern BC's legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society of BC has disciplined the following lawyer (the lawyer's year of call to the BC Bar appears in parentheses). Hearing reports are posted on the Law Society's website here.

Keith Purvin-Good (1973), of Lake County, BC, admitted his failure to pay GST and PST collected in the course of his legal practice constituted professional misconduct. A Law Society hearing panel ordered that he pay a fine of $1,000 and costs of $500.

David Michael Ashton (1984), of Victoria, BC, admitted that his failure to respond to correspondence from another lawyer constituted professional misconduct. A Law Society hearing panel ordered that he be suspended for three months and that pay costs of $2,633.

Brian William Medd (1996, ceased membership January 2002), of Calgary, AB, admitted his failure to file necessary accounting information with the Law Society and his failure to pay PST and GST collected in the course of his legal practice constituted professional misconduct. A Law Society hearing panel accepted his proposed penalty of a reprimand, that he not return to practice in BC except as an employee of another lawyer unless relieved of that condition, a fine of $2,000 and costs of $1,000.

Howard Marcel Smith (1978), of New Westminster, BC, admitted that he failed to consider the appropriateness of a trust he established for a client, that he did not realize that the trust was not for a legitimate purpose and that his actions constituted professional misconduct. A Law Society hearing panel accepted his proposed penalty of a $5,000 fine and costs of $1,000.

Philip Richard Derksen (1988), of Abbotsford, BC, admitted his failure to pay PST and GST collected in the course of his legal practice and his continuing to practice law for three months without having paid his professional liability insurance fee constituted professional misconduct. A hearing panel ordered that he be reprimanded, that he pay a fine of $4,000 and costs of $1,410 and that he provide the Law Society with quarterly reports detailing PST, GST and income tax remittances, the status of practice debts and the number of visits with a psychiatrist or psychologist. The hearing panel dismissed charges of failing to collect and remit employee income tax deductions to the Government of Canada.

The Law Society of BC was founded in 1869 and is the governing body of the legal profession in BC. It is an independent organization funded by dues paid by all BC lawyers. Under the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society is responsible for the licensing, professional conduct and discipline of the more than 10,000 lawyers in BC.

For more information on the regulation and discipline of lawyers see the "Discipline Hearings" section of the Law Society's website.

Law Society of BC media contact:

Brad Daisley, Public Affairs Manager
Office: 604-443-5724 or 1-800-903-5300 toll-free in BC
Cellular: 604-836-3257
Email: bdaisley@lsbc.org
www.lawsociety.bc.ca