|For immediate release||January 21, 2014|
Law Society disbars lawyer Laurel Elizabeth Hudson for falsifying accounts and time records
Vancouver – The Law Society has ordered Laurel Elizabeth Hudson to be disbarred for professional misconduct.
A hearing panel found that between April 2007 and November 2008, Hudson knowingly and systematically submitted numerous false invoices to the Legal Services Society (LSS) on her behalf, and on behalf of other lawyers employed at her firm. Hudson was practising in Smithers at the time she submitted the false accounts. The invoices included falsely billing for time spent by lawyers in order to recover time spent by legal assistants. The LSS did not permit billing for work performed by legal assistants.
As a result, Hudson received thousands of dollars from LSS to which she was not entitled under her contract. Uncovering the false accounts took resources away from LSS clients or potential clients who could have benefitted from those resources.
In considering the matter, the hearing panel concluded only disbarment was appropriate, saying “Any other sanction would compromise the public confidence in the profession’s integrity and suggest that the legal profession does not take dishonesty committed by lawyers seriously.”
Hudson is also required to pay the cost of the hearing in the amount of $13,860.
For more information, see the hearing report.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 11,000 practising lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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