Credentials hearings

Law Society Rule 2-69.1 provides for the publication of summaries of credentials hearing panel decisions on applications for enrolment in articles, call and admission and reinstatement. If a panel rejects an application, the published summary does not identify the applicant without his or her consent.

For the full text of hearing panel decisions, see the Regulation & Insurance section of the Law Society website at www.lawsociety.bc.ca.

Shawn Peter Jodway

Abbotsford, BC

Called to the Bar: November 10, 2005

Hearing (Application for call and admission by transfer): October 17, 2005

Panel: James D. Vilvang, QC, Chair, Art E. Vertlieb, QC and Brian J. Wallace, QC

Report issued: November 4, 2005 (indexed as 2005 LSBC 46)

Counsel: Jason Twa, for the Law Society, and Jerome Ziskrout, for Mr. Jodway, the applicant

Mr. Jodway was called to the bar in Saskatchewan on May 13, 2005. He subsequently applied for call and admission in BC. The Credentials Committee referred his application for hearing.

At issue was Mr. Jodway’s failure to disclose to the Law Society of BC, in an application for temporary articles in 2002, that he had been the subject of bankruptcy proceedings in 1989 and also his failure to properly deal with that bankruptcy for over 10 years.

The hearing panel considered the circumstances at the time of the bankruptcy. Mr. Jodway had taken an educational program at a school of technology and had accumulated student loan debt of approximately $10,000. He went into bankruptcy without realizing the seriousness of that step or the repercussions. When he began working in remote areas of BC, he did not maintain contact with his Trustee in Bankruptcy and never properly resolved the bankruptcy.

Mr. Jodway later returned to school, earning his BA and beginning law school part-time. In the spring of 2002, he applied for summer articles. In his application for temporary articles, he answered “no” to the questions relating to bankruptcy, having misread the questions and thinking the application was asking if he was currently bankrupt. In subsequent communications with the Law Society respecting his application, he realized that he remained an undischarged bankrupt. He retained counsel and immediately received a discharge. He did not proceed with his temporary articles application in BC, but finished law school and later completed articles in Saskatchewan, where he was called to the bar.

The panel accepted Mr. Jodway’s explanation that he had not intended to mislead the Law Society in his application for temporary articles in 2002, but rather that he had misinterpreted the meaning of the questions on the form through haste. The panel expressed concern about his lack of attention to detail in this matter and his failure to recognize the importance of the form.

The panel approved his application for call and admission, but imposed the condition that he work for one year with a particular law firm. Should his employment situation change within that period, he must apply for variation of the condition. The panel also ordered that he pay $1,000 as costs.