Legal Ethics

Top corporate lawyer suspended for comments that led to 'Scud Stud a Dud' election article

Updated: One of Canada’s top corporate lawyers has been suspended from practice for four months for her role in a negative 2008 news column about a former NBC war correspondent running for a seat on the Alberta legislature.

Kristine Robidoux admitted Monday that she had been one of the sources for a story about Arthur Kent that was headlined “‘Alberta’s Scud Stud’ a ‘Dud’ on Campaign Trail,” the CBC reports.

Robidoux, who was a partner at Gowlings until she resigned May 25, served as legal counsel for Kent’s election campaign in 2008 as a volunteer prior to joining Gowlings, according to a written statement provided by the law firm to the ABA Journal. She is expected to rejoin the firm after the four-month suspension is over.

Kent was dubbed the “Scud Stud” because of his penchant for rooftop reporting amidst Scud missile fire during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. He narrowly lost the election after the article by Canwest columnist Don Martin was published, according to the Canadian Press.

Kent said he feels vindicated by the suspension of Robidoux but is bitter that it took six years. Kent filed a libel lawsuit in 2008 over the article.

Robidoux said she was shocked at the negative spin on her comments after the article was published. However, she neither tried to correct it nor admitted she was the insider source for the story to Kent’s campaign manager, she said Monday during a hearing.

“It is nearly beyond comprehension that this email exchange took place,” said Doug Mah, who chaired the Law Society of Alberta panel. In addition to breaching client confidentiality, he said, Robidoux’s conduct also included “an element of cover-up.”

Robidoux’s lawyer, Peter Linder, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday by the ABA Journal.

See also:

Calgary Sun (2013): “Green light for Scud Stud Arthur Kent to use civil suit evidence against lawyer”

New York Daily News (2008): ” ‘Scud Stud’ war correspondent Arthur Kent sues Canadian paper for calling him ‘Scud Dud’ “

New York Post (2003): “What happened to the Scud Stud?”

Updated at 1 p.m. to include information from Gowlings and request for comment from counsel for Robidoux.

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