Suspended lawyer Lyle Howe facing 3 new disciplinary charges

Lyle Howe could be disbarred depending on the outcome from a recent disciplinary hearing. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

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The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has laid three new charges against suspended lawyer Lyle Howe.

That means Howe, who was recently the subject of the society’s longest and costliest disciplinary hearing ever, will face a new one.

The society, which regulates lawyers in the province, alleges Howe breached its codes of integrity, competence and quality of service.

It also alleges Howe “failed to provide various clients with a quality of service that is competent, timely conscientious, diligent and efficient.”

Complaints emerged during hearing

Darrel Pink, the society’s executive director, said some of the charges are based on complaints from clients while others are from other sources.

Pink said it was impossible, logistically, to include the most recent charges in the hearing that just wrapped up.

“While the hearing was ongoing, a number of other matters came to the society’s attention that resulted in an investigation,” he said.

“Sometimes you can add charges to a hearing if their investigations are complete and the case is still open. In this case, our case was closed by the time our investigations were complete.”

One of the charges deals with Howe’s alleged misconduct during his hearing.

The society said Howe “failed to act with integrity, and failed to be honest and accurate in his representations to the court, clients, the Crown, and the hearing panel.

Howe could still be disbarred

Howe, who is still under suspension by the society, called the most recent charges minor “practice management” details.

“I think at this point some of the charges reflect that the society is desperate in terms of what they’re willing to charge me with,” he said.

“One of the charges is essentially that I didn’t go to court for a client that I didn’t represent for a date that I didn’t set.”

Howe is still awaiting a decision from the panel on his previous hearing, which lasted 15 months and generated more than 10,000 pages of transcripts.

The society accused Howe of professional incompetence and professional misconduct. He countered by saying he was a victim of discrimination because of race.

A decision isn’t expected until sometime mid-summer, said Pink. If found guilty, Howe could be disbarred.

Source: Suspended lawyer Lyle Howe facing 3 new disciplinary charges

‘The end of the road’: libel charge against Charles LeBlanc not approved

A charge of libel against Fredericton blogger Charles LeBlanc has not been approved by the Crown after an investigation by members of the Edmundston Police Force.

Crown doesn’t authorize charge against controversial blogger after investigation by Edmundston police

 

The Crown did not approve a charge of libel against Fredericton blogger Charles LeBlanc following a complaint filed with the Fredericton Police Force that was investigated by police from Edmundston. (CBC)

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Another charge of libel against Fredericton blogger Charles LeBlanc has not been approved by the Crown after an investigation by members of the Edmundston Police Force.

Edmundston police were asked to investigate a complaint made against LeBlanc to the Fredericton Police Force.

Because of LeBlanc’s contentious history with Fredericton police, the force asked the Edmundston department to do look into the complaint.

In November 2016, two members of the Edmundston Police Force arrested LeBlanc near the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton and told him he was being investigated for defamatory libel.

It was the second time police investigated LeBlanc for libel. In 2012, Fredericton police charged him with criminal libel under Section 301 of the Criminal Code for his blog posts about a Fredericton police officer.

The New Brunswick attorney general later ordered the charge dropped because Section 301 had been found unconstitutional in other jurisdictions. Under 301, it doesn’t matter for a conviction whether a person who publishes a libel knows the material was false.

New investigation in 2016

Later, Edmundston police pursued its libel investigation of LeBlanc under Section 300, which states: “Every one who publishes a defamatory libel that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”

‘That’s basically the end of the road.’– Gilles Lee, Edmundston police chief

​LeBlanc filed a complaint with the New Brunswick Police Commission about his arrest in November.

The commission recently informed him it was reopening the investigation into his complaint since it had been informed a charge against him was not approved by the Crown.

New Brunswick Police Commission executive director Steve Roberge confirmed the existence of the letter to LeBlanc, which states Edmundston police Chief Gilles Lee advised the commission that charges against LeBlanc were not approved by the Crown.

“That’s basically the end of the road,” Gilles said in an interview. “That’s the way we see it.”

LeBlanc’s rocky history with Fredericton police goes back to 2009, when he posted video of Fredericton officers making a violent arrest of a man outside a city nightclub. One of the officers was subsequently charged with assault but was acquitted in court.

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Former ombudsman Bernard Richard filed a report in 2012 stating Fredericton police needed to provide mandatory training to members on how to deal with emotionally disturbed people. (CBC)

In June 2011, a Fredericton police officer issued LeBlanc a ticket for not wearing a bicycle helmet.

In July 2011, LeBlanc posted comments and a photo of the constable who issued him the ticket, referring to him as a “fascist cop” and “sexual pervert Quebecois Const.”

The constable initiated the defamatory libel complaint against LeBlanc that led to the 2012 charge that was later abandoned.

In 2012, the City of Fredericton hired former ombudsman Bernard Richard to review the Fredericton Police Force’s handling of the initial criminal libel case.

Richard said the force should have “farmed out” the investigation of the initial complaint about LeBlanc.

Richard also recommended the force provide its members with enhanced mandatory training on dealing with emotionally disturbed people.

The Edmunston police chief would not confirm that its investigation of LeBlanc was related to the same blog posts that provoked the libel investigation by Fredericton police.

Source: ‘The end of the road’: libel charge against Charles LeBlanc not approved