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.