Law

N.S. Barristers’ Society continues hearing against Lyle Howe

Howe is accused of professional misconduct and professional incompetence

Lyle Howe at Thursday’s hearing   Jessica R. Durling

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is expected to continue its disciplinary hearing on Tuesday against Lyle Howe. He faces charges of professional misconduct and professional incompetence. 

Howe is accused of overbooking his schedule and of being unprepared to serve his clients effectively from 2011 to 2014. According to the Barristers’ Society website, it is also alleged that he “attempted to improperly dissuade and/or wrongfully influence a witness not to testify against his client.”

The hearing started over a year ago in 2015. They were most recently adjourned on Dec. 15, 2016, before they started again on Thursday. As of Thursday, they have occurred for a total of 56 days.

During Thursday’s hearing, Howe maintained that the accusations come from racial bias. He also said he, as a junior lawyer, broke an unofficial social boundary by disrespecting senior lawyers.

“It’s not just today, I’ve been dealing with situations like this for a long time and I’m really tired,” he said in an interview.

Howe was suspended from practising law in September 2016, when a complaints investigation committee determined it was the best course of action. This isn’t the first time his license was suspended. In 2011 he was convicted of sexual assault, but the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and his license was reinstated.

The hearing continued on Monday, Jan. 9, and will also occur on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the Hampton Inn in Halifax.

Darrell Pink, executive director of the Barristers’ Society, says that further dates are scheduled for March.

“Our hope is that will conclude it,” said Pink in an interview.