Lyle Howe's lawyer argues most evidence against him should be thrown out

The lawyer for Lyle Howe is asking that most of the evidence compiled against him in a disciplinary hearing be thrown out.

Jeanne Sumbu argued Tuesday that the entire investigation by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society against Howe, a Halifax defence lawyer, was discriminatory and violated his charter rights.

The society accuses Howe of professional misconduct and professional incompetence. The hearing into the allegations has stretched over more than 60 days.

In her closing arguments, Sumbu said documents and testimony from senior staff of the society, along with reports and evidence provided by lawyers the society hired to investigate Howe's practice, should all be excluded.

Process tainted, says Howe

​The three-member panel appointed to hear the evidence against Howe has heard from 40 witnesses and the hearing has generated more than 10,000 pages of transcripts.

But Howe and Sumbu have argued the entire process was tainted from the beginning because, they allege, the society went looking for problems in Howe's practice in a way that no other lawyer's practice has been examined.

"How do you remedy an investigation that was years in length and wrong from the start?" Howe asked the panel. Howe, who is black, has said he's been held to an impossibly high standard and unfairly penalized for mistakes other lawyers also make.

Sumbu's charter arguments capped three days of closing arguments. When the hearing resumes next month, Howe will address the specific allegations the barristers' society has made against him.

The society will then have the chance to offer rebuttal arguments. The hearing is supposed to conclude by April 19. The panel will then have about 60 days to prepare a report on its findings.

The CBC's Blair Rhodes live blogged from the hearing.