Halifax lawyer Christopher Robinson found guilty of professional misconduct
A Halifax lawyer has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.
Christopher Ian Robinson was cited for his handling of two cases. One was an investment case. The other was a child protection matter.
In the investment case, a justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court took the unusual step of ordering Robinson to pay $35,000 in costs on the grounds his conduct added needless time and expense to the case.
The society found Robinson's conduct to be disrespectful of both opposing counsel and judges in the investment case.
Robinson acknowledged his conduct in a written response to the society.
"In the emails at issue, I referred to opposing counsel as 'idiot-boy' and 'asshole,'" Robinson wrote in his submission.
"I also referred to judges of the Supreme Court as 'pansies' and I wondered if the justice who was set to hear a production motion filed the complainants 'had any balls.'"
Robinson argued that as the comments were contained in an email to a client, they should be protected by privilege. In its decision released Thursday, a disciplinary committee of the Barristers' Society rejected that argument.
"The panel has concluded that the member's conduct fell well below the standard expected of a lawyer in dealing with opposing counsel," the panel wrote.
"The member's conduct smacked of bullying and intimidation."
The hearing panel will meet again sometime in the next 60 days to determine what sanctions Robinson will face. At that time, Robinson and society lawyers will be able to offer evidence and arguments before the panel makes its final ruling.
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