N.S. lawyer granted more time to practise before suspension begins

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Lawyer Adam Rodgers will be permitted three more months to practise law before a one-year suspension begins. The suspension was scheduled to start July 1. (Brett Ruskin/CBC - image credit)
Lawyer Adam Rodgers will be permitted three more months to practise law before a one-year suspension begins. The suspension was scheduled to start July 1. (Brett Ruskin/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia lawyer Adam Rodgers has been given three additional months to practise law before he must begin serving a one-year suspension for professional misconduct.

Rodgers was found guilty by a disciplinary committee of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society that looked into allegations surrounding the collapse of Rodgers's old law firm, Boudrot Rodgers.

The firm was shut down in October 2018 after it was learned one of the partners, Jason Boudrot, had been stealing from clients' trust accounts.

The disciplinary panel did not find that Rodgers had stolen any money or helped Boudrot to do so. However, it did find Rodgers was negligent for failing to keep tabs on what was happening in the firm.

Suspension was due to begin July 1

Rodgers's suspension was supposed to begin on July 1.

However, he appealed for an extension to allow him to complete his work on the Desmond Fatality Inquiry, which is looking into the murder-suicide of Lionel Desmond, his wife, Shanna, his mother, Brenda, and his daughter, Aaliyah.

Lionel Desmond, a former soldier, killed his family in their home in Big Tracadie, N.S., before turning the gun on himself.

Rodgers is representing the Desmond family in the hearing. The family made a direct appeal to the disciplinary panel to grant Rodgers an extension.

"Our public interest here is seeing the Desmond family gets the representation they want," panel chair Doug Shatford said Friday.

Desmond inquiry expected to conclude in September

Shatford and the other two panel members agreed to delay the start of Rodgers's suspension past the point when the Desmond hearings are supposed to conclude. That is expected to be mid-September.

Shatford told Rodgers that he must wind down his law practice by the end of September, and hand off any cases he can't complete by then to other lawyers.

He remains under restrictions that were imposed by the barristers' society, including that he not hold any clients' trust accounts.

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