Lawyer Duane Rhyno disbarred for professional misconduct
Fall River, N.S., lawyer involved in series of questionable real-estate transactions
Lawyer Duane Rhyno has been disbarred by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society after being found guilty of professional misconduct related to a series of questionable real-estate transactions.
The society, which regulates the legal profession in the province, said in a decision published Monday that the Fall River, N.S., lawyer will not be able to reapply to practice for five years.
In January, a discipline panel found Rhyno was involved in personal mortgage applications that contained "numerous misrepresentations," and had misled the society about a series of details, including the filing of his tax returns.
If he ever reapplies to practice, Rhyno will be required to provide the society with an up-to-date psychiatric report to demonstrate he has no underlying mental-health issues. He will also have to take a professional responsibility course at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law.
Must pay $125K
The society has also ordered Rhyno to pay costs of $125,000. He can pay the first $100,000 in $20,000 installments spread over five years, and the remaining $25,000 must be paid before he can apply for readmission.
Even if Rhyno clears all those hurdles, he would be subject to direct supervision by an approved lawyer for the first year after his return to practice.
This is not the first time Rhyno has been in trouble. He entered into a settlement agreement in 2008 after the society discovered problems with real-estate transactions. The society cited this earlier case in criticizing Rhyno's handling of the latest allegations against him.
Rhyno was also charged with human trafficking and suspended from the practice of law in 2014. He was accused of selling the sexual services of a woman from a hotel in the Annapolis Valley.
The trafficking charges were eventually withdrawn, but Rhyno was convicted on two breach charges because he violated a court order and had contact with his alleged victim while the case was making its way through the courts.