Nova Scotia

Port Hawkesbury lawyer expects to be exonerated by barristers' society

A Port Hawkesbury lawyer says he expects to be exonerated after a Nova Scotia Barristers' Society disciplinary hearing next month.

Adam Rodgers faces charges of professional misconduct, incompetence

Adam Rodgers is facing a hearing before the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society in October. He says he expects to be exonerated. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

A Port Hawkesbury lawyer says he expects to be exonerated after a Nova Scotia Barristers' Society disciplinary hearing next month.

Adam Rodgers is facing charges of professional misconduct and incompetence after the society alleged he did not act quickly enough to catch illegal activity at his former firm.

His partner, Jason Boudrot, was disbarred two years ago after money went missing from the firm's client accounts.

Rodgers said he was not surprised to be part of the investigation, but said it should not have gone as far as a hearing.

"I did everything in my power to protect client interests, assist former employers and others connected with the firm and then speak out publicly about it, so I feel like I've done everything I was supposed to do and that taking it to this point is unfair and unnecessary," Rodgers said Friday.

Rodgers said there are no allegations that he took clients' money and he co-operated fully with the bar society after it began investigating the accounts at Boudrot Rodgers.

In a settlement with the bar society, Boudrot did not contest allegations that he wrongly took money from client accounts, but he also did not admit any guilt.

Rodgers tried to carry on alone, changing the name of the firm to Rodgers Law Group, but the company went bankrupt with debts of more than $1.5 million.

Rodgers had to lay off employees. The bar society had to appoint a custodian to oversee the firm as it wound down.

He said it has been difficult being made the scapegoat for his former partner's actions.

"Having to go against an all-powerful entity like the bar society is a terrible thing, but now that I'm getting close to a hearing before an impartial panel, I'm feeling better," he said.

"I feel that an impartial panel will find in my favour and this cloud of suspicion will be gone, hopefully very soon."

Rodgers represents the estate of Lionel Desmond in a high-profile fatality inquiry in Guysborough, but the lawyer said he doesn't think his work on that case will be affected by the bar society hearing.

Rodgers said the Desmond inquiry has been suspended because of the pandemic and no dates have been set for it to resume.

The bar society hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5-6.

Rodgers said it will consist of submissions only and a decision will be made sometime after that.

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