Canada: B.C. lawyer fined for sexual history gossip about member of judiciary

A Nanaimo lawyer was fined by his regulatory body for “locker-room”-style gossiping that made a client uncomfortable.

According to a Law Society of British Columbia decision on Aug. 31, published Sept. 8, Nanaimo lawyer Brett Robert Vining was fined $7,500 to resolve misconduct relating to inappropriate comments he made to a client in 2021.

The decision found that the lawyer shared a “locker-room talk” rumour about the sexual history of a member of the judiciary.

The law society was told that the lawyer “seemed full of delight when he relayed the story and it carried on for some length of time,” though the lawyer claimed those contentions were exaggerated.

He acknowledged that he made the comments, which the law society said were “discourteous, uncivil, offensive or otherwise inconsistent with a lawyer’s obligation to maintain a courteous and respectful attitude toward the court.”

The hearing panel took into consideration the lawyer’s professional conduct record, which included mishandling of cash receipts in 2021.

He must pay a fine of $7,500 and costs of $1,000.



Nanaimo Lawyer Brett Vining fined $7500 for Incivility

SEP 08, 2023
In a joint submission, Nanaimo Lawyer Brett Vining admitted making statments regarding a member of the judiciary which were discourteous, uncivil, offensive or otherwise inconsistent with his obligation to maintain a courteous and respectful attitute towards the court and agreed to pay a fine of $7500. The Tribunal accepted the admission and specified disciplinary action. The Panel noted that lawyers should foster respect for the courts and the administration of justice by maintaining the authority and dignity of the courts.