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

Lawyer shared ‘locker-room talk’ gossip two years ago that made client uncomfortable
A Nanaimo lawyer was fined for sharing “locker-room talk” gossip with a client two years ago. (Stock photo)

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.

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