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Discipline Decision – 1980


A complaint was laid that lawyer William Rowe had allegedly participated in the obtaining and distribution of copies of confidential police reports, and made inappropriate comments relating to same. At the Panel of the Discipline Committee, it was concluded that because the second ground of the complaint was vague, Rowe could not be found guilty of this ground. As relates to the first ground of the complaint, half the Panel recommended to Benchers that Rowe be found guilty of violating the Code of Professional Conduct, and the other half recommended that the lawyer be found not guilty. Benchers found that Rowe’s actions in causing to be delivered confidential police reports to the press interfered with the course of justice and that Rowe’s duties as a lawyer overrided those of a politician. Benchers found Rowe guilty of conduct unbecoming a solicitor.

Benchers reprimanded Rowe and ordered him to pay the expenses of the Society in the hearing of the complaint.