“Whoever tells a lie tells a hundred”, says a famous French proverb. And maybe the former lawyer Kevin Roberte does it at his expense.
The Bar Disciplinary Council, composed of My Lyne Lavergne, Michael Miller and in Johanne McNeilaccused him of misleading the Administrative Housing Tribunal (TAL), during a hearing in Montreal.
Mr. Roberge, who was admitted to the Bar in 2015, postponed the session on the pretext that he had to go to the bedside of his father, a victim of a car accident. The problem? That’s not true…
The incident began on January 11, 2018. Kevin Roberge found himself before a TAL administrative judge in the context of an argument with his owner, Les salons d’optique Daniel Proulx. The dispute about the amount of his monthly rent.
The owner finally won his case a few months later, on April 24. Mr. Roberge never appeared at the hearing, which was scheduled for the same day, and no evidence was submitted to support his case.
After verification, Droit-inc learned that Kevin Roberge was no longer a member of the Bar. He suffered administrative dismissal on April 28 for non-payment of his contributions.
Read the Council’s decision here.
The confidant intervened
Daniel Proulx optical salons, which have a storefront in Verdun, alerted the syndicate’s Office, explaining that Mr. Roberge refuses to provide proof of his father’s accident.
Asked the assistant syndic Sebastien Dyottethe lawyer quickly admitted via email that it was a lie and that he was, in fact, suffering from a “panic attack”.
“On January 11, 2018, I had a panic attack for fear that I would be diagnosed with a serious illness. The anxiety was so strong that I drank more than the normal dose of anxiety pills with no desired effect. I was the one who got sick ( sic). »
Exchange between Kevin Roberge and the administrative judge
Stage manager: (inaudible)… I know it’s a little late … Uh … You can close the door … It’s just … in the back … There’s another judge who isn’t here then we try to do two, two papers in his place … Uh … I would have had three more small files to finish then after that if I had enough time I could hear you. Have you been around for a long time?
I (Jean) Cantin (owner’s lawyer): (inaudible) Me Roberge has a request to postpone.
Manager: Yeah noh?
Mr.Roberge: Yes, hey Madam, because I just got a call from my aunt then my father had an accident.
Mr. Roberge: … then he lived in Trois-Rivières.
I’m Roberge: Uh … Then he’s in the hospital … uh I don’t know yet but I have to go …
Mr. Roberte: Yes. in Trois-Rivieres
Manager:… right away… ok
Mr. Roberge: Oh come on, yeah.
Stage manager:.… I understand… ..so let’s set a date…. I’ll try to fix that right away… are there dates you (can’t hear)….
Source: Excerpt from the conviction decision, “Barreau du Québec (assistant syndic) v. Roberte.
However, the Disciplinary Council finds it difficult to explain why the lawyer lied.
“(Mr. Roberge’s) explanations clearly reveal that he did not want to give TAL the real reason for his request to postpone (…). (M. Roberge) can only be explained that he had a health problem that he had to leave the TAL without mentioning the details ”.
This is for the Council a “guilty intent to mislead” the Court, even if he knows that anxiety can be accompanied by a sense of shame.
“I remember feeling ashamed of myself about the cause of my anxiety and the anxiety itself that I didn’t see how I could say that to the judge and in front of (the owner) who hated me. I was afraid to be alone, I am afraid to say it because to say it is true, ”Me Roberge wrote in a second email on November 20, 2019.
Dog in pain?
Note that Kevin Roberge did not attend his own guilt hearing, which took place on March 1. He withdrew that morning, after Me Dyotte was asked to postpone the hearing.
Mr. Roberge stated in writing that he must “take steps to end the life of (his) dog (which he has) for 13 years. »
The trusted assistant did not seem to be impressed.
“You have known since January 19, 2022 that the case has to go ahead this morning. I have tried to contact you several times to find out your intentions, before and after the roll call. I have given you a roll call. phone appointments that you did not keep and you did not return my calls and/or answer my messages left in your voicemail, “he replied, rejecting his request for a discount.
Kevin Roberge ultimately never showed up at the virtual hearing, which “granted” the Disciplinary Board approval of his request. He was still judged by Mes Lavergne, Miller and McNeil.
The Council’s decision was published on April 12. Although he was found guilty, the Professional Order has not yet determined the punishment it will impose on Mr. Roberge.
Contacted by Droit-inc, Kevin Roberge did not respond to our interview requests at the time of writing these lines. Bar declined to comment.