Nova Scotia judge declines to set hourly rates, prep time for Desmond inquiry

Lionel Desmond is pictured here. Global News

The head of an inquiry into the death an Afghan war veteran who killed his family and himself more than two years ago is declining to recommend enhanced billing guidelines for lawyers appearing before the inquiry.

Adam Rodgers, who represents the family of former soldier Lionel Desmond and his estate, says the Nova Scotia Justice Department has imposed unrealistic restrictions on legal fees and preparation time.

READ MORE: N.S. inquiry into Lionel Desmond murder-suicide to begin in May

In an application to the inquiry’s commissioner, provincial court Judge Warren Zimmer, Rodgers asked that the limits be increased to 10 hours a day at $250 an hour, with no restriction on total preparation time.

However, in a written ruling, Zimmer says he doesn’t have the judicial authority to deal with Rodgers’ request.

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Click to play video: 'Desmond inquiry to get underway next week'
Desmond inquiry to get underway next week

WATCH: All eyes will be on a tiny court room in the town of Guysborough, N.S., next week as the Lionel Desmond fatality inquiry gets underway. Jesse Thomas reports.

Zimmer says he can be consulted though, and he suggests the sides meet to discuss a dispute resolution mechanism to deal with unresolved billing issues.

The inquiry is expected to begin hearing testimony in September in Guysborough, N.S.

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