I note the media reports (see “Actions against Cho proliferate,” Sept. 1) that clients of lawyer Meerai Cho claim that they have been defrauded of $15 million. There are believed to be as many as 141 victims. Claims against the Law Society of Upper Canada’s compensation fund are anticipated. The source of the compensation fund is, of course, money collected from lawyers. The lawyer for one of the claimants anticipates making a claim against LawPRO, the insurer for Cho. LawPRO is, of course, funded by lawyers.
The law society held a hearing on Aug. 26 to determine if Cho’s licence should be suspended on an interlocutory basis. According to lawyer Mark Ross, the law society had been aware of the issue since at least July 15.
“They’ve certainly been sitting for 2-1/2 months with serious allegations of misappropriation of trust funds,” he told Law Times.
Another recent case of apparent misappropriation of trust funds discovered by the law society after the fact involved lawyer Javad Heydary.
Recently, my office had a visit by a member of the professional development and competence department.
Among the should/must-do list was a written office manual to deal with opening and closing files and how to deal with mail as well as preparing an emergency plan.
It appears to me, given the Cho and Heydary cases, that the law society should be developing its own emergency plan rather than simply cleaning up after the parade.
Since it is my fees that pay for the law society’s audit and investigation teams, the compensation fund, the LawPRO insurance fund, and the practice review team, I would like to see the law society focus its time and money on avoiding disasters like Cho and Heydary rather than telling me, after 35 years of practice, that I should/must have a written office manual dealing with mail and file storage.
Parlee Law Offices PC,