Ontario lawyer begins defence in misconduct hearings involving residential school clients
Law Society of Upper Canada misconduct hearings for Doug Keshen began last June
The Law Society of Upper Canada has completed its case, including testimony from 14 witnesses, at the misconduct hearing for a lawyer from Kenora, Ont., accused of misconduct on residential school files.
Doug Keshen began his defence on Friday and hearings continue this week in Kenora.
The allegations relate to Keshen's work between 2003 and 2012 when he was acting on behalf of residential school survivors.
- Court monitor finds 'no concerns' about Kenora, Ont., lawyer Doug Keshen; complaint hearings continue
The Law Society of Upper Canada received complaints that Keshen arranged high-interest loans for clients, secured against anticipated residential school settlement funds, which is prohibited by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
There are also allegations that Keshen withdrew legal fees and disbursements from survivors' settlement funds without sending them a bill or setting out what the fees would be.
Nearly two dozen complainants allege Keshen failed to interview them about their claims and failed to communicate with them throughout the process.
The lawyer, who works for several First Nations in the Treaty 3 area of northwestern Ontario, has denied the allegations.
The Law Society of Upper Canada hearings began last June with many witnesses testifying in the absence of the public.
After this week, the proceedings are scheduled to continue April 3 to 7; April 10 to 13; April 17, 18, 19 and 21 and April 24, 25 and 28.