Refugee claimants accuse lawyer of misconduct

The Law Society of Upper Canada has begun a misconduct hearing against Toronto immigration lawyer Viktor Hohots.

Misconduct hearing against Toronto immigration lawyer gets underway

More than a dozen complainants many believed to be from Hungary — allege Toronto immigration lawyer Viktor Hohots offered consulting services to guide them through Canada's refugee process then filed inaccurate or incomplete work. Some allege this hurt their chances of making successful claims, though none of their claims have been tested in front of the law society tribunal.

Hohots didn't attend today's hearing, which was a preliminary date designed to schedule the rest of the hearing. Hohots's lawyer, Michael Lacy, said he has no comment to make until he sees the evidence against his client.  

There were signs, today, that the evidence discovery process may not move quickly.   

A lawyer representing the Law Society told the tribunal chair she couldn't say how long it would take just to digitize "boxes" of evidence, arguing that this is a “complex case.” The chair ordered that the evidence be produced in a matter of weeks.

The difficulty some Hungarian refugee claimants are facing made national news in 2012, when Jozsef Pusuma, his wife Timea Daroczi and their 4-year-old daughter Viktoria asked for sanctuary in a Toronto area church. The family has been indoors, ever since, fearing what will happen if they leave the church.

The Law Society hearing resumes next month.