By Kathleen Martens
APTN National News
WINNIPEG– A British Columbia court has suspended dozens of residential school survivor compensation cases handled by a Calgary law firm, APTN National News has learned.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended the cases of 50 residential school survivors that are being handled by Calgary law firm Blott and Company.
The cases deal with compensation for serious sexual and physical abuses suffered by survivors at Indian Residential Schools under the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).
The details of why the judge issued the ruling are currently under a publication ban.
The ruling however, could impact as many as 3,000 IAP cases that were all being handled by the law firm.
It’s the second time in as many months that lawyers and the IAP have come under the microscope.
In October, APTN reported on a memo issued to lawyers by chief IAP adjudicator Daniel Ish. He warned lawyers in June to clean up their acts when it came to dealing with IAP clients or they might not get paid,
More than 200 lawyers have clients participating in IAP.
Ish cited suspected “unethical” practices such as not meeting with clients prior to the hearing.
As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the government of Canada is committed to paying lawyers 15 per cent of the compensation awards their clients receive if their claims are ruled legitimate by IAP adjudicators.