Merchant Handed Two-Week Suspension

Friday, March 13, 2009 at 14:03



A Regina lawyer whose firm has pursued class-action

lawsuits on behalf of Indian residential school survivors is being temporarily suspended from practising law.


The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling by the Law Society of Saskatchewan and ordered Tony Merchant to serve a two-week suspension.


The law society found Merchant guilty of conduct unbecoming a lawyer for an unauthorized withdrawal of trust funds in a divorce case where Merchant represented the wife.


According to the appeal court, Merchant had been ordered by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge to hold the proceeds of the sale of the family home in trust until a trial or further court order.


Following the trial, the court ordered the sale proceeds to be distributed between the husband and wife in specified amounts.


However, Merchant resisted the husband’s demands for payment of his share, and later used the funds to satisfy the court costs assessed in the wife’s favour.


Months later, the court eventually approved payment of some of the wife’s court costs from the husband’s funds, but less than the amount originally taken by Merchant.


(courtesy of The Canadian Press)