A freelance writer says a number of unsuspecting residential school survivors are being duped by unscrupulous lawyers.
Frank Busch writes for the online publication Troy Media and he says some lawyers are taking advantage of loopholes in the residential schools settlement process and overcharging their clients.
He says honest lawyers are limiting their fees to the standard 15% allowed under the adjudication process, but others are trying to tack on an additional 15% for little or no services rendered.
“So it was quite a cash cow for the legal profession, you might say, and a number of people got quite wealthy off it,” he says.
Busch says some legal firms have even gone so far as to co-sign for car loans or extend personal lines of credit in order to secure residential school survivors as clients.
Once this is accomplished, these firms then proceed to bilk these residential school survivors out of significant amounts of their claims while charging exorbitant interest rates as part of paying back the loans, he adds.
Busch says since residential school survivors tend to be some of the poorest people in Canada, they are often lured in by these quick money schemes.
He adds some of the worst culprits in the legal profession have flocked to Saskatchewan from other provinces as this province has so many residential school survivors.
Overall, Busch says the Canadian legal profession needs to do a better job of policing lawyers who have been preying on unsuspecting residential school survivors.
He worked as the director of residential schools for a Winnipeg law firm and talked to more than 2,000 residential school survivors about their claims.