For the story, see High-profile Alberta lawyer disbarred for draining firm's trust fund
See also, ‘Nothing short of catastrophic’ (Shawn Beaver was once considered one of Alberta’s top legal minds. Then money started to go missing from clients’ accounts)
See generally, Frederick Miller, "If You Can't Trust Your Lawyer .... ?"
, 138 Univ. of Pennsylvania Law Rev. 785 (1990) for more on the apparent, long-standing tolerance for deceit by many in the legal profession (while Professor Miller's essay is over a quarter-century old, it appears that his observations maintain their vitality to this day):
- This tolerance to deception is encouraged by the profession's institutional civility. Seldom is a fig called a fig, or a shyster a shyster. No, our euphemisms are wonderfully polite: "frivolous conduct," or a "lack of candor;" or "law-office failure;" or, heaven forbid, a "peculation," a "defalcation," or a "negative balance" in a law firms's trust account.
There is also widespread reluctance on the part of lawyers --- again, some lawyers --- to discuss publicly, much less acknowledge, that they have colleagues who engage in deceit and unprofessional conduct.
This reluctance is magnified when the brand of deceit involves the theft of client money and property, notwithstanding that most lawyers would agree that stealing from clients is the ultimate ethical transgression.
The fact is, however, that theft of client property is not an insignificant or isolated problem within the legal profession. Indeed, it is a hounding phenomenon nationwide, and probably the principal reason why most lawyers nationwide are disbarred from the practice of law.
The Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association
(ALIA) manages the insurance program for Alberta lawyers. Similar to malpractice insurance, the program, better known as the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Exchange (ALIEX) provides professional liability insurance to Alberta lawyers.
Making a Claim: If you have suffered a financial loss from working with your lawyer or as a consequence of the services provided by your lawyer, you may be entitled to make a claim. If the loss was due to theft or negligence
by your lawyer, please read How to Make a Claim
For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds
" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other Canadian provinces or in the states throughout the U.S., see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc