Lawyers and Fraud

Fraud against and relating to lawyers is a serious issue that is on the rise. Lenders, insurers, law societies, and lawyers themselves are the losers. Fraud can occur in every type of practice. All too often, sole practitioners or those who are struggling in their practice are the targets of the fraudsters. This is because lawyers who are isolated or who have serious financial needs are more vulnerable to manipulation.

You should never feel alone in your practice and particularly so when it comes to dealing with potential fraud. You are encouraged to contact another lawyer or a staff lawyer at the Law Society of Saskatchewan, if a situation presents itself that you feel ill-prepared or unable to manage. Although client confidentiality is always a concern, in most cases, you will be able to find a way to discuss the scenario without revealing the client’s identity.

In the extreme, if you have taken things too far before realizing that you have been duped, you may have to retain your own counsel to discuss the matter fully in confidence. But do so, no matter how compromised you may feel. To continue to cooperate with the fraud artist out of fear of exposure or reprisal will come to no good end. A fraud left unchecked can lead to discipline by the Law Society, denial of insurance, personal financial ruin, and in some cases criminal law sanction.

Watch for Fraud Alerts from Saskatchewan Lawyers Insurance Association on the SLIA website and in ReSource, which the Law Society delivers weekly to your inbox.