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Sault lawyer accused of misappropriating trust money

At issue is $73,000 in a mixed trust account
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EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied that money was alleged to be missing from a trust account. The article has been amended

Sault Ste. Marie lawyer Jennifer Tremblay-Hall is under investigation in connection with $73,000 allegedly misappropriated from a trust account.

The Law Society of Ontario has applied for a determination of whether Tremblay-Hall has violated a section of the Law Society Act prohibiting "professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a barrister or solicitor."

The following are details of the allegations, so far unproven, as laid out in an Oct. 15 filing to the Law Society's tribunal hearing division:

  • between October 2017 and October 2018, the respondent misappropriated $73,100, more or less, from funds she held on behalf of her clients in her mixed trust account, located at TD Canada Trust, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
     
  • contrary to subsection 49.3(2) of the Law Society Act and Rule 7.1-1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the respondent has failed to cooperate with and failed to respond to a Law Society investigation (case number 2019-232236): a. by failing to schedule a follow-up interview, despite requests from the Law Society made between January and May 2020. b. by failing to provide the information and documentation requested, despite requests from the Law Society made between March and May 2020

Reached by SooToday on Saturday, Tremblay-Hall said she immediately retained litigation attorney Ashley McInnis of the Barrie, Ont. law firm Stewart, Esten LLP when she was served with notice of the application.

Tremblay-Hall said her licence is not under suspension and she continues to practise law.

She said she is responding to the Law Society's application.

Tremblay-Hall was called to the bar in 2001.

Her website describes her as a "trail blazer for female criminal defence lawyers in Sault Ste. Marie" who focuses mostly on criminal, civil and Aboriginal law.

While articling in Sudbury, she assisted Justice Stephen O'Neill with his precedent-setting 2000 appellate decision of R. v. Powley, which was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada and set the stage for Métis rights in Canada.

The Law Society of Ontario's website states that the following restriction has been placed on Tremblay-Hall's law practice: "Must comply with the following term: I undertake that, effective immediately, I will not open or operate a trust account."


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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