Sunday, July 15, 2007

Scottish lawyers poor treatment of clients criticised - review sought by campaigners

More From A Diary of Injustice in Scotland

Experienced poor treatment from the Law Society of Scotland ? Sign Petition PE1033

I was asked this week what the point of Petition PE1033 is, considering we now have the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill passed into Law.

Well, simply, the LPLA Bill does nothing for those of us who have had poor experiences with the Law Society of Scotland over mishandled complaints against those crooked lawyers who have cost us our livelihoods, sold us dodgy mortgages, mishandled our investments, embezzled our money, lost us our homes, livelihoods, businesses, even our health ..

This is why the Scottish Parliament needs to consider this issue and either award extra powers to the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission to look at cases of the past where the legal profession have caused injustice to clients, or, a totally independent & transparent 'Review Commission' must be formed to look at these cases properly, without the bias & prejudice the Law Society of Scotland has always treated clients who complain against their lawyers, and settle the cases properly, with proper and full amounts of compensation awarded to those who have lost out or suffered at the hands of a crooked lawyer.

Why a separate review body, or extended powers for the SLCC ?

There is a need for such a 'review commission' or extended powers to the SLCC, simply because of the fact that those of us who have complained against a crooked lawyer can't get anywhere near the courts to pursue claims of compensation for negligence or other losses, because the only way we can currently get into court, is to use a lawyer to sue a lawyer - and we all know that doesn't work - example, Andrew Penman .. and the rest, and we all know the lengths the Law Society of Scotland and even its most senior staff will go to thwart court actions against their members - example here : Corrupt Link Revealed - How the Law Society of Scotland manages client complaints & settlements

Here's another example of how difficult it is to use a lawyer to sue a lawyer : Using the Master Policy of the Law Society of Scotland to sue a negligent lawyer is impossible

We therefore need either a separate review body to look at the past cases of injustice by the legal profession against clients, or we need the Scottish Parliament to give new powers to the SLCC to carry out that function, as currently, the LPLA Bill does not allow for retrospective consideration of mishandled complaints by the legal profession .. simple as that.

Are there a lot of cases which may fall under the category of injustice by the legal profession ?

Well .. yes there are .. if you consider there are around 5000 complaints a year against Scotland's less than 10,000 lawyers .. and that's been going on flor a decade or more .. there certainly are a lot of cases of complaint which may well fall under the spell of a much needed review.

If you want to understand some of the history of complaints against solicitors, and how badly the Law Society of Scotland have treated clients who dared complain against their crooked lawyer .. take a look at the Scottish Consumer Council's 1999 survey "Complaints Against Solicitors", which you can download in pdf format here : Complaints Against Solicitors

You can also have a read through the submissions made to the 2002 Justice 1 Committee "Regulation of the Legal Profession" Inquiry, located here : Submissions to Justice 1 Committee (2002)

Also, not forgetting the recent passage of the LPLA Bill by the Parliament, you can view online submissions to the 2006 Justice 2 Committee investigation here : Submissions to Justice 2 Committee (2006)

If you take my own case, well .. I've been suffering at the hands of the crooked Law Society of Scotland since 1994 with crooked lawyer Andrew Penman of Stormonth Darling Solicitors, Kelso (and even earlier than that with a few other crooked lawyers in 1990) ... and I have campaigned for an end to self regulation by lawyers since the start of my media coverage in the Scotsman newspaper - Thank you Scotsman - you were once an honest newspaper !

You can read some of my media coverage against crooked lawyer Andrew Penman here : Scottish Legal Awards - Lawyer Lawyer on the wall, who is the most crooked of us all ?

There are plenty more cases of injustice than my own case though ... and plenty more long before I ever started the campaign trail against self regulation of lawyers back in the early 1990s ... so the establishment of either a review commission or a protocol of review for the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, along with the establishment of a compensation fund, funded by the two major players in this matter - the Executive and the legal profession, is for all of you who have suffered at the hands of crooked lawyers and the Law Society of Scotland when the regulatory process of complaint has let you down - and your lawyer has got away scot free ...

Please support Petition PE1033 and sign up !

It's in all our interests to secure a review of our cases of complaints against poor legal services, and obtain proper compensation for what has happened to us over the years at the hands of a dishonest legal profession bent on protecting their crooked colleagues at our expense.

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