More lawyers accused of mishandling residential school files



By Kathleen Martens
APTN Investigates
The Law Society of Manitoba is getting ready to discipline two lawyers over their handling of residential school compensation files.

Louay Alghoul (pictured above), CEO of Alghoul & Associates Law Firm & Immigration Services in Winnipeg, and Moses Okimaw, a former chief of Manto Sipi First Nation in northern Manitoba, are scheduled for disciplinary hearings in the coming weeks.

Both are accused of failing to properly represent one residential school survivor each. The law society’s three-member disciplinary committee will review the lawyers’ “quality of service” and other professional conduct, said Leah Kosokowsky, the law society’s director of regulation.

Kosokowsky noted the two survivors are not related, but would not comment further on the cases.

Alghoul couldn’t be reached for comment. While a message left for Okimaw at the Olschewski Davie law firm where he works in Winnipeg was not returned.

Okimaw’s LinkedIn profile says he is “an associate” at the firm and legal counsel for Keewatin Tribal Council, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and Buchwald Asper Henteleff.

He was also a former chief electoral officer for AMC.

Okimaw just finished a five-year term as the Manitoba representative on the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund, which oversees survivor funds ear-marked for educational purposes.

Alghoul is involved in launching a class-action lawsuit against the federal government for day school survivors. These are Indigenous students who attended residential schools during the day but did not board in residence like other survivors did.

The law society’s disciplinary committee has wide powers over lawyers, able to impose everything from fines, suspension and disbarment.

kmartens@aptn.ca

@katmarte

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