The Case of the Missing College Fund

Mr. and Mrs. B are immigrants to Canada. They came to Canada to make a better life for themselves and their daughter F. With hard work and sacrifice they had saved up a substantial nest egg which they planned to use to send F to university. F was then 17 years of age.

They were approached by a family friend who told them that there was an opportunity to loan their money safely and earn over 20% interest. Mr. and Mrs. B decided that they should make sure the investment was safe by getting legal advice from P, a Calgary lawyer.

Mr. and Mrs. B and F met with representatives of the corporate borrower and P in P’s office. They received assurances from P that the security for the loan was guaranteed. The borrower subsequently went into receivership and the B family discovered that there was no security for the loan. It looked like F’s college fund was lost.
I negotiated a settlement with the law society insurer. The P family is relieved and F is now a student at the University of Calgary.

What the P Family has to say about Jeff Poole:

“Jeff displayed a sincere concern for our interests and provided us, not only with the best course of action, but also with support during a difficult situation. He worked diligently and effectively to help expedite the process and relieve us of our burden. Jeff continues to offer both personal and professional advice regardless of his busy schedule.”

The Case of the Lost Ostriches

T agreed to go into the ostrich farm business with two brothers. They hired lawyer H to be their lawyer to purchase the land where they would operate the farm. They got financing from a financial institution. The financing was conditional on T securing the loan with three ostriches he owned.

Lawyer H was a director of the financial institution and did its legal work. The business plan called for the money to be used to buy emus. T went to H’s office and signed the loan documents and pledged his ostriches.

Later the two brothers decided to purchase two ostriches instead of emus. They didn’t ask T if it was OK. They asked the financial institution to send the money to the lawyer H. H, on the instructions of the two brothers, wired the money to Oklahoma to purchase two ostriches. H never consulted T to find out if all of this was OK with T.

When T found out the money had been disbursed without his consent, he terminated his relationship with the brothers. The financial institution sued T and he lost the ostriches he had pledged.

T made a complaint to the Law Society and the Law Society found that H had a conflict of interest. T sued H. Despite the finding of the Law Society, the Law Society insurers and H denied that H had a conflict of interest.

In October of 2004 I did the trial on behalf of T. The judge found in favour of T and H was ordered to pay the value of the pledged ostriches plus interest plus costs. The judge found that H did indeed have a conflict of interest and that H had breached his fiduciary obligations to T.

T has this to say about Jeff Poole:

“Jeff helped me when no one else would. Lawyers don’t like to sue other lawyers. He took on a difficult case, worked hard for me and pursued it to trial. I was very pleased to work with Jeff.”

Note from Jeff: The Reasons for Decision at trial in T’s case can be downloaded on this site under Recent Decisions. Notwithstanding that the Law Society of Alberta had found that H had a conflict of interest and the trial judge the same, the Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association, a wholly owned subisidiary of the Law Society of Alberta, appealed. The Alberta Court of Appeal concurred with the Trial Judge and denied the appeal. Their decision can also be found on this site under Recent Decisions.

The Case of the Conflicted Lawyer

My client S is an immigrant. He has built a successful business. His long time lawyer E approached him and offered him an opportunity to invest in a first mortgage to be registered against a real estate project which the lawyer described as short term and safe. The lawyer said he would draft all of the security to protect S and that S would receive 12% interest and his principal back in a few months.

Among other things, E did not tell S that:

1. E was receiving a commission for arranging the financing;
2. E and his family were also participating in the financing;
3. E was also the lawyer for the borrower and stood to earn
substantial fees if the project went ahead;
4. Other clients of E were also participating;
5. The mortgage of S would be registered in the name of E;
6. All necessary approvals had not been obtained from
government authorities with respect to the project being financed.

The borrower defaulted and it quickly became apparent that the property was not worth nearly enough to pay out the funds advanced by S. S came to me to see if he had a claim against the lawyer E.

I first made a claim to the law society insurer. They denied liability. I then started the lawsuit. After examinations for discovery of the lawyer E the claim was settled. S recovered the legal fees I charged him, his principal and interest.

What S has to say about Jeff Poole:

“After trying unsuccessfully to get my investment back while being represented by a well-known lawyer in Calgary, I decided to seek a “second opinion”. A friend of mine mentioned to me that he was recently represented by a lawyer by the name of Jeff Poole, who won his case.

I acted on my friend’s advice and went to see Jeff. At that time I had little hope of getting my money back. Jeff listened to my story and a few days later informed me that he would take my case. Jeff started a lawsuit. I recovered my principal in full, my interest and all my legal fees.

This was my first case with Jeff. Since then, he won another case for me. He became my lawyer. I have been in business for the last 25 years. Being successful in business means among other things that you do need sound legal advice, very qualified and professional legal representation and a lawyer you can trust. Finally I found all that in Jeff Poole.”