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Law Society looks into allegations against Thunder Bay lawyer

Thomas Michael Harris allegedly failed to provide services he was hired for .
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THUNDER BAY — The Law Society of Ontario is investigating unproven allegations of misconduct against Thunder Bay lawyer Thomas Michael Harris.

The allegations involve dealings with 15 different clients between 2003 and 2017.

Harris was served by the LSO's discipline counsel with a Notice of Application - Conduct on Oct. 28.

The notice states the society is applying to determine whether he has engaged in professional misconduct and/or conduct unbecoming a licensee, and for an order under the Law Society Act which sets out a range of possible sanctions.

The document alleges numerous instances in which Harris failed to perform services his clients hired him for.

In one case, it states, he "failed to be honest and candid and act with integrity and in good faith for a period of almost 12 years, by advising that he had commenced an action, and had secured a settlement in the amount of $450,000, when in fact no action had ever been commenced or settled."

In another instance, according to the LSO's allegations, Harris failed to file an expert's valuation report required by a case conference order, resulting in a default judgment being issued against his client for $240,000.

According to a third allegation, he withdrew a client's application to terminate spousal support without the client's knowledge, and falsely advised the client that his firm would make support payments until the file was resolved. The result, the LSO states, was that the client's driver's licence was suspended for non-payment of spousal support.

The Law Society Tribunal has scheduled a proceeding management conference for Dec. 2 in Toronto, after which a hearing will be scheduled.

Harris declined to comment when contacted Thursday by Tbnewswatch.

A spokesperson for the LSO said his licence to practise is currently suspended on an administrative basis.

She said these suspensions occur for reasons such as failing to pay fees or file forms with the law society on time.