A well-known Regina lawyer won’t be able to practice for four years after admitting to taking thousands from clients’ estates.
Pauline Duncan Bonneau was suspended from practicing by the Law Society of Saskatchewan several years ago, but applied to resign her membership this year, which is the equivalent of disbarment, instead of going through a hearing.
In a Statement of Admissions submitted to a Law Society committee, Duncan Bonneau admitted to several things.
She tried to overcharge a sick client, which the committee characterized as taking advantage of an elderly, vulnerable client. She admitted to taking a total of $34,679 from clients’ estate accounts – some for no reason and others claiming it was for work she didn’t do. She ended up paying the money back
Duncan Bonneau also admitted to taking about $70,000 in “in kind” payments in the form of cars and property from clients’ estates without reporting it. She also admitted to trying to hide these things from the Law Society when they launched an audit.
The maximum time the committee could have stopped her from reapplying for membership was five years. Duncan Bonneau wanted just one year, but the committee set it at four.
When Duncan Bonneau does get her membership back, the society can stipulate that she not have signing authority on any trust accounts, as a condition of her practice.