Peter V. Abrametz. Photo courtesy of Manfred Joehnck.
Closing arguments were heard today in a disciplinary hearing against a Prince Albert lawyer accused of seven counts of conduct unbecoming a lawyer.
The discipline committee of the Saskatchewan Law Society concluded the hearing in Regina today, but has reserved its decision for a later date.
The complaints against Peter V. Abrametz were filed in 2015, but some of the allegations go back nearly 10 years. They involve everything from charging excessive interest rates for loans to clients, to having trust fund cheques made out to a fictitious person, then signing the cheques over to himself.
The lawyer for the law society says Peter V. Abrametz was entitled to the money, but the way he did it was unconventional and unprofessional. The bigger issue was Abrametz providing loans or advances to clients who were desperate for cash, then charging them 30 per cent interest. He is accused of a conflict of interest.
There are a total of 11 clients involved, many of them receiving settlements for motor vehicle injuries, some desperate for cash needing money for bare necessities.
If the disciplinary committee finds him guilty of conduct unbecoming a lawyer, he faces penalties ranging from a reprimand and fine, to a suspension or disbarment.
Mr. Peter V. Abrametz declined our request for an interview.
It is expected to take a few weeks before the committee brings down its ruling. The ruling will be published on the Saskatchewan Law Society’s website.