French versionEnglish version

Information Sheets

IRSAS Message to Blott IAP Clients
June 22, 2012


If you have questions about your claim please call 1-877-635-2648.

Thinking about past abuse can trigger suffering and problems in the present. For immediate emotional help, call the National Crisis Line at any time, at 1-866-925-4419.

As you may know, on June 5th the British Columbia Supreme Court decided that Mr. David Blott and Blott & Company will no longer be involved with the Independent Assessment claim process (IAP) created by the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.

The Court has appointed the Honourable Ian Pitfield, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, as a Transition Coordinator. He will oversee the transfer of your file to a new lawyer.

The Adjudication Secretariat and Mr. Pitfield want to assure you that your claim will be resolved in a fair and competent manner. Our goal is to minimize the distress and inconvenience that you may experience in this matter.

We want to reassure you on a number of questions that may be of concern to you.

Does the Court’s order affect my claim?

The Court’s decision has no effect on the validity of your claim. It remains on our list for a hearing. If Mr. Blott has not informed you of the date set for your hearing, please call 1-877-635-2648 to ask about the date. The Adjudication Secretariat and Mr. Pitfield are working together closely to ensure that hearings proceed as scheduled.

Do I have to pay Mr. Blott a fee for any work he has done for me?

The Court has declared that no amount is payable to Mr. Blott when your claim is transferred to another lawyer. You will not be required to pay Mr. Blott any fee or to reimburse him for any money he spent to work on your claim.

Can I get another lawyer to represent me?

Yes. If you wish to have a lawyer represent you at your hearing, then you will have the right to decide who that lawyer will be.

    (a) My hearing is to take place before June 30, 2012

    If your hearing is scheduled to take place before June 30, 2012, Mr. Pitfield recommends that you go to the hearing with the lawyer that Mr. Blott has appointed. If you change your lawyer, your hearing will be rescheduled because it will not be possible to deliver the necessary documents on time for your new lawyer to meet with you and prepare for the hearing. Because of the large number of claims under the IAP, it will probably be several months before a new date is set for your hearing.

    (b) My hearing is to take place between June 30, 2012, and July 15, 2012

    Mr. Pitfield recommends that you go to the hearing with the lawyer that Mr. Blott has appointed if your claim is scheduled for hearing before mid-July. If you do not wish to proceed with the lawyer that Mr. Blott has assigned to your case, please call 1-877-635-2648 as soon as possible. Mr. Pitfield will do his best to locate another lawyer to represent you properly.

    Your hearing will have to be rescheduled if:

    • you do not want to use the lawyer now assigned to your claim, and another lawyer cannot be found to represent you, or
    • you do not want to accept Mr. Pitfield’s recommendation but you still want a lawyer.

    The delay could be many months, depending on the availability of those who will participate in the hearing.

    (c) My hearing is set to take place after July 15, 2012 or A date has not been set for my hearing yet

    If your hearing is set for a date after mid-July, or if a date for your hearing has not been set yet, you will hear from Mr. Pitfield with a recommendation for a new lawyer. You do not have to accept any recommendation he makes. You can choose your own lawyer. However, you should be cautious and make sure that the lawyer you choose can represent you properly.

    If you are represented by David Blott or Blott and Company, and you do not have a date for a hearing yet, we will not set a date for your hearing at this time. Once your lawyer has been confirmed and your case is ready, we can schedule your hearing.

    Ideally, you should choose a lawyer who has experience with the process and who is regarded as having properly prepared for and represented other claimants. Mr. Pitfield will probably impose conditions on lawyers who take on Blott claims so that there will be some assurance of an acceptable level of performance. If you chose your own lawyer, you may want to ensure that you will benefit from those conditions as well.

    You do not have to have a lawyer represent you. The decision to represent yourself or hire a lawyer is entirely up to you. All parties to the Settlement Agreement believe that claimants may be better served if they have legal representation for the IAP.

    If you have questions about your claim please call 1-877-635-2648.

    Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat

    Back to Information sheets page

Important

Thinking about past abuse can trigger suffering and problems in the present. Make sure that you have safety measures in place to help you if that happens.

24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419 (toll-free)