Notices to Counsel
The Deadline to submit materials in support of the admission to the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) of unresolved applications has been extended for certain files handled by the law firm of Blott and Company
July 18, 2018
On June 29, 2018, the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued an order extending the deadline to submit materials in support of the admission of Independent Assessment Process (IAP) applications into the IAP to September 14, 2018 for 159 former clients of the law firm of Blott and Company. These files are known as the Do Not Qualify (DNQ) files. The extension only applies to former Indian Residential Schools students covered by the court order and does not apply to any other former students of Indian Residential Schools or other former Blott & Co. clients.
On June 5, 2012, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that Mr. Blott of Blott & Co. could no longer represent anyone with a claim in the IAP. Lawyers working with Blott & Co. were also affected by this court ruling. The Court appointed the Honourable Ian Pitfield as Transition Coordinator to transfer the Blott files to successor counsel.
The Transition Coordinator will continue his mandate, and will identify and assign DNQ successor counsel to represent claimants whose files have been identified as DNQ files. The DNQ files are files that were determined by Blott and Company as not qualifying under the IAP. Further review and analysis is required by successor counsel to determine if these files may in fact qualify for the IAP.
Claimants are not required to retain successor counsel and have the right to select another lawyer, or represent themselves in the IAP.
The DNQ files must be dealt with expeditiously so that any hearings that may be required can be held by December 1, 2018, the date that the IAP Oversight Committee has determined as the last day for first claimant hearings to be held.
The deadline for submission of all materials to the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat in support of admission of DNQ claims is September 14, 2018. No information provided after that date can be considered.
For claimants affected by this order, it is advised that claimant counsel not wait for the deadline of September 14, 2018 to submit materials in support of their clients’ IAP applications. The sooner the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat receives the material, the greater the chances of completing the review and requesting any further information that needs to be provided within the tight timelines provided.
The Secretariat will make decisions on the admissibility of all DNQ files by October 1, 2018. For non-admitted files, claimants will have until October 15, 2018 to request that the Chief Adjudicator review the Secretariat’s ‘non-admit’ decision. The Chief Adjudicator’s review of the ‘non-admit’ decision will be final.
DNQ successor counsel must provide provide the Transition Coordinator with an update on the status of all DNQ files by October 2, 2018.
Further details on the treatment and processing of DNQ files can be found in the Supreme Court of British Columbia Order dated June 29, 2018.