Unsettled Settlement

Unsettled SettlementSilverman Helps a woman whose court decision resulted in some bad judgment.

When Harriet Lewis tripped and fell at York University in 1999, she never knew she’d be tripped up again. She hired paralegal Stephen Okafar to represent her. He worked out a $5,000 compensation deal with the college’s insurance company. She was supposed to get $3,500. He was supposed to get the rest. But he kept it all.

Despite numerous phone calls and excuses ?including ‘leaving the money on the subway? Lewis never saw a dime. So she dropped one, instead, to Silverman Helps. We called Okafor repeatedly and he always assured us the cheque was in the mail. It wasn’t. Harriet tried to arrange one last meeting, but Okafor never showed up.

That’s when we took the case to police, who were familiar with the problematic paralegal. Harriet’s since left the country, and isn’t sure the case is worth pursuing. But she hopes others will learn from her mistake, and realize that paralegals aren’t fully regulated by the government. So they should check to make sure who they’re dealing with ?in case that deal is from the bottom of the deck.