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Lawyers Council jettisons member for allegedly cheating client

Jul 06. 2017
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By The Nation

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The Lawyers Council of Thailand on Thursday stripped Pisit Sammalert’s name from its list of qualified practitioners for allegedly cheating a road-accident victim out of due compensation.

Council vice president Major Sombat Wongkamhaeng, who also chairs the Thai Bar’s committee on legal aid, said Pisit’s name was also struck from the list because he’d been declared insolvent in 2004. 

Council representatives accompanied Porntip Chantharat and her wheelchair-bound daughter Pattarada “Beam” Kaewpong to a Bangkok court on Thursday to file a civil lawsuit against Pisit for allegedly cheating them out of compensation following a 2005 road accident.

A truck crashed into a pickup carrying Porntip’s family, leaving her husband dead and both her and Pattarada seriously injured. 

Spinal injuries sustained in the accident force Pattarada to use a wheelchair. 

In 2014 a court ordered the truck’s owner to pay the family Bt4 million in compensation.

But Porntip alleges that Pisit, their lawyer, persuaded her to sign papers authorising him to handle all related matters, including collecting her monthly compensation payments, as a convenience to her. 

She ended up receiving just over Bt200,000. 

She lodged a complaint against the lawyer in 2015, but said he persuaded her to withdraw it by promising to give her Bt3 million, a promise he allegedly has not kept.

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