Time To Audit Attorneys' Client Accounts

barbados lawyerThe problems which the public has had with lawyers and the PSV sector over the many years may have something in common. The policymakers have continued to demonstrate an aversion to imposing controls to address the problems which have perennially plague the two businesses. Even as our policymakers fiddle while the PSV sector lay prey to our once orderly society; so too many lawyers continue to fleece Barbadians ignorant of the law and process out of their hard earned dollars.

It is no secret lawyers over the years have used their Client Accounts as a source of other income. They can deny it all they want but we know that it happens. Funds are received from clients to settle transactions and because of the drawn-out process to consummate legal transactions; results in those funds remaining in interest bearing Client Account for lengthy spells. If the interest earned on those Client Accounts was freely passed to the clients by the lawyers who would care? The fact of the matter is many of our lawyers retain the interest earned masked under the explanation of administrative fees. In recent years those most vulnerable to some of these thieves who wear wigs have been the group commonly referred to as returning nationals.

In was very interesting following the comments about lawyer’s Client Accounts in the local media by former Ernst & Young partner Peter Boos on the weekend. He was very deliberate in making the point that Barbados could eliminate the problem of lawyers defrauding clients through the misuse of Client Accounts by introducing legislation to have the Client Accounts audited. The suggestion seems so simple? Boos went on to elaborate by revealing such legislation already exist in many countries around the world. A BU family member added on another blog that other professions should be brought under the ambit of legislation.

A cursory surf of the Internet supports the point that best practice is out there and with the will Barbados could easily model. Again it makes BU wonder why successive governments would remain idle while some members of the legal profession have become very rich by fleecing Barbadians over the years. Perhaps the answer can be found in the fact that our politicians and by extension our Lower House is dominated by lawyers.

What we like about the link to the best practice in the USA is the recognition that despite high standards misappropriation of client monies will occur. When such thiefing occurs the lawyers involved will NOT have the wherewithal to repay. In the US they have done a sensible thing by creating a Client Protection Fund – see fro yourself:

Funding can be generated from a variety of sources including mandatory assessment, legislative budget appropriation, and voluntary contribution. Mandatory assessment by court rule has proven to be the preferred method of assuring continual funding and staffing. Funds that receive revenues through mandatory assessment are preferred because the result is a reliable and predictable source of income. This allows a Fund to fully reimburse losses and to engage in public information, continuing legal education programs, and related activities. Voluntary contribution is the weakest funding method; it does not provide the Fund with broad-based and permanent income.

The time for the long talk need to stop. Our Chief Justice can leave a meaningful legacy by working with the Attorney General’s Office to stop the stealing.

42 comments

  • @ David

    Apart from generating additional guaranteed work for people like Peter Boos, please let us know how exactly auditing will address the problem outlined.

    Was Stanford not audited for years?
    Was CLICO not audited by the likes of Ernst & Young?
    Did the Auditor General not ‘audit’ a whole mess of sickening government departments and agencies?

    ….to what avail?

    What is Boos suggesting that is different?

    What auditing what?!!

    Until we can create a society where justice and rightness is paramount, and where HONORABLE leaders and persons of responsibility are put in place, we will suffer at the hands of such criminals.

    Unfortunately, most of us are equally as dishonorable and dishonest as the lawyers and crooked leaders (only lacking the opportunities that they have) .
    We are therefore getting what we deserve.

    Audits will not work, and changing the present lot will not work – because 99% of the replacements will be just as bad – if not even worse..

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  • Corrupt Lawyers Operating Through Abuse of the Court Facilities <<< Deception <<<

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  • Is Parliament dominated by people from the legal profession? If the answer is yes, then, we’d be waiting ’til the day of Neverary.

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  • @BT

    You are judging the many by a few? We can’t give up can we?

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  • I am pleased to see that when I wrote that “The Legal Profession In Barbados In a State Of Moral Hazard: Who Polices The Custodians Of The Legal System? which was posted on September 16, 2009 and garnered 40 comments and that follow-up has occurred to address a niggling problem in our society….

    I understand that in a small island nation-state folks are reticent to invite unnecessary reprisal and retaliation from the power elite who work tooth and nail to maintain the status quo…

    But surely at a time of moral and spiritual decadence in our society – accountability is crucial. If those of us who claim to be “PATRIOTS” and who render so much lip-service can clearly understand that to subsume to testicular torsion at a time when fortitude is required is nothing short of dastardly cowardice and presumptuous complicity in what is shameful predaceous.

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  • “BT, You are judging the many by a few?”
    ************************************

    David, I really wish that you could be correct.
    There was a time in Barbados when you would have been, but I have been around long enough to know that this is no longer the case.

    I have found that the only difference between the rich and the poor is the circumstance of wealth ; The only difference between the weak and the powerful is the power; and the only difference between the leaders and the led is the appointment.

    A fellow who steals from his employer WILL steal from the treasury if elected to power.
    A person who borrows $2.00 and does not repay will steal clients accounts if that person becomes a lawyer.

    Worse yet, the victim of abuse of power, when placed in a position of power, too often sees it as their turn to abuse others.

    I admire your optimistic outlook, but the only way to actually solve a problem is to face FACTS and to pragmatically get to understand the root causes.

    There is not enough love. Not enough genuine caring for others. Instead there is an intense self-centered focus on self actualization at any cost. We measure ‘success’ by economic indices, and we tolerate (and even admire) those who dishonestly ‘beat the system’ to achieve this.

    How many persons do you know of, who returned stolen monies received from the crook Allan Stanford?

    How have we as a society shown our contempt for former government ministers and other officials who became instant millionaires while in office – beyond anything that their official salary could afford?

    Far from condemnation, I see envy in many faces when I raise the matter….

    If as a society, we make this kind of bed then we must be prepared to lie in it…

    The lawyers are just like the rest of us… as are the politicians, journalist, Judges and cricketers.

    Our Civil Servants… now that is a whole other matter, Bush Tea is unable to explain that lot……rotfl.

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  • @Sapadillo
    Agree 100% for them the ones that write the laws andput them on the books.Until the citizens vote them out of office and find people who don’t carry so much baggage nothing would change.

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  • When I become Prime Minister I will ensure that hither forth all Lawyers and owners of PSV’s will be debarred from participating in elective politics…!

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  • in short independence of the judiciary to act in contempt of ALL LAW, in a pseudodemocracy so long as they serve undeclared plans for the serfs

    please note: you have to fight and fight for the most basic rights

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  • @BAFBFP

    I don’t see that happeningno time soon. Afterall you have shot yourself in the mouth by declaring to be an Athesist.Lawyers andowners of PSVS don”t have to worry.

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  • @BT

    Yes the rep of Accounting Houses has taken a dive in recent times but we have to be optimistic the current focus on better governance will lead to improvement.

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  • ac

    Athesists make excelent Prime Ministers. The few who have been never admitted to being Athesist in public! I guess they did not like the idea of shooting themselves … in any place…

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  • Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @David, it’s a constant irritation to not get speller checker to work on a blog, so I sympathise with ‘retuning nationals’, which may have more truth in it than intended.

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  • Amen Bush Tea: Lawyers and Politicians did not arrive from Mars. They are the product of the society in which they live. Stealing and dishonesty is endemic in Barbados and has been for sometime.

    However, Lawyers and politicians will most likely not stop their behaviour even after someone takes to them in a violent way. Add bankers to the list too.

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/West/10/31/lawyer.shot/index.html

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/world/119770

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/12/10/bankers-are-now-even-less-popular-than-members-of-congress/

    @ the Jamaican LIB,
    it has always been a constant irritation, not only for you and not only now; yet you took and continue to take pleasure in criticizing others for their spelling errors.

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  • Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @the Bostonian Adrian Hinds, perhaps you can point out where the criticism was in my remark.

    But, as a master of parsing, how should we read your “Lawyers and Politicians did not arrive from Mars. They are the product of the society in which they live. Stealing and dishonesty is endemic in Barbados and has been for sometime.

    However, Lawyers and politicians will most likely not stop their behaviour even after someone takes to them in a violent way. Add bankers to the list too.”? What are YOU saying about Bajans? It seems that you say they are ‘thieves’ and ‘liars’ and incapable of being changed from what you call “endemic”, and has been so for some time. I would not wish to misunderstand and would hope that if I am incorrect that you will correct the misinterpretations.

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  • A very good and well written account (by Bush Tea) concerning the genesis of dishonesty in Barbados.

    It is correct that the problem faced in our political and governmental system is indeed a problem inherent and endemic in society.

    It is true that there are those in our society who would seek to uphold the law and live above corruptive means ; but one must be cognizant of the fact that in the face of increase pressures, obvious bigotry and constant bemusings of corruption, that the temptation to dabble in a dishonest act becomes increasingly palatable and tempting. So the truth is, given the opportunity to hoard riches like past and ‘probably’ present administrations, many in our society would hesitate momentarily but seeing the opportunity for riches from rags would not have a problem getting for themselves.

    Good points Mr. Bush Tea

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  • Adrian, Barbadian society is supposed to be highly literate–almost the top of the world–yet your arguments seem ready to take any form of literate mediocrity as alright. I read many pieces by Bajans over the weekend that talk about moulding the nation’s future in the pursuit of excellence. How do you propose to start doing that if you let the low bar be your guide? What is the point of waffling on about high standards only to look the other way when they are not reached or breached? When a country cannot compete in the international market place you have to look at and understand what are the weaknesses. Politicians, from the PM down, have been beating the drum of ‘strive for excellence’ incessantly this year, so why be ready to slide back?

    You want change? But please no fault finding? What a strange vortex.

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  • Bad Man Saying Nuttin

    So we should do nothing then Bush Tea? Just sit back and wait til some utopian paradise where everybody sings Kumbaya?
    Bullshit! checks and balances work. You talk about Stanford but fraud always happens. Because of checks and balances , auditors and regulatory agencies they are limited. No system is foolproof and some ppl will always be clever or connected enough to find the soft spot in the system and exploit it. That does not mean that we should not try to design systems which achieve the public good.

    ALL PROFESSIONALS IN BARBADOS, DOCTORS, LAWYERS, DENTISTS, ENGINEERS, ACCOUNTANTS, ARCHITECTS, LAND SURVEYORS SHOULD BE AUDITED.

    It should be compulsory and required annually. This would offer some measure of protection to clients and recoup some of the tax revenue that government loses each year because these professionals understate income overstate expenses and in the case of lawyers hide income as money held on behalf of clients.

    The lack of outrage on the part of ppl who get paid a salary and have tax and NIS deducted at source against those ppl who refuse to pay tax on their income astounds me. Sometimes I think that government should raise VAT and cut income tax to ensure that the net is widened.

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  • @Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)
    so I sympathise with ‘retuning nationals’

    I think “retuning” is an appropriate word for what a “returning” national must do to survive in Barbados.

    I have been “retuning” for the last 6 years by visiting a few times a year so I should be tuned up by 2012.

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  • Bad Man Saying Nuttin

    Thieves and Frauds exist in all societies even in China where they can face the ultimate penalty of death for those transgressions. Greed is part of human nature. Some have reached the level of discipline where they have tamed that desire. Many control their greed or refrain from acting on it because of the fear of getting caught and the possible penalty. Others act on it because they believe that if caught they will not be punished because the system does not work or they are well connected. A final few will act on it irregardless. A good system, controls, checks and balances and swift, harsh and certain punishment works wonders.

    Look at the US tax system. It is too large to be policed but most ppl self comply because they know that if they are in that 1% to be audited by IRS and are in breach then punishment is assured.

    This is a concept we don’t seem to understand in Barbados. A society will never have the resources to police all of these aspects with which it expects citizens to comply. The dilemma is that confidence must still be engendered in the system.

    Take for example the US postal system; one cannot protect or guard all of the different postal boxes and mail boxes across the country. They are easy targets but the system works and is seen as safe because mail theft is a federal crime . Punishment is federally mandated and is heavy and irregardless of whether there were items of value stolen the incident is investigated with the full weight of the FBI.
    In short, the thinking is yea you can do it but odds are you will be caught and punished heavily. That approach could work in a lot of areas here. instead of making police run around behind PSV’s and their operators daily conduct periodic operations and those caught breaking the law would feel the full weight of punishment.
    Let lawyers know like in the US that the punishment for fraud is disbarment.
    Severe punishment and the removal of status would go a long way in recreating some negative stigma with dishonesty

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  • Every once in a while someone tries to go off message….

    Spelling and grammar are important in formal settings. However, I truly can’t see the need for criticism of such when penning on a blog, even though it is for public and not private viewing.

    I believe the nature of the blog is more spontaneous than other forms of communication. People on the blog are more about getting their point across and not about being properass.

    The blogs, as far as I know, are not competing for any kind of award that the owner/authors have to be prim and proper in their use of the English Language. As noted in BU Jokes Corner, English is and can be difficult.

    We don’t need to take the focus off the message by putting it on the medium.

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  • @ Bad man saying nuttin

    Skipper, I hope that you know that you ain’t saying nuttin….

    …oh wait, your name says it all…. LOL

    Serious though BMSN, Bush Tea never said that audits should not be done, indeed I am shocked that they are not…

    What I am saying is that the problem is bigger than that.

    As to what we should do? We need to change our whole society. We need to define new spiritual, cultural and national values that point to the kind of society that we wish to live in….

    What we CANNOT do, is continue to do what we have done, and copy what others who have serious problems continue to do – and expect different results…

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  • @The Jamaican LIB

    I am not a Bostonian, whichever way such could be defined, and I do not live in Boston. If I have to visit city hall it is not in Boston, If I have to call on any city service, no vehicle turns up with Boston …… on it, my zip code would not allow the US postal services to send my mail to anywhere in Boston. I am a Barbadian and I live in the Boston-Providence metropolitan area. lol! So it could be presented as ” The Bajan LIBPM” ha ha ha lol!

    Over the years of my blogging on Bajan online forums, since ’94, I have noted pradeal larceny, roving bands of shoplifters in Bridgetown, large sums of money stolen from government entities and private corporations, stealing from both ports, etc. Nothing new from me, and all reported in the local papers. However I would not go to Jamiaca and say to a local audiance that Jamaica is a nation of violent, angry, murderous people. well I could and cite jamaican news reports, but I aint pout-full foolish. lol!

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  • @Anon:
    I don’t normaly respond to this handle. You should first seek clarification to what you think my opinions means to you.

    you ask/said:
    You want change? But please no fault finding? What a strange vortex.

    Yes I want change — YES FIND FAULT.
    However “We must be the change we wish to see and find fault of in others.”

    surely you could have question your interpretation of my words to then conclude as I just did. 🙂

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  • Sapidillo, read what Jones wrote in a very short sentence. Your go on for over four paragraphs. As a sometime reader it is clear that wrong words may convey wrong meaning. Jones was funny and pointed out that ‘retuning’ is what some residents may be getting or in need of, especially if they are ‘returning’.

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  • Adrian Hinds,
    you can take me to be “Anon” at 11.12am.

    You confuse me. You live in Boston or not? What is the Boston-Providence metropolitan area going to mean to a poor Bajan living on this rock?

    Jamaican Jones asked for your view about Bajans but you wont deal with your own comment–notably as a Bajan who is not living in Barbados and has not done so for decades. Why dont you denounce these criminal practices that you have seen for over 15 years? Call a spade a spade, nuh. If you did, where did you do it? Tschoupse!

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  • Stick with the DLP and suffer or turn-on to the BLP and prosper

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Do you want to be out of a job and on the bread-line; deeper in debt; deeper in poverty and deeper in crisis with a tired-DLP-Government that does not know what it is doing?

    Then, secure your future!!!

    Give the competent, experienced and skilled Team of the Barbados Labour Party the chance to put Barbados back on track.

    Why settle for the bronze?

    Protect your pockets and your bank account from the DLP, which imposes high taxes and confiscates what little to poor have, while quick to give the rich millions.

    The time is right to give Barbados a chance to be better than it was between 1994 and 2008 when there was much prosperity.

    Unfortunately, with the DLP, Barbadians are getting job loss, high taxation, grid lock, more promises and delays – when what is needed and what the Team Barbados Labour Party has provided and will provide again (once given the opportunity) is sound economic leadership, action; progress and commonsense solutions that are in the interest of Barbados and Barbadians.

    Say: “enough and NO,” to the DLP and: “Yes,” to Team Barbados Labour Party and let’s clean up the mess that is being made by the Dems; put Barbadians back to work and make this country prosperous again.

    PROTECT AND SAFEGUARD YOUR JOB AND SAVE BARBADOS: VOTE THE DLP OUT.

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  • @Anon/fairplay;

    No I do not live in Boston, and the Boston-Providence metropolitan area is as distinct as the “English speaking caribbean”, or the “Caribbean nation.”

    ….and I was responding to the Jamaican LIB and not speaking to “a poor bajan living on the rock, ”

    Bush-tea’s position which I support demonstrates the problem. The pot telling the kettle that it is black, does not change or present a path via which the kettle can return to its original state. The Kettle can chuspe its mouth satisfied that the pot is simply ignorant of its own situation. lol!

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  • Comments made by me, to a blog article titled “Central Bank Of Barbados Home to Bonnie and Clyde”

    Posted 24 December 2008 – 12:24 PM

    So who we gine reshuffle dem wid? I have been saying for years, if a recall to daily practices thoughout the society is to be held up to scrutiny, Barbados cannot escape the lable of “A nation of theives” and I know that I would have been dismiss as been harsh, brash, and over-the-top, and comparisions to other societies would have been made to disprove comments. I recounted as far back as the 90’s in other fora, that i am at pains to find a sector of the society where stealing and concern about stealing wasn’t present. Now that it is manifesting itself at the highest level of government and national institutions, we engage in another thing that we are fast becoming well known for, Naked pragmatism. We genuflect at the alter of Immigration now those who thought they were safe and let their opinions be so guided may now be at risk, we did the same thing on pradeal larceny, roving bands of shoplifters, the ZR culture, allow all manner of law breaking under the false claim of making-a-dollar. Now we maybe wondering how did we get this far. Greed doesn’t only occur amongs the well heed, in happens in all strata of life, and in the middle and lower class where adherance to honesty is most preached, thought, it is most likely to occur during an economic down turn and to have resulted from a political policy of entitlement and dependency, so that when the government you have come to rely on cannot meet your living requirement and you not having best practices in doing for yourself, you tend to look for what to you may be the easier path to alleviating your finanacial burden.

    The “WE” and “YOU” are first and second person plural. Not taking shots at any particular Bajan.

    http://www.barbadosforum.com/index.php?showtopic=7310&view=&hl=roving&fromsearch=1

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  • Adrian, some of your text lost me, but I got the main message. You believe that “Barbados cannot escape the lable of “A nation of theives””. Can we quote you as one Bajan who hold this view of Barbados–even from the relative comfort of Boston-Providence, MA? Some commentators were quick to attack Mr. Chris Halsall for a remark he made about ‘cattle’, and you tried to defend him. I hope that you do not become a target for your views. I think Mr. Halsall would applaud that you are willing to be so frank.

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  • Play fair, you are not doing justice to your title, and I do understand the simpleton childish attempts to play gotcha. I am a Barbadian and will always be, no matter my location, no matter the subject. Whatever title is given to Barbadians whether self inflicted or not is a title that I would wear proudly, attack if attributed maliciously, seek discussion on , and agitate for change if true and connotates a negative stygma.

    So whether it is a quater millions dollars from the central bank

    or millions from sagicor, or thousands from NIS, or 4,000 chicken from a farm, or thousands of dollars in pigtails from Lionel C Hill, or opinions that thieves have been raiding homes in broad daylight and not only stealing the small items like vcr’s and refridgerators and tv’s, Or Rampant stealing of building material, and tools from homeowners, and building sites, or stealing money and dishonestly obtaining services totalling $42 350 from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

    Yes Barbados runs the risk of being label a Nation of Thieves.

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  • White collar crime is rampant in Barbados. For those who want proof nothing will change. Average Bajans know that customs officers get their pockets grease when unstuffing containers. There was a time when passports would be taken to certain immigration officers to get organize. We could go on…

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  • Now David, can we agree that the real problem that we face (with the lawyers, the politicians, the leaders, the bankers etc) is the same that we all face – i.e. a growing culture of dishonesty fueled by rampant materialism? If so, perhaps we can take the first step in actually seeking to address this matter.

    Obviously, we need to establish a national culture of honesty and selflessness. This would be a long term, multi pronged challenge.

    The truth is that our religious leaders should have been the ones leading such a charge, but they seem to have been also caught up in the materialistic slide…

    Bush Tea would be pleasantly surprised if we even attempted to address this issue.
    My guess is that we will continue on our merry way – all the while hoping and looking for different results.

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  • @BT

    Is it possible that our new Arch Bishop John Holder might see the cause of pushing a national agenda for honesty and selflessness as a #1 priority?

    He is said to be academically equipped to lead the Anglican Church; but what does this mean?

    Perhaps Dr. GP et al can explain how the compartmentalization of how the Anglicans practice their faith can help wider society.

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  • David, do not hold your breath.
    The new Archbishop was probably selected by default. His focus will likely be a PR drive to salvage the dwindling reputation of the Anglican church.
    Bush Tea is not aware of any outstanding developments in Barbados that suggest that the new bishop will make any significant impact regionally….

    With respect to our resident crew under the impressive leadership of GP; If the goal was to teach us the intricacies of bio chemistry Bush Tea would be optimistic. However, until GP can figure out why God would have created the devil, I personally have little faith in his spiritual leadership….

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  • … by the way David, what’s with this moderation? How did BT get into your bad books?

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  • In Britain, the rules and regulations governing solicitor’s accounts have become increasingly complex. As the potential for fraud or error in this area rises, the penalties for mishandling client money or failing to spot money laundering are growing more severe. So government has put safeguards in place to combat what is deemed as a crime.

    Some of key strategies in place are:

    * to deal with the technical issues surrounding Solicitors’ Accounts Rules

    * covers the issues surrounding qualified reports

    * full reproduction of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules and the Audit Assignment Programme

    * analyses taxation aspects – including dealing with work in progress under new regimes of accountability.

    In America, “THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION’s – CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY states in the rules under the heading – “Model Rule For Random Audit Of Lawyer Trust Accounts” preface that the rule is predicated upon the adoption by the American Bar Association of Recommendation 16 of the Report of the Commission on Evaluation of Disciplinary Enforcement (the “McKay Commission”), which provided that random audits of lawyer trust accounts be authorized by court rule.

    The McKay Commission determined that random audits were a proven deterrent to the misuse of money and property in the practice of law and that examination of trust accounts by court-designated auditors provided practitioners with expert and practical assistance in maintaining necessary records and supporting books of account.

    1. The [highest court of the jurisdiction] shall approve procedures to randomly select lawyer or law firm trust accounts for audit.

    2. An audit of a lawyer or law firm trust account conducted pursuant to this rule shall be commenced by the issuance of an investigative subpoena to compel the production of records relating to a lawyer’s or law firm’s trust accounts. The subpoena shall contain a certification that it was issued in compliance with this rule, that the lawyer or law firm was selected at random, and that there exist no grounds to believe that professional misconduct has occurred with respect to the accounts being audited. The subpoena shall be served at least [10] business days before commencement of the audit.

    3. With respect to each audit conducted pursuant to this rule, the examiner shall:

    (a) determine whether the lawyer’s or law firm’s records and accounts are being maintained in accordance with applicable rules of court; and

    (b) employ sampling techniques to examine “selected accounts,” unless discrepancies are found which indicate a need for a more detailed audit. “Selected accounts” may include money, securities and other trust assets held by the lawyer or law firm; safe deposit boxes and similar devices; deposit records; canceled checks or their equivalent; and any other records which pertain to trust transactions affecting the lawyer’s or law firm’s practice of law.

    4. The examiner shall prepare a written report containing the examiner’s findings, a copy of which shall be provided to the audited lawyer or law firm.

    5. In the event that the audit report asserts deficiencies in the audited lawyer’s or law firm’s records or procedures, the lawyer or law firm shall, within [10] business days after receipt of the report, provide evidence that the alleged deficiencies are incorrect, or that they have been corrected. If corrective action requires additional time, the lawyer or law firm shall apply for an extension of time to a date certain in which to correct the deficiencies cited in the audit report.

    6. All records produced for an audit conducted pursuant to this rule shall remain confidential, and their contents shall not be disclosed in violation of the client-lawyer privilege.

    7. Records produced for an audit conducted pursuant to this rule may be disclosed to:

    (a) the lawyer disciplinary agency or to a court to the extent disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the particular audit;

    (b) the lawyer disciplinary agency for the purposes of a disciplinary proceeding; and

    (c) any other person, including a law enforcement agency, with the permission of the [highest court of the jurisdiction].

    8. A lawyer or law firm shall cooperate in an audit conducted pursuant to this rule, and shall answer all questions pertaining thereto, unless the lawyer or law firm claims a privilege or right which is available to the lawyer or law firm under applicable state or federal law. A lawyer’s or law firm’s failure to cooperate in an audit conducted pursuant to this rule shall constitute professional misconduct.

    9. No lawyer or law firm shall be subject to an audit conducted pursuant to this rule more frequently than once every [three] years.

    In conclusion, the book -“The Disenchanted Client v. The Dishonest Lawyer: Where Does The Legal Profession Stand” – Theo Voorhees states quite categorically:

    “We are engaged in a profession that serves the public and enjoys a monopoly in that service. We rightfully control the machinery governing admission to our privileged ranks and the discipline and disbarment of those who transgress… The public looks at the profession to keep its own house in order and when a lawyer embezzles his clients’ funds, the whole bar is blackened in the public eye. The rest of us, as well as the embezzler, are considered at fault because we failed
    to police our own ranks and to prevent the defalcation. Even if in fact the profession could properly feel without blame, the defrauded client is a casualty whose injury arises out of the practice of our profession.”

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  • @DAVID
    “Perhaps Dr. GP et al can explain how the compartmentalization of how the Anglicans practice their faith can help wider society…”

    Hey Dave, are you sure you want to open this Pandora’s Box?

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  • Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Hants // December 14, 2009 at 12:00 PM “…so I sympathise with ‘retuning nationals’” [Glad to hear it. My father did that too for a good few years and after ‘returning’ to Jamaica, found that he needed even more tuning–in and out–and has been doing that for 20+ years now.]

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  • Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @Bush Tea // December 14, 2009 at 7:25 PM “Now David, can we agree that the real problem that we face (with the lawyers, the politicians, the leaders, the bankers etc) is the same that we all face – i.e. a growing culture of dishonesty fueled by rampant materialism?” [What if we agree with the ‘growing culture of dishonesty’ but disagree with the fuel? Even not agree with ‘growing culture of dishonesty’? It is not clear that there is a ‘growing culture of dishonesty’ as no one ever really measured this over time, so if we experience more of it in our lives that may just be circumstances.

    For context, I have found more of a culture of dishonesty in a dirt-poor African country that is not based on rampant materialism, but sheer ‘dog eat dog’-ism over centuries. If you look at Transparency International’s corruption perception index you will see a trend that shows that materialism and ‘honesty’ can co-exist very well, and signs of high levels of ‘dishonesty’ where there is little material over which to squabble–but that makes the prize even sweeter.]

    Like

  • … by the way David, what’s with this moderation? How did BT get into your bad books?

    Have no idea why the spammer has been disliking you of late. If it continues we will open a Support ticket.

    Like

  • Bush Tea above noted ‘What we CANNOT do, is continue to do what we have done, and copy what others who have serious problems continue to do – and expect different results…’

    Is that not one of the definitions of insanity?

    Lol.

    Like

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