Poor Man’s Weapon – Name and Shame
The PM is a lawyer, the last two PMs were lawyers, the PM was Atty General, the present AG was AG in a previous Gov’t, the most senior Gov’t Minister who acts as deputy PM in the PM’s absence is a lawyer. Did any of the these ever suggest any changes in the relationship between lawyer and client? Did they make it mandatory for lawyers handling civil cases to establish Trust Accounts to separate operating funds from client funds? When they hear/heard of improprieties did they take action?
They operate like some secret society ready to prey on the “great unwashed” who darkens their door. Even on the rare occasion that the Court find them guilty of stealing client funds no restitution order is made which enables them to live off the clients’ funds after they have served their sentence.
When Ms. Pile was on trial, the Court was packed with lawyers who were sympathetic to her and ready to deliver pre-sentencing statements on her behalf. They take care of their own – Sargeant
When the injustice meted out by Michael Carrington to a wheelchair bound septuagenarian broke, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart advised – then leader of our parliament – to secure the services of a lawyer. History will record this statement to be one of the most ignorant uttered by a prime minister of Barbados.
On Friday (4 October 2019) the president of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) Rosalind Smith-Millar was quoted in the local media advising the beneficiary of Stephen Archer’s estate to seek legal representation in order to secure the 2.7 million in compensation BL&P paid to Archer’s lawyer reported to be Ernest Jackman. Ernest Jackman is no stranger to BU and is featured on BU LAWYERS in the NEWS.
The advice given by the Bar president reminds citizens why the the application of the law sometimes is said to defy common sense and as a result “Is the law an ass? remains a valid question. To reinforce the point the BU family recently discussed the legitimacy of Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith’s public assertion he cannot investigate the ICBL, Donville Inniss matter unless a member of the public files a complaint. There are many examples of BL&P and FLOW taking advantage of citizens and the regulatory bodies despite consumer protection laws are passive in defence of consumers.
The majority of lawyers licenced to practice law in Barbados had their education funded by taxpayers. It is said that Barbados has more practising lawyers per thousand than any other country in the world. The Barbados Bar Association and the Disciplinary Committee were established for a reason – to regulate the legal profession. We have had too many stories of lawyers misappropriating funds, stonewalling the release of documents, not meeting with clients to discuss matters, colluding with other lawyers to frustrate deals, not attending court sessions to permit matters to close etc etc etc.
Enough is enough!
We live in an era where John Public has access to various social media platforms. Yea yea yea it comes with all the warts, BUT, there is the good that it can do. Naming and shaming these ‘summabitches’ will ensure reputations are sullied, forever. If the bodies to regulate the professional class including lawyers fail to protect members of the public, they will have to suffer the consequences. It is clear the Barbados Bar Association and its sidekick the disciplinary Committee supported by the bevy of lawyers in parliament will not side with the public.
A couple years ago the blogmaster had an exchange with a former president of the Bar who expressed frustration at the lack of resources available to do a better job and the need for legislative teeth. The blogmaster is satisfied stakeholders have no interest in changing the existing arrangement. In fact it is reasonable to conclude the Bar is used by prominent lawyers as a pathway to secure QC status, that is all.