The blogmaster takes the opportunity to remind anybody having issues with lawyers in Barbados to log it at thisLINK.
Justice For Stephen Archer and His Estate
New York, NY, United States
Oct 11, 2019 —
My fellow supporters. Here is another cause that needs your support. Not another person in Barbados should die without receiving the funds that they have been awarded. To date 202 Persons have signed the petition seeking justice for Stephen Archer and his estate. I have relied on your support in the past, can I rely on you now? Please sign this petition. http://chng.it/djNBD5CwMX
WHAT IS HIS BACKGROUND IN THE BARBADIAN LEGAL SYSTEM?
HAS HE EVER WENT BEFORE THE BAR ASSOCIATION FOR MISCONDUCT OR MISAPPROPRIATION OF CLIENTS FUNDS?
HOW MANY CLIENTS HAVE LAID COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE NAME OF THIS LAWYER?
WHAT CONNECTIONS DOES HE HAVE THAT AFTER SEVERAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST HIM HE CAN STILL PRACTICE LAW?
WHAT RECOURSE DO BARBADIAN CITIZENS HAVE AGAINST LAWYERS LIKE ERNEST JACKMAN WHO WITHHOLD THEIR MONIES?
IS THE BARBADOS BAR ASSOCIATION A MERE FRONT FOR LAWYERS AND THEIR WRONGDOINGS?
WILL THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS ASK FOR INVESTIGATION INTO CLAIMS AGAINST ERNEST JACKMAN?
DO BARBADIAN CITIZENS SUCH AS THE LATE STEPHEN JACKMAN HAVE RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF BARBADOS TO BRING LAWYERS SUCH AS ERNEST JACKMAN BEFORE AN ESTABLISH TRIBUNAL?
Ernest Jackman must account for the 2.4 million he withhold from the late Stephen Archer. The Barbados Government should offer assistance in this matter. All others such as the Bar Association, the Utility Company, the Family of Stephen Archer and any others with connections to this case needs to be CALLED TO ACCOUNT!
There is one nettlesome complaint which keeps surfacing from Barbadians at home or abroad. It is always about lawyers wantonly violating standards of conduct as perceived in the court of public opinion and the ‘system’ repeatedly fail to redress.
These lawyers reallocate client’s monies, delay simple transactions to the detriment of clients financially, emotionally, illegally and otherwise. The result is that the reputation of the profession has been injured.
To heap on the issue for complainants is the inability of the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) and the Disciplinary Committee (DC) to discharge its mandate to satisfactorily treat with complaints submitted by general public.
The purpose of this update is to invite members of the public – through a simple process – to highlight matters submitted to the BBA or DC. In turn the blogmaster will track and highlight submissions in this medium and other social media platforms to ensure tension is exerted. The expectation is that parties named will see the benefit of resolving matters and be true to their moral and legal mandates.
This is a pilot project. Response from the public will determine next steps.
Barbadians have become numb to the sloth of the Courts of Barbados. One of the simple functions is to administer the probate process. For many Barbadians what should be a routine procedure is fraught with long delays. To add to the challenge of managing probate, there are the lawyers -officers of the court – who gleefully take advantage of the dysfunctional system.
BU received the following communications that resonated with the household. So many complaints about lawyers especially from Barbadians in the diaspora. This is one group over the years who has been taken advantage of by lawyers, building contractors to name two.
When I read your paper I am not getting the impression that these legal issues are being taken seriously. Have you any idea as to the number of probate cases that have gone on for many years? Isn’t your silence encouraging and supporting the offenders?
Although it does not help a probate situation has now been in the system since 1995 with no end in site…This is a very large ‘property’ and all the attorneys are doing are ‘Milking the family’ for all that it is worth.. .
Mine is a simple uncontested will which has been in probate since 1997 – awaiting a conclusion and representing gross cover up by the BBA and the administration. There are many like me that I have met in person or heard of.
Why don’t you publish articles or write editorials about real people losing their money and property to lawyers in Barbados? Are you in agreement with what they are doing or are you afraid. It is a disgrace don’t you think? – Submitted by a frustrated client
TariqKhan – President of the BBA
Let the record show BU has posted several articles to – Lawyers in the News and Tales of the Courts – about the judicial and ancillary systems. More than the traditional media. However we empathize with Barbadians everywhere affected by the sloth of our courts.
Documentation received shows the lawyer at the centre of this complaint was contacted in 1997. Understandably the frustrated client escalated the matter to the Disciplinary Committee of BBA. We write understandably because the last time the Chair of Disciplinary Committee Woodstock-Riley spoke publicly she referred to the backlog of cases to be processed and the fact her committee is supported by volunteers. We have not heard from Tariq Khan the president of the BBA recently. Mr. Khan what have you achieved since taking office except to pad your resume?
The following emails confirm what Barbadians everywhere already know. Honest Barbadians are being held hostage by the ‘system’. The leadership of the judicial ‘system’ needs to intervene before someone is forced to take matters into their hands.
We can appreciate your frustration and advise the following.
As my office advised communication on disciplinary committee matters should be to the disciplinary committee office. The Registrar of the Supreme Court is the Secretary of the committee and deputises someone to act in that role managing the administration of the committee. Unfortunately as you were advised the person who held that position is no longer there , a situation beyond our control as we had little notice . We expect to have someone in place shortly also working longer hours to move matters forward in a timely way.
The Committee comprises 7 persons and we meet every week to address all complaints lodged . There is a process involving reviewing all complaints, asking for further information if necessary , setting and having a hearing if a primafacie case has been made ,then our recommendations are sent to the Court of Appeal for hearing. We can proceed on a matter even if an attorney does not respond .
Your matter has been before the committee and you should be receiving communication from the office.
Please note our Committee addresses making recommendations for disciplining attorneys such as fines , suspension , removal from the roll for breaches of the code of ethics following the process outlined. There remains several options for persons to effect resolution of claims.
We can only reassure you that this committee is making every effort to address all current and outstanding matters with the resources we have .
To clarify, the Bar does not deal with complaints regarding the alleged conduct of Attorneys-at-Law. These complaints fall within the province of the Disciplinary Committee. And for good reason. The function of the Disciplinary is governed by statute under the auspices of the Registrar of the Supreme. I have therefore included the chair of the Disciplinary Committee in my response to you.
I am sorry that you are frustrated with the responses you have received but I am not in a position to address your complaints. Instead by copying in the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee I expect that she will revert to you directly particularly as you have raised issues regarding the performance of the Disciplinary Committee.
I will however address two of the questions you have raised. I reject any notion that I condone any negative behaviours. You have made allegations regarding the lawyer’s conduct which have to be investigated. I do not believe or indeed assume or have any right to believe that I have a right to the deed of your property. This mode of thinking does not obtain.
I do hope that by this response and by copying the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee, your issues are properly and thoroughly addressed.
When I decided to undergo continuous expense in July 2015 to claim the deed to my property I did not think that almost 7 months later I would not have even had a response from the Disciplinary Committee where it is stated that there would be a response within 21 days
Even on December 21st I sent you another email and you have yet to respond. I have also made several calls to Ms Marguerite- Riley’s office and was last informed by her secretary that she will be communicating with me soon…As of today there has been no response or communication from her or the disciplinary committee.
In December, I also spoke to Mr Clyde Cummings who also informed me that I would have something in writing in a short while but after receiving no communication I again called on..Jan 19th and at that time I was informed that Mr Cummings no longer works for the BBA Disciplinary Committee and hat Margo Greene has refused to respond to the committee.
At this point I continue to have several questions:
1. Why is Ms Greene still practicing law in Barbados since she has refused to follow the law of the land and to conduct herself in a professional manner?
2. What is the justification for your condoning of this negative behavior of Ms Greene?
3. Do you or Ms Greene believe that you have more of a right to the deed of my property than I do?
I have been informed that this is not the only instance of Ms Greene’s unprofessionalism. I also saw in the Barbados underground that this unprofessionalism is a part of the practice in the BBA. I have been trying very hard to keep this out of the public arena…I guess that is where it belongs now…don’t you agree?
An immediate response would be appreciated. I am confident that if this was your property that you would not have been as ‘accepting’ of this maltreatment and unprofessionalism…
Have a blessed day!
Until this matter is resolved BU will add Margot Greene, Tariq Khan and Woodstock-Riley to the BU Lawyers in the News section.
Letter from the Registrar of the Supreme Court sent to the Bar Association (BA) regarding a change to the system of processing probate applications – Click Image
The Registrar opines that in light of the decision in CV 427/2012 entitled Edmund King & Cecil Smith v Marva Clarke the system of processing probate applications is to be changed and that counsel dealing with such applications must now pay for the advertising of the probate application and provide proof of such application, before the Registry will accept the filing of the application.
Justice Saunders of the CCJ opined recently that Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly.
For some years now BU has been highlighting the issue of the almost terminal state of our justice system. We have been highlighting, among other things, the backlog of cases both before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the complete inefficiency of the Registry with its loss of files and procrastination, the mess that is the Bar Association and the clear conflict between Bar Association enforced membership and the Constitution; but most importantly, we have been highlighting the quality of our judges, both at High Court and Appeal levels.
A very short while ago, attorneys-at-law from Barbados raised the issue of delays in both getting matters heard and in receiving the judgements on those matters with CCJ Justice Saunders at one open forum. Justice Saunders opined that it was because Barbados judges were not scheduling their time properly. Meanwhile, in another forum, CCJ President Sir Denis Byron advised that appeals to the CCJ from Barbados had risen by 350%.
Having read some of the CCJ decisions in right of Barbados, we have to say that Justice Saunders was being diplomatic, for these judgements do not censure delay alone, but the lack of quality of the judgements themselves, judgements that in any other jurisdiction would lead either to the judge being asked to resign or to his/her dismissal.
“Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” – British politician William Gladstone
A dip into decisions of the Barbados Court of Appeal by BU legal eagles has provided the opportunity to critique the case James Livingstone Eastmond v. Rayside Concrete Works Limited [Unreported] C.A. B’dos Civil Appeal No 18 of 2003. The decision was handed down on 2012-11-08 by a panel comprised of Williams CJ (ag) Mason, Burgess JJA. The decision was written by Peter Williams JA.
The case is one involving dismissal and severance payment. This is not some high-flown case with wealthy and high-profile litigants, but one which demonstrates the perpetual failure of our judiciary to deliver justice to an ordinary Bajan.
The plaintiff, James Eastmond, had worked for Rayside Concrete Works for 15 years and he had been dismissed over 20 years before the decision of the Court of Appeal was handed down. A twenty year search for justice. The case was in the system (either before the Severance Payments Tribunal or the High Court) for about 11 years, before coming to the Court of Appeal.
Original blog posted 2.43AM 15/08/13 – Updated 6.44PM 15/08/13
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson is reported in the Nation as having stated that he will shortly start to throw out old cases. It is now two years since Sir Marston, amid much controversy, took over the role of Chief Justice of Barbados, and delivered promises of what he would do to revive the justice system. To date, all we have had from him are press photos of him attending various functions and a lot of non-specific pronouncements of what he intends to do which, like most political manifestos, remain un-fulfilled, largely because he seems to operate with a ‘vote-grabbing’ mindset.
BU has a few questions for the Chief Justice that we urge media (AirBourne?) to ask. Of course, BU’s readers will realise that these questions are largely (but not solely) rhetorical.
Q: How many cases are there before the High Court on which judgements are awaited for a period of time in excess of six months?
Q: How many old cases are there that have been settled out of court and on which no certificates of satisfaction have been filed by the counsel whose duty it was to so file them AND/OR having been filed, not had those filings reflected by the Registry (READ lost by the Registry)?
Q: How many old cases have had counsel on both sides write repeatedly to the Registrar and the Chief Justice over a period of years asking that they be set down for hearing? AND how many responses/hearings has this invoked?
When Andrew Pilgrim took up the post of President of the Barbados Bar Association, BU was very optimistic that in tandem with newly appointed CJ Gibson, some efficiency would have been achieved in our court system. We were wrong. To compound the perception that the Bar is a moribund entity it has been three months since Barry Gale QC took the baton from Pilgrim and the public is none the wiser about progress made by the Bar during his tenure.
Several reasons are listed on the Barbados Bar Association website why it was established under the Barbados Bar Association Act of 1940. Of the 27 reasons given a few should be of interest to Barbadians if only because they are laudable or should that be laughable:
For some years now, BU has been seeking the removal of the Registrar, Marva Clarke. Now, she is gone.
We are told that it was voluntary and that she was not asked to resign, but that she did so anyway, since it had been made clear to her that, under Gibson CJ, she would never be promoted to the Bench. Which, if you think about it, is precisely the same thing.
BU has come into possession of a list of outstanding decisions before the Barbados courts as at November 2012. It is a daunting list that in any other jurisdiction other than Barbados, would mandate that the delinquent judges be censored and their resignations demanded forthwith.
BU makes one caveat on behalf of Mr Justice Randall Worrell who is in an unenviable position not of his making. Former Chief Justice David Simmons invited Justice Worrell – a highly successful criminal counsel – on to the bench specifically to try criminal matters and therefore speed up the process of the courts, lessen remand periods etc. Once installed on the Bench, however, the Registrar persisted in scheduling civil matters, some of them extremely complex, before Justice Worrell. While at the same time, ensuring that he could not do justice to the civil matters by constantly involving him in assizes for which he had been brought on to the bench in the first place. Justice Worrell must now find the time to write his decisions in civil matters, as well as to complete part-heard matters that have commenced hearing before him, as mandated by the Administration of Justice Act Cap 109b of our laws. This is the main reason that BU has not gone after Justice Worrell for delinquency. However inthe final analysis, Justice Worrell, whatever excuses can be posited on his behalf will ultimately find himself joined in actions under the Constitution brought by litigants against the Attorney General for breach of the constitutional rights through delay. BU is well aware that there are a number of such actions for delay…but predictably these actions for delay are themselves egregiously delayed by the incompetence and corruption of the Registrar and the Registry.
BU has come across seemingly incontrovertible evidence that warrants both of your immediate investigation. The evidence involves Mr Justice Olson Alleyne. Evidence suggests that Mr Justice Alleyne continues to practice law under the business name of “Olson Alleyne Legal”, despite his elevation to the Bench and has indulged in the practice of law during his tenure on the Bench, even up to the present day. We are satisfied that as little as 14 days ago, counsel received correspondence from Olson Alleyne Legal signed by another lawyer on behalf of Mr Olson Alleyne. If proved, this constitutes gross and dismissible misconduct and we refer you to section 84 of the Constitution, to be easily found online.
This is a matter of the gravest possible national importance. It requires investigation and explanation forthwith. BU, out of fairness and to permit you to conduct an immediate investigation, will refrain for the present from publishing the evidence. You are encouraged to contact us should you wish to avail yourself of this evidence and we will make arrangements to have it delivered to you. We await your expeditious response. It would be a great mistake to test our resolve on this one.
If there is no interest shown in this matter by officialdom we will interpret this to mean you have no problem with BU pursuing this matter in the public space of the Internet.
A BU blog Compensation Fund: Another Screw-up By the Barbados Bar Association highlighted another in a list of indiscretions by the Barbados Bar Association (BA). The big regret is that the traditional media refuses to honour its obligation to expose this club to the glare of the public. For years the who is who in the legal fraternity shuffle in and out of the President’s position all for the glory of achieving silk or the token of notoriety it offers. BU relishes the opportunity to ask Andrew Pilgrim QC what he accomplished during his tenure as BA president.
What is really irksome has been the lack of transparency and disclosure regarding lawyers who have had complaints lodged against them by the public. BU’s Plantation Deeds among many come to mind. It is obvious that the BA as a self regulating body is woefully inadequate – by its track record – to deal with the mounting concerns of the public regarding those bad apples in the legal barrel. Surely the time has come, if we want to be solution oriented, to change the governance structure as it relates to the legal profession. The Disciplinary Committee of the BA has done nothing to assuage the concerns of the public. The BA as represented in the Act has failed to regulate on a simple matter like who qualifies to be issued practicing certificates and what fee to receive from lawyers.
BU has been able to access the audited financial report of the Bar Association (BA) relative to the Compensation Fund. BU notes that the fund holds in excess of $2 million. The authority for the Fund is to be found at Part VIII of the Legal Professions Act Cap. 370A of the Laws of Barbados.
Briefly, the Act states:
The Fund is the property of the BA and must be paid into a separate bank account to the credit of the BA to be known as “the Attorneys-at-law Compensation Fund”.
Every attorney-at-law is required, when a Practicing Certificate is issued to him, to pay to the Registrar his/her annual contribution to the Fund, without which no Practicing Certificate will be issued.
“50. (1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Bar Association that any person has sustained loss in consequence of dishonesty on the part of an attorney-at-law or any clerk or servant of an attorney-at-law in connection with that attorney-at-law’s practice as an attorney-at-law or in connection with any trust of which that attorney-at-law is a trustee, then, subject to the provisions of this section, the Association may, if it thinks fit, make a grant to that person out of the Fund for the purpose of relieving or mitigating that loss.”
A few points to ponder from the reading of the posted financials.