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.


Stephen Archer: Millionaire or Pauper

Submitted by Sunshine Sunny Shine

Imagine a utility pole falling on you causing you to be seriously injured. Imagine that from that injury your body was dealt such a blow that it would never be the same again Then imagine being paid 2.4 million in compensation from the Utility Company for injuries received. After you have imagined all of that then imagine this: IMAGINE YOUR THE LAWYER ACTING ON YOUR BEHALF RECEIVING THE 2.4 million AND PLACED IT IN HIS PERSON ACCOUNT BUT YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN A CENT OF IT EVEN AFTER BEGGING FOR MANY YEARS UNTIL YOUR LAST BREATH. What would you do if you were the man in the photo above?

This is the plight of the now decease Stephen Ainsley Archer. His lawyer, according to reports from him, never give him a cent of the money. This forced Mr Archer to go to the press to highlight his matter. After 13 years of begging for what is his, Mr Archer’s life came to an end. The mystery surrounding where Mr Archers 2.4 million compensation money from the Utility Company has gone, remains a mystery.

The lawyer, the alleged Ernest Jackman, has not come forward to shed any light on the claims made by the now decease Stephen Archer nor has he come forth to declare where the money that was supposed to be paid to Mr Archer is at.

The Utility Company has not come forth to declare their hand or confirm that a cheque payment of 2.4 million was paid in the name of either Ernest Jackman (the lawyer representing Mr Archer) or Stephen Archer on such and such a date at such and such a time.

The situation of Mr Archer’s money has been going on for several years. During that time, it would appear that no ”Watchdog Agency, group, family or concern citizens” in Barbados have come forth to assist Mr Archer during the period that he made his matter a public one. No government, according to reports, offered to help him get down to the bottom of things. What is also quite alarming is that you would think that a citizen claiming foul play by his lawyer in the matter of his 2.4 million would have prompted the Barbados Bar Association to rise to the occasion and question Mr Ernest Jackman on the matter. No such chance under the system that exists in Barbados.

Mr Archer is dead, will his plea for his 2.4 million also die with him? Mr ERNEST JACKMAN NEEDS TO BE QUESTIONED!!

Awarded a 2.4 million dollar Settlement But Died Begging for it. His Lawyer Kept it in His Personal Account

The People’s Court Issues Urgent Summons for Ernest Jackman

The following was posted by Sunshine Sunny Shine as a comment to the Open Letter to ALL Rh Lawyers on behalf of Stephen Archer blog – Barbados Underground

Here is what I want to know concerning this case.

A. Did the late Mr Archer ever saw the cheque for the 2.4 or 2.7 million whichever it is?

B. Did Mr Archer approve the lawyers handling of his money for matters pertaining to his medical situation?

C. Was Mr Archer present when the cheque was signed, seal and delivered to his attorney?

D. Is Mr Archer’s living remaining family ever sought to ascertain why the lawyer was still keeping Archer’s money in a personal account?

E. Did the bar association ever seek to make query concerning the same lawyer relative to Mr Archer’s disclosures in the press?

F. Did Mr Archer ever seek police assistance after making his claims known?

G. What recourse does deceased Archer have now that he is dead?

H. If the utility company stated Mr Archer was compensated for the injury’s he receives at the falling of one of their poles, is it possible for the utility company to produce a copy of the cheque presented to Mr Archer for proof of payment.

I. Why is the lawyer at the centre of this matters so quite? Is he guilty, is he out of the island or is he dead?

We can spend all of our time here talking about crooked lawyers, or we can make an appeal for relevant persons close to Mr Archer’s case, like his family members, the Utility company and such like, to come forward and shed some light on this matter [Blogmaster’s emphasis].

Also, if the lawyer is indeed the Jackman mentioned on the other social media site, he should be pressured to come forth to present his side of the story on why he did not give Mr Archer his money. I would also think that now is the time to bring the Bar Association into the spotlight to face some heat.

Relevant LinkBU Lawyers in the News

Open Letter to ALL Rh Lawyers on behalf of Stephen Archer

The Barbados Today Editorial of September 26, 2019 reproduced here by request.

Several of these so-called traditional media outlets scrape stories from various social media sites without giving credit, for this reason the blogmaster reluctantly post this editorial.

For years Barbados Underground has been highlighting the ‘malbehaviour’ of lawyers and the dysfunctional justice system – see BU Lawyers in the News Section at the top of the page. In fact when we started the probing of the justice system many condemned this blogmaster as being unpatriotic. Our persistent criticism was interpreted as being negative. This blogmaster has lived to hear Chief Justice Marson Gibson and the Caribbean Court of Appear echo the same views.

Where is the moribund Barbados Bar Association (BBA)?

The name Stephen Archer might mean very little to those outside the circle of any close friends and family members he might have had. But his is a case that cries out for justice. This is yet another situation of an average Barbadian citizen being adversely affected by the type of dubious conduct that can accompany the vulnerable even to the grave.

Tomorrow morning Archer will be laid to rest in the churchyard of St Stephen’s Anglican Church just five months after publicly highlighting the tragic circumstances that befell him. He also drew attention to the representation – or lack thereof – of a well-known Barbadian attorney-at-law. Fifteen days after Archer celebrated his 30th birthday in 1997, a telephone pole fell on him occasioning him significant bodily injury.

Archer was taken to the United States to undergo treatment and physical therapy. While living in Miami, Florida, and now a paraplegic, he became homeless. His leg became infected as a result of his living circumstances and it was later amputated. He subsequently returned to Barbados and an initial hospital visit eventually turned into a four and a half-year residency at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. After leaving the hospital the bed-ridden Archer became a resident at Cyralene Senior Citizens Nursing Home at Accommodation Road, Spooners Hill, St Michael.

The utility company fulfilled its legal obligations to Archer and according to him paid a seven-figure compensation settlement to his attorney-at-law on his behalf. However, Archer revealed to Barbados TODAY in April that he was never given a cheque with his money nor was it ever deposited on his personal account. Despite the small fortune that his unfortunate accident had brought to him, Archer explained then that he still owed the nursing home $20 000 for eight months stay at the facility. He said the lawyer was handling his finances but had not paid any money to the home. “When I came here (nursing home), the idea was to save money to help my sister and fix the house in Cave Hill, but it backfired when the lawyer reduced how much I am getting so I ended up staying here a lot longer than I expected,” Archer revealed then.

Archer’s unfortunate situation was exacerbated as a result of his sister – who had been his main helper – dying in February from cancer. His mother who had initially been his principal caregiver had died from a stroke in 2009 while they were still in the United States. His was a life with little family support. He explained the mental and physical difficulty of being reduced from an independent, active, outgoing individual to one living in solitude and confinement in a bed with the occasional allowance out of his money coming from the lawyer.

With hundreds of thousands of his dollars sitting in the bank account of his lawyer, Archer was later reduced to starting a Help Stephen Archer Facebook page and the launch of a “gofundme” account. During his stay in the nursing home his three-bedroom, one bathroom family house at Well Gap, Cave Hill, St Michael was rendered an empty shell by burglars. Despite facing such immense personal hardship, a still optimistic Archer stated in April: “I am not worried, this is Barbados. In the States, I was homeless, in a wheelchair with maggots on me, but here in Barbados a lot of people know me so hopefully, it is not going to come to that. I have nothing to lose. When you are down the only direction to go is up. So I am waiting.”

Archer’s wait is now over. His direction did not take the upward curve he desired. But there are many questions left unanswered. And who will seek to have them answered? Archer had no children. Chief among those questions: Where is his money? Does his attorney-at-law still have the substantial amount on his own personal bank account? If he does, will he make any attempt to pass it on to existing family members, irrespective of how close or far removed they might be? Why did he not hand over all of Archer’s money when he received it or have it placed on his client’s personal account? Why were payments not made to Cyralene’s Senior Citizens Nursing Home in a proper manner? Does the Barbados Bar Association have any authority – or inclination – to launch an investigation into this matter? Is there any other agency willing to pursue this case? Will this be simply another case of a Barbadian lawyer benefiting from the funds of a client?

Perhaps it is time that in matters such as these, plaintiffs have greater oversight on the actual transaction between the defendant and legal counsel where compensation is due to be paid. Why are cheques written in the name of lawyers and not the clients they represent? Developments in Barbados’ courts over the years would suggest that not writing the plaintiffs’ cheques in the names of their lawyers might be protecting many from themselves.

Of course, none of this is going to help Stephen Archer now. But perhaps some of the mourners who pay their last respects to him tomorrow will ensure they are guarded against such anguish if similar tragedy should ever befall them.