LAWYERS in the NEWS

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No single profession attracts the ire of Barbadians like lawyers. On a daily basis For example, we often hear complaints about lawyers taking unreasonably long periods of time to transfer monies from clients accounts to their clients. The complaints come from Barbadians living overseas  who having entrusted life long savings (pensions) to lawyers to settle various transactions in absentia or Barbadians on the rock who have no choice but to take on the stress of the legal system to process routine transactions.

The Bar Association (BA) has done little to assuage the concerns by Barbadians that it is an efficient self regulating body.  Suggestions to include ordinary folks on the BA’s Disciplinary Committee has not met with a favourable response. There is a sense lawyers and by extension the legal system has the country in a vice grip headlock.    Where are ordinary citizens to turn for justice if the Court System, its trusted officers (lawyers) and the BA continue to NOT satisfactorily resolve concerns from citizenry?

BU accepts bad apples are to be found in all professions – doctors, engineers, construction class, bankers and the list is very long. However, what cannot be denied is the ‘omnipresence’ nature of the legal profession on our little society. What cannot be denies is the right of Barbadians to assign priority to issues affecting them as they think fit.  The time for citizens, ordinary and others, to fight back.

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132 comments

  • QC files appeal before CCJ

    The longstanding litigation involving the Kingsland Estates could have far-reaching consequences for a number of Court of Appeal decisions yet to be given.
    Queen’s Counsel Alair Shepherd has filed an appeal before the Caribbean Court of Justice, challenging the constitutionality of two former Court of Appeal Judges – Dame Sandra Mason who is Governor General of Barbados and Justice Andrew Burgess, a judge of the CCJ, to deliver a decision in the case.
    When contacted Shepherd told the Sunday Sun: “We are appealing that decision and one of the grounds we are putting in is that the court could not render a decision because the court was not properly constituted.”
    Dame Sandra who was appointed Governor General in 2017 and Justice Burgess who was elevated to the CCJ last year have continued to render decisions in Court of Appeal cases which they presided over during their time on the judicial bench.
    Back in June both of their signatures appeared on a Court of Appeal decision in the case Knox vs Deane, one of the oldest cases on the court’s calendar having first been filed in 1998.
    An appeal was made in the case back in 2010 and heard before the tripartite court which consisted of former Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson as well as then Court of Appeal Judges, Dame Sandra and Justice Burgess.
    The decision was delivered on June 26 in which Sir Marston took personal responsibility for the lengthy delay in the judgement writing: “I sincerely apologise for the length of time it has taken to deliver this judgement for which I am entirely responsible.”
    The document bore the signatures of both Dame Sandra and Justice Burgess with the words: “I concur” next to each signature.
    Shepherd in his appeal to the CCJ noted that the decision was rendered by Sir Marston on June 26, sitting with two other Court of Appeal judges.
    Among the grounds of appeal filed he charged that the decision made on June 26 was “invalid and void as at the time when this decision was delivered one member of the appellate panel ( Mason J.A) had been appointed to the executive as Governor General of Barbados; while another member (Burgess J.A) had been elevated to the Caribbean Court of Justice and both of these judges remained in their respective posts on the date of the delivery of their decisions and had not sworn or were they subject to the oath of office of a Justice of Appeal in Barbados and were therefore unable to sit and deliver their decision as judges of the Court of Appeal of Barbados at the time their decision was delivered; Also that the decision made by the Court of Appeal is “null and void as the membership of the presiding panel . . . comprised interalia the Hon Governor General which said office holder represents the Executive branch of the Government of Barbados . . . and has acted in breach of the doctrine of the separation of powers”; and “that the Court of Appeal was not properly constituted as at the day of the delivery of their judgement on the 26th of June 2020.”
    When contacted Shepherd said he had served the appeal on all the parties involved as well as Attorney General, Dale Marshall.
    “Essentially what we are saying is my client received a decision from the Court of Appeal which comprised Justice Burgess; Justice Mason and the Chief Justice. My client is now appealing that decision on a number of grounds one of which is that the court was not properly constituted at the time when the decision was made,” he stated.
    “That argument rest on the fact that at the time when the decision was given one of the judges in the Court Of Appeal was the Governor General and as such is head of the executive of the government and another judge, Justice
    Andrew Burgess, had been appointed to the CCJ. In those circumstances we say that the court which is a court of three judges was not properly constituted and therefore any decision that it gave would not be a valid decision from the Court of Appeal of Barbados,” he said adding that “it offends against the principle of the separation of powers.”
    “We are not satisfied that at the time when the decision was given they were acting under the oath of office which is administered to judges in the Court of Appeal and essentially we will argue that a decision of a court in order to be valid has to come from an independent judiciary,” the Queen’s Counsel added.

    Source: Nation

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  • Appeal Court reserves decision in Pile case
    The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on whether there will be a retrial for attorney Vonda Pile.
    Pile, of Madison Terrace, Deacons Farm, St Michael, was found guilty of stealing US$96 008 belonging to Anstey King, between April 29, 2009, and October 26, 2010, and sentenced to three years in June 2019.
    She was released on $200 000 bail in June this year pending the outcome of the appeal.
    On Friday, Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, Kamisha Benjamin and Rasheeda Edwards argued for a retrial before Acting Chief Justice Rajendra Narine, Justice of Appeal Jefferson Cumberbatch and Justice of Appeal Francis Belle.
    “We would suggest in this case it would have been appropriate for the judge to give greater directions on the issue of probate and the issue of conveyance. . . . We are going to suggest that those things could still assist the appellant in showing her reasons and improving her defence,” Pilgrim said.
    He added that if the court found there was an error, the matter could be retried and still be dealt with in a way that could benefit all the parties, than if the court were to find that the conviction was proper.
    The senior attorney also urged the court to look at where the appellant was cross-examining King.
    “She makes it clear she is still engaged in a dispute with Mr King over not only her fees in the matter, but also her costs in the civil matter, which reached the stage of a judgement being set aside and costs being ordered for the appellant,” he said.
    Pilgrim contended that the charge of money laundering, on which Pile was acquitted, was a dangerous one and questioned why she was tried on it.
    “It seems that one would need to show a reason why this is not done in every theft case. Other attorneys charged in similar fashion don’t have this charge. In my humble view, it is an unfortunate charge to have at all . . . just the sound of it, in my humble submission, is dangerous,” he said.
    The prosecution team of Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney, Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas and Crown Counsel Kevin Forde said there were three other cases where attorneys had been charged with theft and money laundering.
    Delaney said it could not be divorced that Pile was an attorney, had presented the jury with a version of events, but had produced no documents to support her claims.
    The conviction centres on allegations that King, a Barbadian living in Brooklyn, New York, employed Pile to procure a piece of land in Barbados and approached the attorney after he used her services to buy his house in Strathclyde, St Michael.
    Pile showed him a piece of land in Maxwell, Christ Church, and quoted $290 000 and $295 000. He paid all the money upfront.
    On a trip home, when King went to look at the land, he realised it was not the parcel he was previously shown or signed the conveyance for and told Pile he wanted his money back.
    Pile refunded him US$48 000. However, after months of trying to recover his monies, he went to the police.
    King denied ever having a conversation with the lawyer about forfeiture of any deposit, or about waiting for absolute closure of the sale, or until the probation of the vendor’s estate. (RA)

    Source: Nation

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  • Court delays ‘obscene’
    REMAND PRISONERS AWAIT TRIAL FOR YEARS WITH NO ACCESS TO PRISON PROGRAMMES
    Accused persons who cannot afford bail should not be made to languish away in prison until whenever their cases are called.
    Attorney-at-law Lalu Hanuman has suggested that Government look into using ankle bracelets to monitor persons who are not deemed a threat to society so they can carry on with their lives as they await trial.
    An irate and upset Hanuman made the comments moments after his 37-year-old client Lionel Wilson walked out of the Supreme Court a free man after he was found not guilty of raping a 73-year-old woman four years ago.
    The former accused man who was born in Barbados but spent the majority of his life in St Vincent, had been on remand at HMP Dodds since being charged in 2016.
    And while he was happy that “justice had been served”, Hanuman said it was a shame Wilson had lost four years of his life, despite police having a very weak case against him.
    “This man has spent four years in prison on remand. To me it’s totally disgraceful. The evidence was so weak; there was no forensic evidence, there was no medical evidence. They should never have pursued this case. The DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] should have withdrawn this case,” Hanuman charged.
    “It’s obscene that this matter has gone this far and even more pertinent to me, having somebody on remand for four years awaiting trial – and it would have even been longer but we pushed for an early date – because this man could not get any bail. He doesn’t have any local contacts and he wasn’t able to get any sureties.
    “What we should be having in Barbados is the same type of bracelet system that they are now talking about introducing for tourists who are coming into Barbados in terms of ensuring they don’t leave their hotels and so on. People who are facing a charge, as long as they are not posing any threat to the public should be let out from prison with a bracelet on their ankles…It’s called electronic tagging,” he contended.
    Hanuman said it was a common practice among many countries in the world.
    He said what was especially frightening was the fact that there were more people in similar situations at HMP Dodds.
    Hanuman said he was aware of a situation where a man had spent almost 12 years on remand for a murder charge simply because he could not afford to post bail.
    To make matters worse, the veteran attorneyat-law noted that persons on remand were not privy to any of the prison’s educational or rehabilitation programmes.
    “It’s not just Mr Wilson, there are so many other people. I was in court the other day and this guy was telling the judge that he has been in prison for 11 years and 10 months on a murder charge awaiting trial. It’s obscene.
    “When somebody is on remand, they’re not entitled to anything. They’re not entitled to any educational process in the prison, they’re not given any sort of support. They’re just left there to rot. Once you’re convicted you have art programmes, you have carpentry, you have all kinds of things available to you but on remand you have nothing,” Hanuman maintained.
    “This man has wasted four years of his life and now they’ve just thrown him out into the street. He literally has nowhere to go to tonight.
    He has not a cent in his pocket. I have now to try to find him accommodation and try to find him some money.
    “Where’s the apology from the State for depriving this man of four years of his life? There needs to be an urgent change in the system.”

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  • READY TO WORK
    After swearing-in, CJ says it will take huge team effort
    Making it clear that there was no time for basking in the adulation that comes with one’s elevation to the highest judicial office in the land, Barbados fifth Chief Justice since Independence, Patterson Cheltenham, says he is ready to roll up his sleeves to begin addressing issues such as case delays and backlogs in the system.
    Cheltenham, who took the oath of office yesterday, administered by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at Government House, said that from as early as tomorrow he plans to carry out extensive consultation with his judges to tackle issues.
    ‘Mission critical’ “Mission critical for me is to speak to my judges from Monday morning, lay out my plans and hear from them because it is going to take an enormous team effort. I will have to work with them, and they will have to work with me, and I don’t propose at this initial stage to speak on matters that first have to be discussed with them, but there are serious issues that we will be discussing. What I can tell you is that prior to today I would have spoken with everyone. I have had a good reception thus far and I anticipate that this will continue,” said Cheltenham.
    Cheltenham, who replaces Sir Marston Gibson, disclosed that he had already devised a plan that would deal with most of the longstanding issues but underscored the importance of deeper assessment to ensure that his vision was in keeping with realities and capabilities of the system.
    “There are a lot of things that must be addressed, and I have a clearly articulated plan, but one must remember that I have never been to the building [Supreme Court] other than as a lawyer. Going in as the Chief Justice is a completely different role and I am assuming nothing because there will be things that I will find once I arrive there, but I have to first listen and ensure that plans I have are in sync with what I find,” he said while stressing that the details of his plan would be revealed after his consultation with the judges.
    A first
    After the ceremony, which began promptly at 11 a.m., Attorney General Dale Marshall told the media that Cheltenham’s appointment represented the first time that someone with a sole private practice background was appointed to the position. He argued that this departure from the norm could result in a fresh vantage point from which the issues hindering the court system could be approached.
    “This is the first time that someone who served entirely in the private Bar has ascended to the office of Chief Justice, and that brings with it a particular dynamic, as it brings an individual who has a perspective from the other side of the fence. Having lived and worked through it, he would understand the challenges of a system where justice is not delivered with dispatch. So, I think we are going to benefit
    from this unique perspective and insights from a Chief Justice who has been in the hustle all these years. His legal mind is brilliant, and I am proud to be at an occasion such as this,” said Marshall.
    Also in attendance at the swearingin was the Chief Justice’s older brother and former President of the Senate, Sir Richard Cheltenham, who said he was proud of his sibling’s achievement. “I am filled with pride and delighted to see him assume the office of Chief Justice of Barbados. I wish him well and I hope the many family members who are abroad will have the opportunity to share in the occasion through photographs, but it is for all of us a happy and memorable occasion,” he said. (CLM)

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  • Ultimatum
    GOVERNMENT HAS 14 DAYS TO RESPOND “FAVOURABLY” OR LAW SUIT WILL BE FILED
    By Emmanuel Joseph
    Government is being threatened with a lawsuit over the alleged breach of a former prisoner’s constitutional rights.
    Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, attorney for Shad Gabriel Orlando Slocombe, today dispatched letters to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith and Attorney General Dale Marshall, giving them 14 days from receipt of the correspondence to favourably reply or they will face the law courts.
    Lashley told Barbados TODAY his first wish is for an out-of-court settlement for undisclosed damages.
    “Failing that, we will sue,” he declared. Lashley initiated the action after his client was set free on five counts of aggravated burglary during his appearance before High Court Justice Carlisle Greaves last week, when an alleged confession statement was thrown out.
    The attorney claimed Slocombe was not treated as he should have been while in custody and being interrogated, thus leading to the legal action now threatened against the authorities.
    Last Wednesday, during Slocombe’s trial, a voir dire was held in the absence of the jury, to determine the admissibility of a statement allegedly made by Slocombe on February 2, 2018 at Hastings Police Station.
    Lashley had objected to the statement, on the grounds that his client was beaten and ill-treated and not fed while in police custody and during the taking of the alleged confession statement.
    In an interview with Barbados TODAY, the senior counsel also contended that his client, who was 18 years at the time, was not fed until the day after the alleged statement was taken. He said the police station diary confirmed that.
    “It was unfair to question the accused man from the evening time until the night time without being fed, and this sapped his will.
    The station diary also revealed that he was asthmatic,” the Queen’s Counsel said as he explained what he told the court.
    After hearing submissions from Lashley as well as prosecutor Neville Watson, who appeared in association with Rudolph Burnette, Justice Greaves threw out the confession statement, deeming it inadmissible, and set Slocombe free on all counts.
    His co-accused, Niko Antonio James, had pleaded guilty to the same charges two months earlier.
    Slocombe, of Country Park Towers, St Michael, had been charged along with James, with entering Mohammed Patel’s home as a trespasser and stealing two cellular phones and $1 700 in cash belonging to Patel. The total value of the stolen property was $4 000.
    They were also charged with stealing, from the same house, one cellular phone and $50 (total value $1 850) belonging to Asef Mangera; $300 belonging to Latif Patel; one cellular phone and $350 (total value $2 150) belonging to Ahmed Kara; and one cellular phone and $50 (total value $1 850) belonging to Ismail Hans.
    At the time of the incident, lawmen said, the two had a firearm and a knife.
    Slocombe had pleaded not guilty to the charges on November 2, 2020, before Justice Greaves.
    Attorney Seantelle Parris appeared in association with Lashley who described the ruling in his client’s case as historic, as he noted that it is rare for confession statements to be thrown out in a voir dire.
    He contended that police could have recorded Slocombe’s station on camera, a procedure that currently has legislative backing.
    (emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb)

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  • Good job as usual, Carlisle Greaves! These allegations have been going on for too many years. Time this problem is solved. This is 2020 and technology is available.

    But why did Michael Lashley and Adriel Brathwaite and company allow this to happen to the suspect?????

    Allegedly happen, of course.

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  • @Donna

    Preferred others to make the observation. Many get caught up in the theatre losing sight of the root.

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  • ” their duty as young attorneys-at-law to the court and to their clients and as trustees in relation to funds that are placed in their care,” Marshall said.

    https://barbadosunderground.net/tales-from-the-courts/lawyers-in-the-news/

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  • Editorial
    Protecting the legal profession

    Coincidence or a pattern. It may be both.
    On a recent weekday, in an area that stretched from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago to New York, authorities monitoring the behaviour of members of the legal profession were voicing their deep and justifiable concern about a festering problem.
    The source of trouble: attorneys accused of fiddling with clients’ funds while failing to complete legal work for which they were paid.
    In Barbados’ case, the nation’s two top legal officers – new Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham and Attorney General Dale Marshall – both used the admission of 32 new lawyers to the Bar last week to remind the newly minted lawyers that trust and their code of ethics demanded the ultra-safeguarding of clients’ money as if their livelihood depended on it. Indeed, it does depend on it.
    Both spoke wisely.
    Sir Patterson, perhaps thinking about the words of a predecessor, Sir David Simmons, told them they should consider themselves “a trustee” but not “a beneficiary” of the funds that “are to be held for the prescribed period to be delivered undiminished to the person on whose behalf they are held. Deviation from this trust destroys public confidence in the administration of justice”.
    Back in 2008, Sir David addressed the issue of clients’ money when he told a new class of lawyers that “your clients’ account must not be used as your personal bank account”.
    Such action erodes trust, something that seems to be happening too often these days and, unfortunately, may be unjustifiably soiling the reputations of far too many lawyers.
    That was probably on the Attorney General’s mind when he said lawyers were not “untouchables”.
    “Unfortunately, the perception has been that lawyers can get away with anything, that lawyers can do what they like, that the system is closed and that no lawyer is ever going to be punished,” he said.
    That is not the case. Some lawyers have been disbarred or suspended and at least one went to jail for dipping into a client’s funds.
    Being suspended
    But Barbados is not alone. It was a coincidence, of course, but as Barbados was agonising over what was happening on its shores, four attorneys in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago were being suspended from practising law for not complying with orders of the Law Association’s Disciplinary Committee. In one case, a lawyer was reportedly suspended and barely escaped a jail sentence for not making restitution of a client’s missing funds.
    Senior New York State Appeals Court judge Sylvia Hinds-Radix, a Barbadian, said they had a somewhat similar problem in Brooklyn. She made it clear her court, which also admitted attorneys, was unrelenting in its efforts to eradicate the nightmare by punishing lawyers who misbehave.
    The situation in Barbados cries out for urgent remedy, some of which is already contemplated by the Government. At the top of that priority list must be a dramatic overhaul of the Legal Profession Act of the 1970s, a time when Barbados had about 100 attorneys, compared with today’s 1 000-plus.
    Reform of that law is overdue. “I expect that we will be giving some priority to make the necessary amendments” to the act, said Marshall.
    The new Law Reform Commission should rewrite the entire act next year and do so in a way gives the process additional teeth to crack down swiftly and fairly on some of the get-rich-quick-minded practitioners who are giving the profession a bad name.
    An important remedy would be giving a representative of civil society a voice in the disciplinary process; for instance, a priest. Next should be the introduction of a mandatory programme of continuing legal education for attorneys. Consideration should also be given to upgrading the role of established mentors who can help guide young lawyers.

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  • Whaaaaaat! Surely you jest! Up in Brooklyn, New York?????? That would have to be the overseas Bajans that carried their nasty Bajan Condition up in there!

    Wuhlaus!

    But I had been made to understand that the white man’s perfect system would have knocked them into perfect shape!

    🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️

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  • MOCKERY!
    Deputy DPP blasts automatic 3 months off a year at Dodds
    By Heather-Lynn Evanson heatherlynevanson@nationnews.com
    Every prisoner serving a sentence at HMP Dodds gets three months shaved off each year regardless of whether they behave well or curse prison officers.
    And this practice, said Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alliston Seale, makes a mockery of any rehabilitative and punitive effect prison is supposed to have.
    “The public must be [appalled] to hear this,” he declared. “I am sure the public does not know this because they would be shocked to find out that when the court sentences an individual to a term of imprisonment, he is sentenced to really nine months out of the year and gets it regardless of how he behaves.”
    This, said the prosecutor, made a “joke of the criminal justice system in Barbados”.
    Time off sentence
    Seale was speaking after the No. 2 Supreme Court had learnt, from manager of Maximum Security at the St Philip jail, Prison Officer Wayne Trotman, that regardless of infractions against the prison rules, a prisoner would still get the time off his sentence.
    The information came to light as the court dealt with convicted manslayer Ryan Omar Samuel, of Grape Hall, St Lucy, who was found guilty by majority verdict of unlawfully killing – manslaughter – Charley Dume on April 26, 2014.
    Samuel was originally on trial for murdering the man at Coyote’s Den, located at the corner of Wellington and Nelson Street, The City, after pumping seven bullets, at close range, into the unarmed shop attendant who supposedly disrespected his boss.
    Since he had been on remand, Samuel incurred five infractions against the prison’s rules – assaulting fellow inmate Pedro Caddle while they were on a prison bus; three instances of using abusive, insolent, threatening or improper language in the presence and hearing of a prison officer, and one instance of offending against good order and reasonableness by shouting.
    When he was questioned by Seale, Trotman revealed infractions did not affect the three months off a prison sentence.
    “Yes, he would still get nine months if he committed infractions,” Trotman said.
    It was this revelation that drew the ire of the senior prosecutor who said the policy forced him to question the rules of the prison.
    “I do not understand how we can have a prison system in Barbados and everybody calling a prison year, nine months. And you simply get nine months once you’re sentenced to a term of imprisonment. So, for 20 years, you get three months off of every year more or less, regardless of your behaviour. So, how do we expect that prisoners will behave?” he asked.
    “Well, no wonder they cuss the prison officers down by the cells and cuss them to go from ’round them and all sorts of things, because if your behaviour does not affect your term of imprisonment, if every year I do not come up for review to determine whether I get these three months or not and I have a right, because that is what it sounds like to me, that I have a right to remission of three months from the year regardless of how I behave, I am surprised there aren’t more riots in the prison.”
    Seale stressed that the three-month remission should be a privilege and not a right.
    If an inmate did not behave, he/she should be made to serve the full calendar year as imposed by the court, he said.
    “The court has sentenced you to a calendar year and only very well-behaved prisoners should get that remission.”
    “No wonder the prison officer said that everybody in Maximum Security infringes because they know full well they could cuss, fight, do as they like and still get three months off.
    “We must be making a joke of rehabilitation and reformation in Barbados because notwithstanding it has a rehabilitative effect, there is still the punitive effect and if in prison, of all places, you are sent to behave yourself, and you can’t behave, then where else will you behave?”

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  • Alison Seale is right on point. I have always labeled Dodds as Sandodds

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  • It must be embarrassing for someone somewhere to have the deputy solicitor general make an emphatic claim then to be refuted by the line manager responsible.

    No ‘ease’ for all
    Prison boss: Only some inmates get three months off
    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse has denied that inmates are automatically getting three months off each year of a sentence regardless of behaviour.
    Nurse told the MIDWEEK NATION that over the years there have been many prisoners who had this eligibility revoked for failure to adhere to the prison’s code of discipline or participate in the rehabilitative process.
    “It is not true that all prisoners automatically get that three months shaved off. It must be earned through good conduct and industry. In other words, if you are well behaved and you abide by the rules and you participate in the rehabilitation programme, you would generally get a good report and you get that three months shaved off,” said Nurse.
    Last week, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale complained that the practice of automatically reducing a prisoner’s year at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds to nine months, regardless of whether they were taking to the rehabilitative process, made a mockery of any rehabilitative and punitive effect prison was supposed to have.
    Shocking
    “The public must be [appalled] to hear this,” he declared. “I am sure the public does not know this because they would be shocked to find out that when the court sentences an individual to a term of imprisonment, he is sentenced to really nine months out of the year and gets it regardless of how he behaves,” he lamented.
    His comments came after the No. 2 Supreme Court learnt from manager of Maximum Security at the St Philip jail, Prison Officer Wayne Trotman, that regardless of infractions against the prison rules, a prisoner would still get the time off.
    However, Nurse said prisoners got no such free pass. He explained that the prison system had tiers of escalation in handling prisoner infractions and that the removal of the three-month reduction eligibility was among the last resorts. He said most prisoners shaped up long before the disciplinary process reached that stage.
    “All prisoners are eligible but if you read the law, it is clear. But, I understand what [Seale] is trying to say when he claimed that the process was automatic. Generally speaking, when people come to prison, they try to abide by the rules, they occupy themselves with the rehabilitation programmes. So generally speaking, you would find that most people will get those three months shaved off. It is only if you have serious breaches of discipline and you continue to breach discipline that you would find persons not qualifying.”
    Nurse pointed out that like any institution, there would be those who would attempt to run against the grain but said it was counterproductive to jump to the severest punishment at the first sign of an infraction.
    “Cumulatively, over the years, we would have gotten many persons who would not have qualified for this reduction in their sentence. You will always find prisoners who would not be industrious and who would not be of good behaviour, and so part of the disciplinary process in accordance with the law would be to lose some of that remission,” he said.

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  • Crown counsel: A clerical error
    Blame it on the clerk/ typist.
    This was the reason given by the Crown yesterday as to why documents in the Court of Appeal purported to show an appeal brought by a non-national who had his charges dismissed by the Magistrates’ Court.
    The matter was listed as Ralph Joseph James vs the Commissioner of Police and, as he perused the documents before him, Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham said he could not understand why someone who had all charges dismissed would want to appeal.
    James, 61, a marine engineer, of No. 58, Grants Avenue, Sydenham, Spanish Town, St Catherine, Jamaica, had been accused that within the limits of the island’s exclusive economic zone established by the Marine Boundaries and Jurisdiction Act Cap 387, he had cannabis in his possession; he had a traffickable quantity of the drug and he had it with intent to supply, on November 7, 2020.
    James’ attorney Ryan Moseley had argued Coast Guard sailors had no jurisdiction to arrest him where they did as the Barbados Territorial Waters Act
    sets the limits of the territorial waters at 12 nautical miles from the shore.
    He said there was a further 12 miles after those first 12 miles, called the contiguous zone, where Barbados could enforce laws in relation to immigration, customs and fiscal laws.
    He added the state only had a sovereign right in the exclusive economic zone, which then extended up to 200 miles off Barbados, in relation to the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of its natural resources. A drug charge, Moseley said, did not fall into that category.
    Crown Counsel Romario Straker, who appeared on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions
    (DPP), had agreed with the submissions since James was found 30 miles off the coast of Barbados, which meant he would have been in the exclusive economic zone. The matter was then dismissed and James was handed over to Immigration officials.
    Yesterday, Sir Patterson, who presided with Justices of Appeal Rajendra Narine and Francis Belle, said he was “seeing an appeal with the appellant being the very man who was freed, his counsel has certainly filed no claim in the matter and Romario Straker, who normally works for the DPP, is appealing on behalf, according to the documents in front of me, of the appellant who is Ralph Joseph James.
    “Is this appeal properly constituted?” the Chief Justice asked.
    Senior Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas, who represented the Commissioner of Police, said it was a “clerical error”.
    He said the appeal was filed within the seven-day stipulated time but “we have no control over the manner in which the documents are prepared”.
    However, Sir Patterson said the appeal documents stated “Ralph Joseph James”, as did the notice of appeal, the documents to prosecute the appeal and the grounds of appeal.
    “And at no time other than now are we picking up that we have the wrong appellant?” he asked.
    Crown Counsel Straker told the court he believed “this was a situation where the typist would have taken a form from before and filed in the names as she is accustomed to, as opposed to putting the information as it was on the written form”.
    When the court called on attorney Moseley to respond, he said he could not because he had not been served with any documents.
    “Mr Straker did call me to say he was appealing and I saw a newspaper article to say the Crown had appealed and that it is. We have
    no documents. We are at a disadvantage when it comes to arguing anything whatsoever,” he said.
    “But certainly I can say I acted for Mr James at the Magistrates’ Court and I informed him the Crown said they were appealing, and I told him I would share any documents with him once I had them. But as far as I know, Mr Straker never left his post to represent Mr James and asked him if to appeal anything, and I certainly had no instructions to appeal,” Moseley said.
    In the end, the court gave the Crown time to refile its documents and adjourned the matter until May 19.

    Source: Nation

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  • I have heard that a gentleman solicitor appears not to be fullfilling his duties. He has been given the red card and would have received documentation to that effect but he remains elusive. He needs to communicate to his client and sign of the relevant documents.

    Mia you need to sort out the legal mess on your island.

    Like

  • Who is this gentleman?

    Like

  • Attorney put out of court
    THE EVICTION of an attorney brought an abrupt end to a matter in the No. 4 Supreme Court yesterday.
    Jamaican attorney Marlon Gordon was put out of the court by Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell after he refused to comply with one of her rulings.
    The court was conducting a trial within a trial and hearing arguments in the absence of a jury as it dealt with the drug matters against Deon Maurice Knight, of Glenburnie, St John, and Dave Ricardo Fenty, of Durants Village, St James.
    Gordon was appearing for Knight, while attorney Ryan Moseley represented Fenty.
    It was as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale was cross-examining one of the accused that the judge was forced to repeatedly speak to Gordon.
    She then ordered that he be removed from the court.
    “He did not comply with my ruling so we adjourned the matter for today,” Justice Smith-Bovell later told the remaining attorneys and the accused.
    The matter will resume on June 16.

    Source: Nation Newspaper

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  • Lawyers ‘causing court backlog
    There were 70 Court of Appeal matters “lying idle”, where attorneys had filed nothing else but the notice of appeal, said Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham.
    So when the public and others blame the court for the backlog, it’s actually lawyers who should be taking the blame, he added.
    “On assuming office, I instructed that there be a serious dig in the Court of Appeal and that dig found 70 matters lying idle,” he revealed. “This is classic. A notice of appeal and nothing else. And we have been ferreting them out so that matters can be brought on for hearing.
    “So the word would go out that ‘we have filed an appeal and that inefficient court is doing nothing’. That’s not the story. It’s the lawyers who have done nothing.”
    The Chief Justice made the comments as he and his fellow Court of Appeal judges took attorneys from the firm Carrington and Sealy, who represented appellant Southern Golf and Country Club Ltd, to task for failing to appear yesterday.
    Southern Golf and Country Club Ltd had brought an appeal against a High Court decision given in favour of respondents Peter Sinclair Jackman, Marjorie Edina Jackman, Grantley Taylor, Hermine Pamela Taylor, Jedal Investments Ltd, Alamac Trading Ltd, Meghale Investments Inc., Ernest Enterprises Ltd, Stephen William Harold Tryhane and Osmond Crighton.
    When the matter, which was down for a case management conference, was called, attorneys Bryan Weekes, Satcha Kissoon, Marcel Al-Daher, Kevin Boyce and Edmund King, who represented the respondents, were present. However, there was no representative from Carrington and Sealy.
    The court was informed that a representative of the firm had sent a letter to the Registry requesting an adjournment in the matter. That letter was found and handed to the court.
    However, Sir Patterson noted that “even if they have a good reason for the adjournment, they still have to appear in court” to inform of those reasons.
    “It is their appeal,” he said. Justice of Appeal Francis Belle said that the court had been making every effort to ensure matters did not “sit in the Registry and gather dust”. He said the Civil Procedure Rules set out the guidelines for anyone, including counsel, who filed an appeal. “Clearly that has not been adhered to.” Justice of Appeal Belle said attorneys were officers of the court who had obligation to see matters processed, and not to waste the courts’ or other counsel’s time. “I do think counsel needs to be reminded of their responsibility to the court as officers of the court referring to the overriding objectives and the fact that we want to avoid backlog, unnecessary backlog.
    “Therefore, they need to make haste and decide what they are doing; otherwise, somebody else will have to decide for them,” he added.
    Justice of Appeal Margaret Reifer said she was especially concerned about the non-appearance of attorneys for the appellant since the decision from the High Court showed “quite clearly” that a team of “senior lawyers and juniors lawyers, all of whom are still in practice” had represented the entity.
    “And I think someone should have been here for the appellant this morning, especially given the fact that it is their appeal,” she said.
    Attorney Bryan Weekes noted that while there were time frames in which a notice of appeal must be filed, there was no time frame for service of it, and there was no requirement for the filing of an affidavit of service.
    “I don’t know if it is possible in the fullness of time that a Practice Direction may be able to be issued to correct that, but clearly to require the Registration staff to act as the police for the prosecution of appeals I don’t think is fair,” Weekes said.
    Sir Patterson later agreed and revealed that the Rules Committee was being activated “anytime now”.
    The matter was adjourned until June 3 for further case management.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • A good read. Not a B thing or a D thing.
    A Salemite/Abigail/pick-a-noise thing.
    Disadvantaging people.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/05/18/attorneys-back-ruling/

    Like

  • Jailed lawyer beefs up team
    Cheraine Nicole Parris, the attorney in jail for stealing a client’s money, has added another lawyer to her defence team as she seeks to have her sentence overturned.
    Last September, Justice Randall Worrell sentenced the lawyer, of Lowlands, Christ Church, to four years in prison for stealing $302 000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison, between April 15 and August 20, 2010.
    She had originally been charged with stealing $462 000 but was indicted for the lesser amount after she repaid the difference.
    Parris also admitted engaging in money laundering in that she disposed of $302 000, between April 15 and August 16, 2010, being the proceeds of crime.
    She had engaged the court in a Maximum Sentence Indication and had accepted the judge’s sentence.
    When the matter was heard on Thursday, attorney Marlon Gordon entered an appearance for Parris, while Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale appeared for the Crown.
    Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley, who appeared with attorney Sade Harris for Parris, told the Court of Appeal he had a discussion with Parris based on the
    record of the trial.
    “I have asked the appellant in terms of this matter moving forward . . . that if the appellant is so minded, that I will need it in writing in terms of her position with respect to the appeal, because I have my own professional opinion on the matter,” Lashley told Justices of Appeal Rajendra Narine, Jefferson Cumberbatch and Francis Belle.
    He added that Gordon had spoken to Parris and he (Lashley) would need to take further instructions from her.
    Justice of Appeal Narine told Parris and her attorneys that the appeal will be heard on July 14 “however your discussions turn out”.
    (HLE)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Why was he note cited? His head is bad.

    Attorney chided for disrupting court
    Embattled attorney Marlon Gordon found himself in more unwanted limelight yesterday when he was upbraided by an appellate judge for his “disrespectful and disruptive” behaviour during a murder appeal.
    When he was threatened with the possibility of contempt proceedings at the time, said Justice of Appeal Rajendra Narine, the attorney actually invited the court to cite him.
    “What transpired on that day was an experience that I have never encountered in 24 years on the bench – an attorney deliberately speaking over me, not allowing me to preside over the proceedings and simply refusing to listen,” Justice of Appeal Narine said.
    However, the Court of Appeal opted not to cite Gordon for contempt yesterday after the Jamaican tendered an apology to the court.
    “You were the highest court. You were also the Acting Chief Justice; one of my former teachers, Justice (Jefferson) Cumberbatch, was also sitting at the time and I felt that it wasn’t my brightest moment,” Gordon later said.
    “So I will extend to the court my sincere apologies . . . so that the matter as it is will not be repeated from my end,” he said.
    Justice of Appeal Narine recalled that it was during the first day of the appeal, brought by manslayer Junior Christopher Worrell, that there was a “prolonged incident” during which Gordon “continuously and deliberately interrupted” him.
    Justice Narine said he took the “preventative step” of adjourning the court.
    “I was unable to effectively say anything because any time I spoke, Mr Gordon spoke above me, thus preventing me from effectively presiding over the matter,” he said.
    “The conduct of Mr Gordon on that day I found to be disrespectful in the extreme and he showed a complete disregard for the authority of the court. His behaviour was also disruptive since the court could not proceed with its business.”
    The appellate judge said he warned the disruptive attorney about his behaviour, even telling him it could lead to contempt proceedings, only to have Gordon “invite” him to start such proceedings.
    He said he opted not to do so at the time but promised that once Worrell’s appeal was completed, the court would revisit the matter.
    Yesterday, the attorney was given an opportunity to “make a sincere and unqualified apology to the court for his conduct on that day and to give an undertaking to this court that such disrespectful and disruptive behaviour will not be repeated in the future”.
    Gordon said it was “rare” that he found himself in such a position before the Court of Appeal.
    He added his behaviour was influenced by his trying to get an adjournment in the appeal because he was preparing for several other matters.
    “Having practised for so many years in the court, it felt to me that I was under the microscope. I felt backed in a corner that I wasn’t accustomed to.”
    The lawyer said he had not anticipated some of the court’s comments, including that the delays occasioned by counsel were in contempt of court.
    “We do recognise how important times and deadlines are. It’s not an excuse for how I reacted. I can only ask that in spite of my approach to it, it was never intended to in any way assail the court’s authority over the proceedings. I lost my urbanity,” he said.
    “I will soldier on. I have undertaken to work faithfully, to work harder, to be more prepared and to be more on time.”
    Justice of Appeal Narine, as well as Justices of Appeal Jefferson Cumberbatch and Francis Belle, accepted the apology, with Justice of Appeal Narine saying the court never doubted Gordon’s sincerity when it came to representing his client.
    Last month, Gordon was put out of the No. 4 Supreme Court by Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell for similar disruptive behaviour when he refused to heed a ruling. (HLE)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • Lawyer denies theft and money laundering
    ATTORNEY ERNEST WINSTON JACKMAN made his first appearance on theft and money laundering charges at the High Court yesterday.
    Jackman, 66, of Wiltshire Plantation House, Wiltshire, St Philip, pleaded not guilty to stealing $678 414.75, between June 23, 2006, and March 5, 2007, belonging to HEJ Ltd.
    The lawyer also pleaded not guilty to directly engaging in transactions totalling $678 414.75, between June 23, 2006, and October 18, 2011, being the proceeds of crime.
    He was represented by attorney Mohia Ma’at, while Senior Crown Counsel Olivia Davis prosecuted.
    Justice Randall Worrell set October 4 as the date for trial.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • @ David June 1, 2021 6:04 AM

    Blogmaster, how could this M/L charge apply?

    Are the law enforcement agencies making mock-sport at Bajans by turning the Law into a bare-back ass braying in a circus to entertain the local monkeys?

    Didn’t this alleged theft take place between 2006 and 2011under the old ML legislation?

    Didn’t one of your “MIA” contributors called ‘Strong Head’ Greene, in association with Guy Mayers, argue vehemently that the previous piece of M/L legislation could not apply to the Donville Inniss case since the old law only applied to those acts involving illegal drug trafficking and terrorism.

    Same thing applies to poor old Leroy Parris who is still waiting, with his bevy of well-connected lawyers, to have his day in court in the year 3021.

    Like

  • @Miller

    What were the charges for Phillip Lumpy Nichols?

    Like

  • Lawyers get warning from magistrate
    Magistrate Elwood Watts has sounded a warning to lawyers that he will not be adjourning matters indefinitely for their benefit.
    His comments came in the wake of a theft charge which had been set for trial since October last year but is yet to begin.
    Prison officer Stephenson Ricardo Trotman, 45, of Block 11D Wotton Housing Area, Christ Church, was in the District “C” Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with stealing four bottles of diesel valued at $28.76, the property of the Crown, on May 14, 2018.
    When prosecutor Sergeant St Clair Phillips called the matter, he informed the court that defence counsel Arthur Holder was detained at High Court. There were four witnesses present.
    “Usually the lawyers say the prosecutor is not ready. I am ready to press ahead, with or without a lawyer,” Phillips informed the court.
    Magistrate Watts told Trotman: “If the shoe was on the other foot, then he would ask to have the matter dismissed for want of prosecution.
    I am not going to yield to any more adjournments. It is not that we don’t want him to do his other work, but give us dates we can work with.”
    The case was adjourned to August 4.

    Source: Nation News

    Like

  • Convicted attorney Pile must complete her prison term at Dodds says Appeal Court

    Article by
    Fernella Wedderburn
    Published on
    July 17, 2021

    Attorney Vonda Pile will not be practicing law for the foreseeable future after she lost an appeal against her theft conviction and three-year sentence before the Barbados Court of Appeal on Friday.

    However, Pile’s legal counsel Andrew Pilgrim Q.C. has already signalled their intention to take the matter before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – Barbados’ highest court.

    Pile was found guilty, by a 7-2 majority verdict, on June 5, 2019 of stealing $191,416.39 (US$96,008.22) from former client Anstey King between April 29, 2009 and October 26, 2010. The money was earmarked for the purchase of land. She was however acquitted on the charge of money laundering.

    The trial judge Justice Pamela Beckles in September 2019 sentenced Pile to three years in prison less 94 days.

    However, months after she was jailed, the well known lawyer of 27 years’ practice was granted bail following an appeal.

    After over a year on bail however, Pile was today sent back to Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds in St Philip to serve the remainder of the sentence.

    The development came when the panel of Appeal Justices Rajendra Narine, Jefferson Cumberbatch and Francis Belle “unanimously” upheld the jury’s verdict and judge’s sentence.

    “The conviction was . . . not disturbed. The appeal is therefore dismissed. Conviction and sentence are affirmed. Sentence will therefore run from the day the sentence was imposed. Time already spent serving sentence before bail was accessed will be deducted from the sentence – this is the unanimous decision,” Justice Belle said this morning as he gave a summary of the panel’s 40-page decision.

    Pile had challenged the verdict and sentence on a number of grounds, the majority of which the Court of Appeal judges “rejected”.

    Among them was that the court failed to withdraw the case from the jury at the end of the prosecution’s case; the trial judge failed to remedy the prejudicial evidence given by two of the Crown’s witnesses and that it was an abuse of process for the Crown to proceed with the charge of money laundering. The defense also argued that the trial judge failed to adequately put the appellant’s case to the jury – which the Appeal Judges described as “untrue;” and that the trial judge failed to direct the jury on several issues of law.

    Another ground was that the judge failed to give the customary “good character” direction to the jury.

    “On this matter the court felt that this was indeed an omission of the judge’s directions to the jury. It is clearly the law that the appellant was entitled to the good character direction and this probably should have been on both limbs [of] credibility and the propensity to commit the offence. . .

    “However, we also concluded that that omission was not fatal, since based on the strength and the evidence of the case – the jury would have inevitably convicted the appellant,” Justice Belle stated as he brought the matter – in which the respondent was represented by Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney and Crown Counsel Oliver Thomas and Kevin Forde – to a close.

    The sum of money for which Pile was convicted was part of a larger amount for the purchase of land at Maxwell, Christ Church.

    During the trial it was revealed that King had sent the deposit and purchase money to Pile with whom he had previously done business. He subsequently came to Barbados but after seeing the land said it was not the plot that he had agreed to purchase and requested his money back.

    Pile returned a portion of the funds but after several demands for the remainder, King took the matter to the police resulting in charges of theft and money laundering. (fernellawedderburn@barbadostoday.bb)

    Like


  • Convicted lawyer accepts sentence

    Article by
    Barbados Today
    Published on
    July 15, 2021

    Jailed attorney Cheraine Nicole Parris has had a change of heart and will no longer fight her four-year sentence before the Barbados Court of Appeal.

    When the convict appeared before the three-member panel of Justices Rajendra Narine, Jefferson Cumberbatch and Francis Belle this morning, her attorney Michael Lashley Q.C. said based on his consultation with his client “her desire is to abandon the appeal respectfully”.

    Justice Narine then granted leave for Parris to withdraw the appeal, in which Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale was representing the respondents.

    The convicted attorney had previously signaled an intention to appeal her sentence on a single ground that it was “unreasonable”.

    She was sentenced in September 2020 by Justice Randall Worrell to four years in prison for stealing $302,000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison between April 15 and August 16, 2010. Another four-year sentence was also imposed to run concurrent to the first, for engaging in money laundering by conducting a series of transactions in moving the cash, being the proceeds of crime.

    The money had been earmarked for the purchase of a condominium where Morrison was residing. The complainant had deposited in Parris’ account, a total of $462,000. Of that amount, $160,000 had been repaid in two separate payments– $150,000 in the first instance and then $10,000.

    Read our e

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  • A law firm (an attorney at law) advertising its services over the internet should have a secure international standard website.

    I entered the name of a well-know Barbados law firm into my search engine. My computer informed me that my connection to this site is NOT SECURE; YOUR CONNECTION IS NOT PRIVATE; YOUR CONNECTION TO THIS SITE ISN’T FULLY SECURE. ATTACKERS MAY BE ABLE TO SEE THE IMAGES YOU’RE LOOKING AT ON THIS SITE AND TRICK YOU BY MODIFYING THEM.

    The law firm in question has a hyphenated name.

    By the way, BU’s website is secure.

    Like

  • I am looking at the blogs posted here within the past few months. I get the impression that these misdeeds are being taken more seriously.

    I like this paragraph in one of the post
    “He said he opted not to do so at the time but promised that once Worrell’s appeal was completed, the court would revisit the matter.”

    Translation
    “Yuh play yuh bad. Wait and see.”

    Like

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