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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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315 thoughts on “LAWYERS in the NEWS

  1. Steupsss!!
    This comment from the AG characterizes the ridiculous process that has been ongoing in the House of Assembly of Jokers for the past weeks.
    -We elect ‘LEADERS’ to represent OUR collective interests.
    -THEY appoint officials to do the work
    -Then the parade the people that THEY appointed in public, to take the licks for the shiite that is ongoing.

    Standard management practice is that those with ultimate responsibility step forward to accept, and deal with WEAKNESSES, while sorting out their internal inefficiencies in private.

    Instead we have these jokers looking to grab the spotlight with every idiotic, knee-jerk, ‘initiative’, only to blame the friends & family that THEY appointed when the shit hits the fan.

    But brass bowls like that kinda thing, so Bushie is just observing….

    • @Bush Tea

      Explain yourself!

      You want Mottley and her AG (Executive) to pursue a dictatorial approach as it pertains to lawyers being intimidated to hold lazy judges (Judiciary) accountable?

  2. RU4Real David?

    You REALLY think that it is the duty of the Bar Club to enforce proper performance on their members who are employed by the crown?

    Boss, the ONLY interest of the Bar is to protect their professional status and to ensure that no kind of audit of client fees EVER occurs bout here, and to ensure that the bar remains ’solid’…

    It is the role of the damn ADMINISTRATION (ie the Ministry, PS, AG, and ultimate the PM) to ensure that proper management practices and RESULTS are obtained for the salaries paid.

    You had better have ANOTHER look at the MPH video about Singapore….

    It is actually simply a matter of setting MINIMUM performance STANDARDS and enforcing them. (Check out what a ‘meritocracy’ means).

    The idea that adding more lazy, unsupervised judges to the pool of non-performers would do ANYTHING except increase the Mercedes Benz fleet was always laughable….

    • @Bush Tea

      This article will interest you.

      A society of moral blind spots
      There are many things going wrong in Barbados today, many of them relate to an almost complete lack of moral insight and empathy.
      By Ralph Jemmott
      An article in the DAILY NATION of March 7 caught my attention and I read it with a sense of hurt and no small feelings of disgust and anger.
      Headlined No Remorse Shown By Lawyer, it told the story of a family deprived of a not inconsiderable sum of money by an attorney at law. One of the injured parties, a Mrs Hortensia Ward, was reading a victim impact statement in the No. 2 Supreme Court on the previous day, March 6. She admitted that penning the statement had been difficult for her brother and herself because it meant “reliving the years of emotional, physical and financial suffering we experienced because of this dishonest act”.
      Mrs Ward, speaking on behalf of her family, told the court that what was particularly distressing was the fact that the attorney, who by the way has been convicted of the charge, “showed no sign of remorse during the court case or the entire trial . . . knowing that he had dealt with us dishonestly and unfairly”.
      The instances of lawyers misappropriating clients’ monies to their own uses are now legion and must be stopped. The distress it has caused the offended family and others is heart-rending.
      What amoral impulse would prompt a lawyer to divert the profits from the sale of someone else’s property to his or her own account to pursue “a lavish lifestyle” for themselves?
      There are many things going wrong in Barbados
      today, many of them relate to an almost complete lack of moral insight and empathy. We busy ourselves with all kinds of concerns many of which are legitimate without recognising that at the base of most of the issues, be they gun violence, drug use and abuse and other forms of social deviance is a decline in our moral compass.
      The legal case in point indicates a total lack of moral vision, a frightening absence of any semblance of ethical awareness . . . a total blind spot.
      There are at least three obsessions in human existence in which it is possible to display evidences of a moral vacuum that create individually and collectively destructive pathologies. One is the obsession with power and its derivative status where persons are increasingly prepared to do anything to get by and exhalt themselves.
      The second is the obsession with pleasure where we exploit each other for our selfish gratification, including our sexually predatory instincts.
      The third and increasingly the most pervasive is the obsession with money and the host of material things it can now purchase. A consuming greed, the love of money is certifiably the root of many evils. How in this world does one explain the scourge of human trafficking and the large scale shipment of narcotics that we know will destroy human lives.
      Some of these pathologies seem endemic in human nature. As one writer observed, “nothing straight has ever been created out of the crooked timber of humanity”, and truth be told we all suffer some degree of moral turpitude. Perhaps it is the result of the Biblical notion of original sin.
      Perhaps in old age and cogitating on the prospect
      of personal and collective human redemption, one grows increasingly less hopeful of either or both.
      Some of the issues we face including the legal one presented in the Supreme Court No. 2 on March 6, 2023 can be fixed. Laws can and must be passed that prevent the monies from the sale of a client’s estate being deposited in any lawyers’ account and if such monies are paid, the same must by law be paid into the client’s account within a very constricted period of time, under penalty of the severest censure. What is so difficult about that?
      The problem is the moral blind spot when it comes to money, particularly in the area of white collar crime. Too often the white collar criminal is seen as smart, a clever person. A non-Barbadian gentleman (and one uses the term advisedly) once told me that back in his homeland, his father had cheated another man out of his money.
      The tone of the remark signified some level of gratification, to which I asked what was there about that that would make him feel so proud. His reply was “my father was the smarter of the two”.
      After that I chose to disassociate myself from the said “gentleman”.
      Too many people in Barbados know how to side-step our frustrating loopholes in the law or its excessively lenient vernacular. The law knows the omission but refuses to do anything perhaps due to the moral blindness of those who are in a position to ameliorate the situation. Spiritual wickedness in high places? What kind of social order are we building?
      Certainly the evidence does not suggest that we are building a Winthropian “Shining City on a Hill”.
      Ralph Jemmott is a social commentator and former educator.

      Source: Nation

    • Good morning Boss…
      No interest really…
      Ralph Jemmott writes as if this is some kind on anomaly, when he HAS to know that this shiite is endemic.
      It is precisely because we all PRETEND that things are generally OK that such wickedness prevails.
      Why is Jemmott not calling DAILY, for those shiite lawyers to be subjected to annual audits of their clients accounts, with the results to be published publicly, .. just like they publish financial statements of public companies and banks that hold customer funds?
      Why is Jemmott not calling on the FSC to apply their anti money laundering rules to these damn lawyers – just like they do to little people like vendors who want to open a small bank account?
      Perhaps (??) like some others who will not be mentioned here, Jemmott has some legal ‘connections’ and wants to avoid their wrath… 🙂
      Lotta shiite…. A fake attempt at ‘righteous indignation’ by Jemmott …in Bushie’s humble (or perhaps not-so-humble) opinion… LOL

    • @Bush Tea

      Jemmott is not of my time – perhaps yours LOL – but you are aware many of our esteemed lawyers attended schools with sought after school ties. Would a teacher of such men be inclined to advocate what you suggested? Barbados is a small and clannish society. You are astute enough to complete the blogmaster’s thought.

    • Touché
      Right on all counts.
      Perhaps even some level of responsibility for the status quo..?

  3. The blogmaster reminds me of a man on a bus for which has lost its four wheels four wheels. Instead of looking at his dire situation, the man takes the time to point out the four wheel are still rolling down the highway.

  4. A great fan of Ralph Jemmott but I disagree with the following.
    ” Laws can and must be passed that prevent the monies from the sale of a client’s estate being deposited in any lawyers’ account and if such monies are paid, the same must by law be paid into the client’s account within a very constricted period of time, under penalty of the severest censure. What is so difficult about that?”

    New laws for the same crooked lawyers will not solve this problem. The solution is to separate the lawyer from the vast bulk of the client funds from the very start.

    Here is the solution:
    1. A serious, detailed and HONEST estimate is made of the lawyers fees.
    2. The lawyer is paid his fees.
    3. The remainder minus a suitable small portion is paid to the client. That small portion is then used to settle any outstanding balances.
    4. All transactions should be completed in a short time.

    Basically, at the settling, there should be a cheque for the lawyer, a cheque for the client and perhaps a third cheque to settle ‘outstanding’ fees (someone can work out the third cheque bit, I am not being paid). T

    The lawyer’s and the client’s monies need to be separated at the settling.

    Comments are welcome.

    • There is an even simpler solution.

      All Lawyers SHALL maintain one or more escrow accounts ONLY for Clients Funds.

      On completion of settlements, the lawyer SHALL instruct the payer to

      – Disburse the client’s portion of the settlement directly to the client and the lawyer’s fees directly to the lawyer


      – Deposit ALL funds received to their Escrow account wherein the client SHALL be notified in writing of their funds availability for collection no later than 5 working days after the funds have cleared.

  5. A bit disappointed with RJ’s article. Calling for new laws and not fully addressing the elephant in the room. He addressed the rear end – the crooked lawyers.

    He ignored the crooked judges and the farcical crooked justice system that spits on victims that comes before it.

  6. @ Theo
    The truth is that knee jerk ‘solutions’ like demanding separate cheques may not be the solution either.
    Serious issues can arise when, say an insurance company writes a payout cheque to an individual – only to have someone else crawl out of the woodwork to claim THEIR just part of payout.
    Most companies will not expose themselves to that possibility, NOR pay the cost of the research and due diligence needed to do so.


    The VERY simple solution is to enforce the VERY SAME laws that apply to OTHER professions who hold client’s money such as banks, insurance companies etc.. (and who would be inclined to misuse those funds too – except for the consequences)

    ANNUAL AUDITS and public review of results.

    (although Bushie admits that we have this at the very highest level with the Auditor General and yet the process is frustrated by the political/lawyer fraternity who are able to frustrate the needed consequences)

    In reality, the ultimate answer was enunciated by EWB some years ago when he proposed that all lawyers be given a free cruise …in a leaky boat… in rough seas…

    • If I may (in layman speak) offer a few remarks…

      1st… when I read Mr Jemmont’s remarks I copied the same section that I then saw had caught @Theo’s attention … I had, however, a diametrical different analysis.

      2nd … I also thought as the Blogmaster and @BushGriot noted that Jemmont was essentially kowtowing to a system which he perpetuated (and effectively helped build as a leading educator) and was somewhat ‘mealy-mouthed’ (even if eloquently so😎) in his initial remarks!

      That said … his comments that “”Laws can and must be passed that prevent the monies from the sale of a client’s estate being deposited in any lawyers’ account and if such […] by law be paid into the client’s account within a very constricted period of time…”” is a bluntly sound doctrine that should have been done EONS ago … the reasons it has not are difficult to grasp but easy to understand (as suggested above).

      Moreover, it comprehensively incorporates the other alternative suggestions with its blunt note that “such monies […] same must by law be paid into the client’s account within a very constricted period of time”.

      And to @BushGriot …”when, say an insurance company writes a payout cheque to an individual – only to have someone else crawl out of the woodwork to claim THEIR just part of payout” …

      … isn’t it the RESPONSIBILITY of the Insurer/Payer to ENSURE that no fraud or other misrepresentation is made regarding any payout!!

      I am taken aback by the remark that “Most companies will not expose themselves to that possibility, NOR pay the cost of the research and due diligence needed to do so.” … If fraud is adjudged the burden would be on WHO was mamaguyed of course but still a great burden would initially be on the company surely!

      And to your other point, if there is a “VERY simple solution [and] VERY SAME laws that apply to OTHER professions who hold client’s money” then surely it would also have been automatically applied to lawyers.

      The fact that it doesn’t is many fold but surely two factors stand out.

      1)_attorneys act as key agents for the client as they know very personal, in depth facts about same. As such the TRUST of client to attorney is considerable right up to the point of betrayal. That trust dependency generally DOES NOT happen with a bank or an insurance company or any other business relationship!

      2)_in most civil matters (like land deals) clients do not perceive that it’s necessary to establish a contract within a contract with their attorney i.e to determine when monies MUST be paid after a transaction is completed. They should and it should be de rigueur. Just as lawyers will often demand a payment schedule (deposit prepay to start, and installments along the way) so should clients DEMAND such.

      Not to suggest that it’s the fault of clients in these matters but simply stated this (swamp life) has been on going far TOOO long and as consumers we MUST enforce change by being more proactive…. to as you say exact “consequences” on these entitled lawyers.

  7. BTW @the Blogmaster, are there no attorneys in Bim who see the upside to building a practice (lucrative too I would imagine) on the basis of servicing the many aggrieved clients like the family highlighted above.

    That’s a sizeable sum ($457,000+) and using the same legal system to enforce a lien on the lawyer’s assets (surely he can’t hide eva thing) and sell property or seize bank accounts would be worthwhile.

    Yes of course it means the plaintiff family are giving up monies which is already theirs but 90% (let’s say or even if only 70% is recovered) of $457K is substantially better that 0%!

    It’s confusing that the family got not a penny since the judgement was lodged against this attorney …

    Life can be a *itch … had this attorney suffered a mugging which left him badly handicapped or other misfortunate struck a member of his family we would be empathetic being unaware of his evil business behaviour … now knowing the above it would more be to that ‘karma’ we hear so much about!

    • @Dee Word

      Do you mean a lawyer willing to create a niche that feeds on the dysfunction of the legal establishment?

  8. @BT
    Gentlemen, I have read your submission and though in principle I agree with them, my perspective remains unchanged. You see a system that can be made to work with minor fixes. But it is difficult to see how this cabal of experienced crooks would fix/enforce anything that would separate them from their client funds.

    Sometimes, I wonder if this system is not working exactly how it is expected to work. Victims come to the court, they see fancy lawyering and then they get robbed three times when justice is dispensed.
    1) The crooked lawyer gets to keep all of the money the money

    2) They then have to pay a next (possibly just as crooked) lawyer for his her representation. Allow me to misquote Benjamin Franklin: A “Bajan’ between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.

    3) A clown in a gown utters some sweet words and send them away empty handed. A mockery, a scam, a scam, farcical junk justice.

    Those who run this system and benefit from it will be reluctant to change it; and if they do, they will mouth the sweet words but continue to deliver junk justice to clients.

    I read your submission, but you may have the same failing of Mr. RJ. The solution to this problem is to keep the bulk of the clients’ funds out of the hands/accounts of lawyers.

  9. @Hants
    Not if I can avoid it.

    Was planning to move in at cuhdear, but she is in hiding (I hope all is well with her), there has been invite from Donna or ‘The A guy’ and Lorenzo is not on the list) on my squatters list as I suspect his welcome would include a bullwhip and a pot of urine.

    So, it is either Trinidad or Florida, but I am hoping that I don’t find any flights that go past Miami.

  10. Lawyer accused of stealing money

    Attorney Philip Nicholls made his first appearance before the High Court yesterday on a theft charge relating to over $670 000.
    Nicholls, 62, of No. 8 Pine Gardens, Pine Plantation Road, St Michael, was in the No. 2 Supreme Court, where the matter was transferred to Supreme Court No. 5.
    He is accused of stealing $674 172 belonging to Hazel Connor between February 28 and October 16, 2008.
    Money laundering charge
    He is also accused that between February 28 and October 16, 2008, he engaged in money laundering in that he directly engaged in transactions totalling $674 172 being the proceeds of crime.
    He was represented by Sir Elliott Mottley SC, and attorneys Romain Marshall and Amanda Best, while Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale appeared for the State.
    Justice Randall Worrell transferred the matter to the No. 5 Supreme Court and the accused’s counsel will appear there on April 3 for case management.

    Source: Nation

  11. Dear Blogmaster,

    Would you update your image carousel to

    1. Reflect the additional names of Ernest Jackman.

    2. The 2nd lawyer who recently got locked up and

    3. A front view of David Bryan

  12. Norman Leroy Lynch is the name you are looking for.
    Did he get time?
    Do you know how much?
    Do you have a link?

  13. Phillip Nicholls complainant are dead …
    In a small section in today’s BT’s epaper
    “Dead complainants creates challenges in case against a lawyer”.

    “Nicholls is alleged to have stolen $674,172 belonging to Hazel Connor, and engaging in transactions totaling $674,172 being the proceeds of the crime between Feb 28 and October 16, 2008, but he has not yet been arraigned in High Court on these charges.”

    Yesterday when the case was called the DPP said “The complainants I have a challenge with, in the sense that they are dead”.

    Cases of these types are sham justice… The delay and delay until you die..
    It puzzles me that these lawyers have an idea that you will die before they do.

  14. Two categories of complainant in Barbados – Reluctant or Dead
    — x–
    Here’s a snippet from a 2019 article

    “Neither the Barbados Bar Association (BBA) nor the police can take action against crooked lawyers if their clients who have been wronged do not come forward.

    So says president of the association Liesel Weekes, who admitted that while there had been ‘talk’ of certain lawyers being dishonest, evidence had to be presented to justify those claims and to have that judicial officer punished.”

    So you step forward and the system stalls and strings you along until you are dead. Then they call your name in court one of their courts after you are dead.

    Judge “Theo, are you here? Calling Theo to court B. Looks as if Mr Theo does not want us to proceed with this case today, let’s postpone it”.

    Court clerk “Your honor, Theo is dead”.

    Judge: “Dead. He wasted my time. He should have croaked years ago.
    Who is the next croaker? Oops I mean what is the next case?”

    • Cannot believe this. I feel like crying for some of these victims.
      Forced to play the silly game where the final outcomes are robbery or death.

      Sham/Scam justice.

  15. Senior judge highlights shortcomings of Caribbean’s court system

    Article by Barbados Today
    Published on
    April 19, 2023

    By Jenique Belgrave
    Kooyman elton rohn 300×300

    With victims of crime having to wait years for justice to be served, Judge Jacob Wit of the Caribbean Court of Justice is calling for a “robust” and “thorough” overhaul of the justice system.
    Speaking on Tuesday as part of a panel at the regional crime and violence symposium at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad, Justice Wit highlighted that it is not fair so many victims experience lengthy delays before their matters are tried.
    “There are the sexual offences where a girl of 16 is raped, and then it takes 16 years or 14 years before that case is tried. What kind of justice is that? Now this lady is 30. She may be married, she may have children, she may have never told her husband about what happened to her when she was 16. And now you have to appear before the court and tell it all over again. So it’s no wonder that witnesses are not very happy to do that and that means that evidence evaporates and the guilty person might be freed,” he added.
    The judge painted a similar picture of witnesses being made to repeatedly return to court.
    “They come, they wait for hours, they are sent back. ‘Come back next month,’ et cetera, et cetera. That is not fair to witnesses.”
    He insisted that the justice system must not only be fair for all involved, but it must be effective.
    “It is true that a criminal justice system must be fair and must be seen to be fair, but above all, it must be effective in protecting the rights of all. In fact, a profusely ineffective criminal justice system can hardly ever be fair. So we recognise that the system as it is now functioning or actually dysfunctioning needs thorough overhaul. Small piecemeal changes cannot do the work. There needs to be a very profound look at our criminal justice system,” he contended.
    On the first day of the symposium, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley expressed concern about persons being out on bail for murder, which she recalled did not happen three decades ago.
    Commenting on this, Wit explained that it is a direct result of the lengthy delays being experienced by persons awaiting trial. He agreed that this never happened before and that was because cases made it to court quickly.
    Saying many countries across the English-speaking Caribbean are experiencing a heavy backlog in criminal cases because they inherited “the wrong (justice) system”, the judge put forward some suggestions as he insisted on much-needed improvement.
    He said a “strong pre-trial process” must be created.
    “There must be a sifting of cases because if more than 70 per cent end with acquittals, there must be something wrong with the system. In any properly functioning system, acquittals might be not more than ten per cent. If cases simply do not have sufficient evidence, they need to end in a release…There needs to be much more plea bargaining. That is what the Americans do where 70 per cent of all the cases are plea bargained. That’s why they can get their cases done. That’s only very small here. And the third point is to improve and broaden the judge-alone trials,” he advised.
    Wit noted that the CCJ Academy will be hosting a conference in Barbados this October to look at criminal justice reform.

  16. @ Theo
    Boss, you NEED to write some calypsos…

    You are SWEET AS SHIITE in your articulation of the persistent shaving cream being liberally dispensed in Brassbados.
    …and you make it as CLEAR as glass, what the legal degenerates are up to… even BBs such as Enuff and the others of that ilk cannot fail to get your message…

    Please Theo… or should Bushie say, the ‘Mighty Gazzarts KC’… a calypso

  17. Gov’t has scrapped titles QCs and KCs for lawyers in Bim, from now on they will be known as SCs or Senior Counsels and new members to the Inner Bar will have that designation.

    A change that was long overdue.

  18. @David, whatever became of that matter above related to ‘Flabby’ Nicholls?

    It’s amusing, in a sarcastic sense, to re-read these old files and reflect on how endlessly we have debated the ‘deliberate’ state of legal dysfunction here and in the region.

    On the matter of that ‘alleged’ theft of over 1/2 million $$ by Nicholls I am unclear why the executors of Ms. Connor’s estate would be unable to pursue and/or continue a new case of her missing funds and thus also why the case should ‘go away’ at her death.

    When we die a ‘probate’ matter has to be done to ensure that any debts/liens/etc. are handled accordingly so from a simple lay perspective it baffles me that any outstanding credit matters would also not be handled by the estate of the deceased.

  19. ” Government has scrapped the titles of Queen’s Counsel and King’s Counsel for lawyers in Barbados, almost two years after the country broke ties with the British monarchy under which those designations were given.

    But one senior attorney has suggested that a much larger issue than designations needs to be addressed.

    In the Official Gazette dated September 1, it was announced that Cabinet agreed that the use of the QC and KC titles “is hereby discontinued”.

    “All members of the legal profession who are currently appointed to the rank will now be known as Senior Counsel and use the post-nominals ‘SC’,” it added, noting that the new designation would apply to members of the legal profession who will be appointed to the Inner Bar in the future.”

  20. @dpd
    The relatives know that a next 15 years is possible and if they ‘behave’ badly they may die in 2038 or be off the NIS lift.
    Why would they get on a slow track to nowhere

    TheO’s Counsel (TC)

  21. The pretense is killing me and destroying the nation.

    I continued to be amazed at how some come here and pretend we have a working court.

    With our court,
    victimization is double;
    persevering and fighting a case is seen as desiring more abuse;
    mock/sham justice is the order of the day;
    lawyers become orators and story tellers;
    judges become blind to the victim cries
    an return mock justice to victims

    My advice- if you have money in your pocket put it under your bed and don’t go to a lawyer,
    If you have land pray that it is not beachfront and a small piece, and if you don’t have anything … at the moment, give thanks to God..

    When they set up these medical centers, try to hold on to your body parts.

    These guys are smarter than the Mafia. They don’t use guns, the use the police and big books. They can make your money disappear faster and better than any magicians. Magician make quarters disappear, these guy disappear hundred of thousand of dollars

    My heart cries for you.

    • What a true and absolutely ACCURATE account of the current dastardly state of legal affairs bout here..!!!

      Have we NO shame at all?!

      Such a situation is ONLY explainable by a curse such as the one Pharaoh suffered when confronted by Moses….

      ANY sane leader would have let go after the damn frogs..
      ….and after the NIS/Radical/Four Seasons/Steel Houses/Education…..disasters…

      Bushie supposes that we will have to await ‘the passover…’

  22. Surprise at the growth of NO.
    I can see that he knows it.
    More growth is expected

    Surprise at the stunting opf dpd. No more growth is expected. Maxed out at 5ft 2in, 360 lbs

  23. “So you step forward and the system stalls and strings you along until you are dead. Then they call your name in court one of their courts after you are dead.”

    They simply postpone repeatedly and wait for you to die or help you along if the estate in question, is that wealth generating, easiest scam in the world..

    ..i would know nothing about any of it if i did not see it myself or had elements of it practiced on me….as weee have known for YEARS and particularly after such mentally damaging mind bending experiences and wicked practices which has absolutely nothing to do with law……..the judiciary has STALLED…DEAD STOPPED…cant function or move a step further…just like the parliament…only an INDEPTH radical and COMPLETE..surgically PRECISE overhaul and REMOVAL of ALL CULPRITS.. can fix it…no one on the island has the inclination, intelligence or bring forth that severing. ..or it would already be done…..this has to be handled at a much different level.

  24. Senior Counsel title proposed for 12 more lawyers

    Less than a week after the announcement that Queen’s Counsel and King’s Counsel designations would be scrapped and replaced with Senior Counsel, a proposal has been made that six attorneys, including Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams and two sitting parliamentarians, should be granted the title.
    Member of Parliament for St James North Edmund Hinkson and parliamentary representative for St Michael Central Arthur Holder along with former parliamentarian Rudolph Cappy Greenidge have been selected, according to a September 4, 2023 document obtained by Barbados TODAY.
    The State House document, under the title ‘Appointment of Senior Counsel’, indicates that acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, President Dame Sandra Mason had proposed to grant the honour to the listed attorneys-at-law.
    The other eight identified were Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale, Deputy Chairman of the Employment Rights Tribunal Kathy-Ann Hamblin, Tammy Bryan, Gillian Clarke, Anika Jackson, Stephen Lashley, Angella Mitchell-Gittens, and Liesel Weekes.

    • Congratulations to Alliston Seale. ‘Time definitely flies.’ I remember when he was a young RBPF recruit at the ‘Training School.’ All the best to him as he continues his journey in law enforcement.

  25. @ David,
    These forking idiots live in a dimension of their own. There obsession with titles is quite simply nauseating! Good to see that the powers that be have found a function for the anonymous, obsolete and irrelevant President Mason. How ironic we should select a president called Mason! As Bushie would argue the damn place is cursed!

  26. ” Queen’s Counsel are entitled to charge fees that are significantly higher than a junior counsel, that being an attorney who does not have “silk”, as QC’s are also referred to due to the material of their courtroom robes.

    If a litigant loses a case and has to pay costs to the other side, they would typically pay more when a QC is involved as their hourly rates are more.”

    • Yuh HAVE to admire the TOTAL lack of SHAME in the legal profession though…
      Shiite man!!
      Only violent repeat criminals have worse reputations than them, ….and yet THEY run things bout here….

      Now DAT is curse!!!

  27. As Bushie would argue the damn place is cursed!
    Not only Bushie Boss…

    Bare brass bowls bout Bubadus been begging Bushie to bring a bush bath by to bathe duh burro.


      By Emmanuel Joseph

      A constitutional lawyer has suggested that legislation may be needed to determine which attorneys-at-law are given the title of Senior Counsel (SC), amid the debate regarding the selection of 12 lawyers for the honour.
      Garth Patterson SC has also questioned on what authority Cabinet had replaced the King’s Counsel (KC) and Queen’s Counsel (QC) titles with that of SC.
      He raised the issues as he and other senior attorneys interviewed separately by Barbados TODAY acknowledged that no legal or constitutional criteria exist for lawyers to qualify for the SC designation.
      Their comments come a day after it was reported by this media house that acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, President
      Dame Sandra Mason had proposed to grant the honour of Senior Counsel to a dozen attorneys, including a government minister, two sitting members of parliament and one former parliamentarian.
      Patterson and Hal Gollop SC confirmed that selection is ultimately left to the discretion of the Prime Minister and Patterson further suggested that even the committee which makes recommendations to the Prime Minister has no legislative guidance.
      “There is no legislation that supports the committee…. It is an ad hoc committee. There is no legislation to support the formation of the committee or membership of the committee. So all I can say is that the process seems to be ad hoc and the composition of the membership seems to be ad hoc,” the senior counsel said.
      Asked what he would suggest to enhance the existing process, Patterson said there would first have to be a legislation framework.
      “Secondly, you would have to have clear guidelines and criteria for appointments for the office of senior counsel. You would also have to have provision for independence in the process so that the committee is constituted by legislation for the expressed purpose of having responsibility for applying the criteria by legislation,” he suggested.
      Patterson added that the committee should comprise a broad spectrum of society and not be “overly” political.
      Gollop did not agree with his colleague that any such legislation is needed.
      “There is a strong discretion in the hands of the Prime Minister. I don’t know of any other format by which they may be appointed. There used to be a custom, I believe, that you had to be a lawyer for ten years or more and you had to be a leader…a mentor of younger attorneys.
      What you need is a system where you are sure that you have people who are highly qualified,” he told Barbados TODAY.
      In a notice issued late Thursday, the Government Information Service confirmed that among those in the first cohort of SCs since Barbados became a republic on November 30, 2021 are Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams, Speaker of the House of Assembly Arthur Holder, government backbencher Edmund Hinkson, and former member of parliament and government minister Rudolph Cappy Greenidge.
      The others are Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale, deputy chairman of the Employment Rights Tribunal Kathy-Ann Hamblin, former president of the Barbados Bar Association Liesel Weekes, Tammy Bryan, Gillian Clarke, Anika Jackson, Stephen Lashley, and Angella Mitchell-Gittens.
      On September 1, almost two years after Barbados ditched the British monarchy as its head of state, a notice was published in the Official Gazette advising that Cabinet had agreed the titles of QC and KC – the latter which was unofficially adopted after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September last year and her son Charles’ subsequent ascension to the throne – would be immediately discontinued.
      However, Patterson contended that Cabinet did not have the authority to make that change.
      “It has to be something that is done by legislation and that legislation would give that responsibility to someone. So, there is no legislation in place that governs the process.
      So, it’s a mystery to me,” he declared.
      Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Lalu Hanuman referred to the recent abolition of the QC and KC titles as “a paradox”.
      “The paradox is that in abolishing the QC and the KC and replacing it with SC, the feudalistic colonial institution is left very much intact. It’s only those countries that follow the British system of a special category for lawyers that have this absurdity. The very concept is based on monarchical favouritism,” the outspoken lawyer said.
      He was adamant that there is no place for “this colonial relic” in a genuine republic.
      Last week, after the notice was published in the Official Gazette, Ralph Thorne SC suggested that any genuine reform of the system by which people are given the title must clarify whether it is based on years of service or demonstrated excellence.
      “I have been around long enough to know that it has often been a system of reward rooted in particular favour related to image and stereotype. On this occasion, I remember those of worth who passed on and were denied elevation in spite of their professional, intellectual and academic merit,” he had told Barbados TODAY.
      “I hope that one day the profession will have the courage to extricate itself from these false paradigms and say whether they wish to reward longevity, or whether they wish to reward excellence. The problem in assessing the latter is that it presents a return to the subjective frailties of those who are given the responsibility to evaluate. The only safe system may be that of acknowledging the virtue of longevity in the law.”

  28. The blogmaster anticipated this editorial given the activity of certain blogs in recent weeks. You are welcome.

    Untenable delay in delivery of judgments

    It has never been fully disclosed who tried to come up with the sound idea of judges in Barbados being removed from the bench for failing to establish timely decisions.

    Given the growing dissatisfaction when it comes to delivering justice, the authors of this provision must be disappointed.

    Just recently, this issue came to the fore again when it was reported that there were several written complaints calling for judges who had taken more than the sixth-month period to deliver decisions to be held accountable. In some cases, the decisions were more than three years overdue.

    That focus occurred at a time when the top brass of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the region’s top court, was in Barbados attending a three-day CCJ Academy for Law Seventh Biennial Conference.

    The question for many is how did we get here, especially after Government a couple of years ago, hired more judges to address the backlog while amending the Constitution in 2021 to allow for the removal of judges from the bench for delaying the delivery of judgements.

    According to the law, “a judge may be removed from office only for the inability to discharge the function of his (or her) office (whether arising from inability of body or mind or any other cause); for misbehaviour, or for delay of more than six months.” That’s an iron clad measure that helps to ensure judicial independence and it must remain a fact of life.

    The trouble is that our courts are earning a reputation for moving at a less than crawling pace of justice delivery. Reasons abound for this.

    First, the delay in getting police reports to magistrates and judges when they need them. Another is the poverty of many defendants who are often left to languish on remand because they cannot afford to retain attorneys to speed up their cases or meet bail. Next are the frequent requests from defence attorneys for postponement and continuances which often result in longer than desirable pretrial incarceration for clients.

    This is an untenable situation guaranteed to ensure we run fast to remain in the same spot.

    It must be noted that Barbados’ courts are not alone. In parts of Illinois, it may take at least two years to bring a murder case to trial while in Northern Ireland efforts to streamline the courts’ way of handling sex cases that were originally scheduled in 2020 to be implemented in two to three years, may take as long as 2025 to reach that point. In Zimbabwe and the Cameroons, the wait is even longer.

    What then should be done? The CCJ has crafted a well-designed pathway that can lead to the sanctioning of judges who are not meeting the threshold of timeliness in handing down judgment and some of its approaches seem tailor-made for Barbados’ judicial headaches.

    Every week, our courts deal with emotionally troubling sex cases, some dating back years. The judiciary should review its sex trial procedures to minimise the embarrassment felt by young victims who step forward to give evidence about their experience. We must create a more friendly and less traumatic atmosphere for children in court.

    Our civil courts, too, also seem to take forever to reach a conclusion, a matter that needs to be rectified.

    At the end of the day, our judiciary must be held accountable.

    Source: Nation

  29. Around and around we go.

    Prosecuting department could ‘help clear backlog’

    GIVING MAGISTRATES expanded jurisdiction will not help the backlog – which was 16 000 cases earlier this year – but only compound matters, some lawyers argued yesterday.

    Rather, advised senior attorney Sir Elliott Mottley, they should be sitting longer with additional resources, including prosecutors.

    He called into Starcom Network’s Brass Tacks Sunday radio programme yesterday which was discussing the backlog and the issue of crime coming out of the Law Academy of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) 7th Biennial Conference in Barbados October 18-20.

    Don’t start at nine

    “I caution, when we speak of increasing the jurisdiction of the magistrate, that is not going to help because the magistrates at the moment do not carry out their function with that backlog in mind. I challenge anyone to go after two o’clock to any magistrates’ court and see whether the magistrates are sitting. I remember the days when the magistrates’ court started at nine. No magistrates’ court starts at nine. They start at half-past nine and quarter to ten . . . . How many magistrates sit until 4 p.m.?” Sir Elliott asked.

    He said there were many lawyers in Barbados, not all doing well, and some of those can be used by the Government to establish a prosecuting department who could come under the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Commissioner of Police, with two lawyers assigned to each court.

    “You cannot have one police officer assigned to do 15/16 cases a day in a magistrates’ court and expect that he would do it. That is why you would hear the excuse why cases take so long in the magistrates’ court. With all the best will in the world, a station sergeant can only pick up three or four of those cases and the rest would have to go on standby,” he said.

    The state of the justice system has been under scrutiny by the public with members complaining about the time it takes for a case to be completed, which has an effect on both accused and victims.

    Justice of the CCJ Winston Anderson, King’s Counsel Michael Lashley and attorney Kristin Turton were part of the panel with David Ellis moderating.

    Lashley supported Sir Elliott’s recommendation, stating it was akin to England’s national prosecution service and could be attempted since over the last few years, a number of police officers were graduating with law degrees.

    Taking evidence in long hand

    “Once we make the prosecution at the magistrates’ court attractive, we can get those [officers] in there and they would be able to deal with matters expeditiously. We can relieve some of the other officers from there to deal with other matters,” he said.

    Lashley stated the magistrates were also hampered by other issues, such as the taking of evidence in long hand, and police taking long to produce files, all of which added to the delays. He suggested improving the system by using technology to deliver the files on flash drives and weeding out some of the unnecessary witnesses from the start.

    On that issue, Turton said giving magistrates expanded jurisdictions would be giving them more work to do with the same resources, “and I don’t know that is reasonable”.

    “There has to be a change in how magistrates’ courts and their human resources are administered. There must be ways that we can ensure that the magistrates’ courts are always manned and ways of working nine to four,” she said.

    In relation to the High Court, Sir Elliott said at that stage some matters took months to be tried and suggested that a voir dire in relation to a statement should be decided long before the trial got under way, rather in the midst of it. He reiterated his call for the video recording of confessions which would go a long way in reducing the number of objections that trigger a voir dire.

    Justice Anderson said the declaration coming out of the conference called for the urgent provision of adequate human, financial and other resources to the criminal justice institutions and agencies such as the police and prosecution services, the judiciary and the prison services.

    “It is almost impossible in any of our jurisdictions to provide the kind of responses that they should to the victims of crime and they need the resources . . . . Sometimes a little training can go a long way as police interface with victims. There is a responsibility on us as part of the representatives of the state to ensure we evince the appropriate level of care and empathy to the victim. It will not, of course, solve the fundamental problem but it has to be seen that the police officers are caring and sympathetic to the position which the victims find themselves,” he said.


    Source: Nation

  30. A short note …
    If you have severalms pressing problems that are connected to each other, then attempting to solve them one at a time may not be the best approach.

    As an example
    “I caution, when we speak of increasing the jurisdiction of the magistrate, that is not going to help because the magistrates at the moment do not carry out their function with that backlog in mind. I challenge anyone to go after two o’clock to any magistrates’ court and see whether the magistrates are sitting. I remember the days when the magistrates’ court started at nine. No magistrates’ court starts at nine. They start at half-past nine and quarter to ten . . . . How many magistrates sit until 4 p.m.?” Sir Elliott asked.

    Indeed solving one problem, may simply worsen another. We are well aware of the call for and appointment of judges to ease the backload. More judges and increasing the powers of magistrates will not solve the problem if fellow are observing a ‘four hour’ work day. We have tackled the wrong problem.

    I give you this for free
    (1) Try to identify as many problems as you possibly can
    (2) Try to see how the problems are connected to each other
    (3) Identify a segment of the problem network that you can fix without breaking creating other problems
    (4) Target that segment and attempt to fix it
    (5) Move to a a next segment on completion

    Bear in mind that there are some problems that will need immediate attention. However, I favor a methodological approach to addressing our problems instead of pulling problems from a hat – one at a time.

    There may be other methods to employ.


    LAWYER ‘MISSING’ Ex-attorney still owes former client just over $2m

    By Maria Bradshaw

    Disbarred attorney Therold O’Neal Fields owes his former client, Patricia Simpson, $2 124 354, representing the $601 000 which the Court of Appeal ordered him to repay to her plus interest of $1 523 354 accumulated over the past 15 years.

    And, while the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is saying it cannot locate Fields, attorney Philip Pilgrim, who represented Simpson pro bono during the disbarment proceedings against him in 2014, believes the “authorities are not doing enough” to find him.

    “I am not impressed at all that the authorities are doing their best to locate Mr Fields,” Pilgrim said, as he sat in his St Michael offices with Simpson. The 74-yearold, who resides in Britain, has travelled to Barbados to find out the status of the case against Fields.

    It was back in 2014 that the Court of Appeal disbarred the attorney for the failed transaction involving Simpson, who sent him amounts of BDS$5 000, £20 000 and £112 000 in 2006 to purchase a house for her at Eloise Gardens, Christ Church. The court had also ordered Fields to repay the money with interest of eight per cent added from the date of the complaint in 2008. The attorney has not repaid a cent.

    When contacted, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale confirmed he was in possession of a matter involving Fields and Simpson. He said they had not been able to locate him as yet.

    However, Sunday Sun investigations revealed that Fields resides in Christ Church in close proximity to the Oistins Police Station and operates ROLD Legal Consultants, where he has been offering himself as a legal consultant to farmers and residents of Gibbons, Christ Church, who are seeking to obtain compensation from Shell PLC in the United Kingdom as a result of an oil spill which occurred in Barbados many years ago.

    On December 21, 2022, a reporter of the Nation Publishing Co. Ltd attended the Pegwell Boggs Community Church where Fields held a meeting with several of these residents and assured them he was in contact with attorneys in the UK who were willing to work on their behalf to obtain settlements of millions of dollars for the oil spill. He also sent close to 40 residents letters outlining the monies ranging from $20 million to $100 million which he had calculated was owed to them by the oil company.

    Pilgrim told the Sunday Sun he was also in possession of a letter which Fields wrote to the residents on October 4, advising that attorneys in the UK were ready to proceed with their claim.

    He noted: “Mr Fields was at one time living in Newbury, St George, and as recent as October 2023 Mr Fields is giving his address as Ocean Dream Apartments, Scarborough, Christ Church, and he wrote a letter dated October 4, 2023, to some of the claimants being farmers at Gibbons Boggs who he is proposing to represent in a matter against Shell PLC. So it is very unfortunate the authorities are saying to me the efforts to locate Mr Fields have proven futile. I don’t agree with that assessment at all.”

    Outlining the timeline of events when his client first reported Fields to the Disciplinary Committee of the Barbados Bar Association in 2008, Pilgrim said: “We’ve had a time span of five years that went by after she lodged her complaint to the Bar Association; then we’ve had more than eight years that have gone by since April 15, 2015 (when he was struck off the roll) to October, 2023,” as he pointed out that the disgraced attorney was committed to the High Court following a preliminary enquiry at the magistrate court.

    Pilgrim also lamented that Lester Corbin, who acted on Simpson’s behalf by delivering the cheques to Fields, and who gave evidence at the disciplinary hearing, “has since died”.

    “Miss Simpson is not in the best of health. She is now 74 years old and is here in Barbados to find out what is happening and she is extremely distressed that the matter cannot proceed and in the meantime Therold Fields is seen in public in Christ Church telling farmers that they are going to get a great deal of money from the Shell PLC matter. You want to tell me that all of that is going on and the authorities in Barbados cannot locate Mr Fields?” the attorney queried.

    Source: Nation

    • Hahaa what a joke, mockery of the justice system. It must be more than heartbreaking for Patricia. Did she not have Kings Counsel Pilgrim on her side. Cant find Mr. Fields… Lets call him Ghost Fields. Its amazing that there is not a nationwide outcry on Brass or copper Tacts. Fields is laughting at a field of idiots

  32. Once again “High praise” for the blog master. I saw the above story on Instagram and raised it elsewhere for discussion but unlike here where no one made a comment, just one person made a comment there.

    Instagram Post
    “Disbarred attorney Therold O’Neal Fields owes a former 74-year-old female client more than $2.1 million. The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is saying they can’t locate him, but the woman’s lawyer believes “authorities are not doing enough” to find him.”

    I was looking to post the Instagram bit here, but I saw the blog master al ready has the story here.

    Yes! Only one person in that other forum was brave enough to comment. In that den of lawyers, not a fellow said one word.

    You can have mangled or false legislation, you can ask for new courts and more judges, you can stitch a constitution together, but until folks are not afraid to say that “wrong is wrong”, everything is meaningless.

    Good men saying nothing is one of the reason why crooks are flourishing on the island. Will you wait until you or a family member are victims before you speak up against crooked practices? There may be no one left to hear you.

    Sad news David … You cannot do it by yourself.

  33. Speed up the delivery of justice, please!

    The movement of the Earth’s crust is considered so slow that geologists warn it is virtually impossible to perceive it with the naked eye. So, when the pace of the current flow of decisions from Barbados’ courts was recently likened to the speed of tectonic plates, the truth of our situation hit home like the proverbial “ton of bricks”, bringing with it deep regret or embarrassment, or both.

    For hardly a month goes by without a judge, magistrate, police prosecutor, defence attorney or victim of tardiness complaining about or offering wellmeaning solutions to the long-standing question: why does it take so long to resolve court cases in Barbados?

    Just last month, an acting magistrate, Bernadeth John, wisely dismissed several matters which had been languishing in the system for years without resolution and for which police officers were still without files.


    What is perplexing in Barbados and different parts of the Caribbean, where a similar problem exists, is the appearance of what many see as a weakening of the once strong sense of responsibility to get the job done by delivering justice in a timely fashion. This is about meeting the high standard advocated by Dr Martin Luther King Jr in a letter from a Birmingham jail in Alabama in 1963 when he warned: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

    In that respect, we can learn a lot from the days of Sir David Simmons when, as Chief Justice, he headed the judiciary, wrote at least 100 decisions, masterminded the construction of the hall of justice and pushed the court calendar along at a steady clip.

    A key element in the issue of delay of justice is whether its delivery is being hampered by unavoidable barriers or by necessary pauses. In our case, those apparent factors don’t seem to apply.

    Instead, according to available evidence, far too often (1) files are not available for months and years; (2) frequent adjournments requested by prosecutors and defence counsel; and (3) crowded court calendars that, when combined, help to erect roadblocks to legal redress or equitable relief to victims or alleged perpetrators.

    Now, Sir Elliott Mottley, a veteran at the Bar who once served as Bermuda’s attorney general, and High Court Justice Carlisle Greaves, who also served with distinction in Bermuda’s judiciary, have added two intriguing reasons for the delays.

    Sir Elliott has cited the oftenlate opening and the early closing of Magistrates’ Courts proceedings as a contributing factor to the backlog, 16 000 earlier this year, compounding the nightmare.

    “I challenge anyone to go after two o’clock to any Magistrates’ Court and see whether the magistrates are sitting,” he told Starcom Network’s Sunday Brass Tacks radio call-in programme recently. “I remember when the Magistrates’ Courts started at nine.

    They start at half past nine and a quarter to ten . . . . How many magistrates sit until four?”

    That rhetorical question deserves a firm answer from the offices of the Chief Magistrate and the Chief Justice. After all, they hold final responsibility for the management of cases before our courts.

    Mathematics indicates late openings and early closings may be costing the Magistrates’ Courts days of hearings every month.

    Human resources

    For his part, Justice Greaves has put much of the case for more magistrates to be appointed. “I say we have to expand the lower judiciary, not only increasing the work that they do by transferring some of the matters that we try in the Supreme Court, but by increasing their numbers. It doesn’t make sense having one magistrate in a jurisdiction with a few people and no crime, while you have one serving in a jurisdiction with lots of crime,” was the way he put it.

    To that we say stick a pin on the question of more magistrates. Barbados must first solve the matter of the use of existing human resources before adding more lower-level judicial officers. We could end up compounding the problem.

    Sir David, a member of the Law Reform Commission, publicly indicated that the panel was developing new rules of criminal procedures in the Magistrates’ Court, and they should be ready by early next year. We must await those procedures before moving forward.

    But even before then, Justice Greaves, who has earned kudos in and out of Bermuda for the successful reform measures he fashioned and implemented, should be invited to do the same for his birthplace, beginning with sessions attended by magistrates on how to structure and manage their calendars.

    Source: Nation

  34. Jesus.. this is similar to my 10/30/2023 post above.

    I have bad news for everyone… Bookmark and read in 2032, it will still be relevant.

  35. Legal squeeze

    Bar revising act to clamp down on attorneys stealing from clients

    By Maria Bradshaw

    In an effort to deal more effectively with attorneys stealing from their clients, the Barbados Bar Association has submitted sweeping changes to the Legal Profession Act, which includes a rigorous process of auditing attorney’s client accounts as well as a more rigid disciplinary procedure.

    In addition, attorneys would also have to submit to mandatory yearly training in order to receive their practicing certificates.

    These are just a few of the new proposals which the Association has submitted for a revised Legal Profession Bill, as it continues to be dogged by instances of attorneys stealing thousands of dollars, from their clients.

    They are hoping the new rules would come into effect next year.

    A press release submitted to the Sunday Sun yesterday by the president, Kaye Williams, highlighted the new changes.

    “Attorneys will face a tough new legislative and regulatory framework in 2024 if the changes for which the Barbados Bar Association has been asking are passed in a revised Legal Profession Bill. The Barbados Bar Association has been informed by the Law Reform Commission that a draft Bill will be provided no later than January 2024.

    “One such proposal includes imposing pre-requisites that have to be met every year in order to practice. Annual practising certificates are currently granted ‘as a matter of course’ when the yearly fees are paid to the Supreme Court. This can no longer continue,” the association stated, adding it would not be “business as usual to obtain that certificate”.


    “First, it is illegal for any attorney to practise law without a practising certificate and second, it will not be business as usual to obtain that certificate. Not only must members be subject each year to compulsory legal education training, the Barbados Bar Association has advocated for rigorous accounting rules which have to be met before any attorney can obtain their annual practising certificate. Every year, client accounts must be verified and audited and the reports certified and issued by accountants. There must be a legislative framework that not only provide for annual monitoring of client accounts, but also stiff penalties to ensure compliance,” the release stated.

    It added: “Findings of theft from clients and related misconduct destroys the reputation of not only the profession but also Barbados as a business jurisdiction. The aim of the legislative provisions is to ensure that, each and every year, clients’ funds are safe and that clients’ accounts are in order before the issuance of a practising certificate to an attorney. The requirement for financial probity among attorneys is essential within the legal profession and indeed a requirement for the due administration of justice.”

    In terms of the disciplinary committee, the association reiterated it was a separate body but pointed out that extensive changes would also be coming to the disciplinary process.

    “Generally, the public is not aware that, under our current legislation, the disciplinary committee is a separate body to the Bar Association. That notwithstanding, the BBA has recommended extensive changes to entirely revamp the system of discipline in terms of its governance, size, composition, and powers. One proposal is that the current system of discipline needs to be replaced with an entirely new body led by a legally trained chairman, comprising of members of the public, civic society and retired judges. It will act as a properly funded and staffed tribunal in order to determine all complaints in a prompt, fair manner.”

    It explained: “Under the current system, if an attorney is disbarred and ordered to repay, that is the end of the disciplinary process. The power to enforce the court order to repay lies with another arm of the legal system entirely. The Barbados Bar believes that the body imposing the discipline must have certain powers to ensure swifter justice for the public as well as enforcement of orders made for restitution and repayment of client funds.”

    Only last month, Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham called for an amendment to the Legal Profession Act to allow for swifter justice for clients whose funds had been misappropriated by their attorneys.

    Speaking to new attorneys who were admitted to the BAR, the Chief Justice said this was an area of “constant complaint and disappointment” both here and overseas as he suggested that was necessary to create a body that it could address these matters more expeditiously.

    He stated: “The solution to this problem, in my view, is to replace the current system of discipline with a new body led by a legally trained chairman – a retired judge is one possibility – and comprising of members of the public and legal profession. It has to be properly funded and staffed in order to evaluate all complaints made with dispatch and fairness to all involved,” as he also disclosed that a new Legal Profession Act was in draft.

    Source: Nation

    • Regulating the legal profession

      The following article was written and submitted by the Integrity Group Barbados. “In Barbados the concept of self-regulation is an illusion, because comprehensive machinery for that regulation can hardly be said to exist.” – The late Sir Roy Marshall, former chairman of the National Commission on Law and Order – The Nation Newspaper, March 18, 2011.

      The report in the Sunday Sun of November 5 which carried the headline

      Disbarred Lawyer Missing

      told the sad story of a former client who is owed $601 000 by a disbarred attorney.

      The report stated that in 2014, the Court of Appeal had ordered him to repay the money, yet up until now the client has not seen a penny. This is not an isolated case, as there have been other recent instances where members of the legal profession have been brought before the courts for misappropriation of clients’ funds.

      While the lawyers involved have been brought to justice, and the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar Association has done its duty in having these lawyers disbarred, their clients have been left in the lurch having lost large sums.

      Perhaps it was for the foregoing reason that, in early October, Arthur Holder, Speaker of the House, on being elevated to Senior Counsel, reminded the legal profession of the importance of integrity.

      In an interview with the local media, he asserted that, “The money of clients does not belong to the attorney. You do not mess with clients’ funds and I believe that if you do not stick to that oath and you take clients’ money, you should be treated and done like as you would do a normal person, that you should feel the full weight of the law if you steal clients’ money. It is as simple as that.”

      Great concern

      The foregoing must be of great concern to the Barbados Bar Association and the many lawyers who serve their profession with distinction and adhere to the highest levels of integrity. There can be no doubt of the position of the Bar Association on this issue, as one of the first clauses in their Code of Ethics states that, “An attorney-at-law shall maintain his integrity and the honour and dignity of the legal profession and of his own standing as a member of it and shall encourage other attorneysat- law to act similarly both in the practice of his profession and in his private life and shall refrain from conduct which is detrimental to the profession or which may tend to discredit it”.

      Moreover, the Legal Profession Act, which first came into operation in 1973 and was last revised in 2004, states that the Judicial Advisory Council may make rules generally as to the keeping and operating of bank accounts or clients’ money by attorneysat- law. The legislation further states that the rules may also require an attorney-at-law, in such cases as may be prescribed by the rules to keep on deposit in a separate account at a bank for the benefit of the client. The Legal Profession (Accounts) Rules, which were also enacted in 1973, provide further guidance on how clients’ funds should be managed.

      Badly wrong

      Barbados has been served well by our legal profession, yet something is badly wrong and needs to be fixed. It has been over two decades since the late Sir Roy Marshall was invited to chair the National Commission on Law and Order and called for changes in how members of the legal profession were policed.

      Sir Roy stated that, “In Barbados the concept of selfregulation is an illusion, because comprehensive machinery for that regulation can hardly be said to exist”.

      He highlighted that in Britain there is strong and effective legislation to regulate the conduct of legal practitioners, and a very powerful, wellfunded, and serious enforcement body – the Law Society – which ensures that the client is protected.

      In February 2015, Andrew Brathwaite, then vice-president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), in an interview with the Nation Newspaper, stated that “Proper accounting for client money can be complex, especially where there is a large number of clients and client transactions and errors may occur inadvertently despite the best of intentions. Even where the lawyer has employed qualified accounting staff to supervise record keeping, independent verification may still be advisable”.

      He suggested that “Independent verification may include periodic audit of client accounts, or limited procedures to verify that the recommended accounting systems and controls are in place and operating effectively”.

      Brathwaite also pointed to Britain’s Law Society’s Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as offering a detailed guide for the protection of client accounts.

      The following are summary extracts from the SRA regulations on how legal firms and sole practitioners are to deal with money belonging to clients. The regulations advise that legal firms and sole practitioners shall:

      • Keep client money separate from money belonging to the legal firm or sole practitioner.

      • Ensure that client money is paid promptly into a client account.

      • Ensure that client money is available on demand unless an alternative arrangement has been agreed in writing with the client.

      • Ensure that client money is returned promptly to the client, or the third party for whom the money is held, as soon as there is no longer any proper reason to hold those funds.

      • Only withdraw client money from a client account for the purpose for which it is being held or following receipt of instructions from the client, or the third party for whom the money is held.

      Draw from Britain

      Whilst the local regulations also cover the foregoing areas, IGB is of the view that proactive monitoring and compliance of the legal profession should be far more effective and supports the suggestion from Brathwaite that we draw on Britain’s SRA to strengthen our own regulations in Barbados.

      The absence of a strong monitoring framework for the legal profession in Barbados has persisted for too long. IGB understands that the Bar Association has requested changes to strengthen the Disciplinary Committee.

      We hope that the lawyers that sit in our House of Assembly will work to bring the necessary changes to correct this glaring deficiency. The reputation of our legal profession is at stake.

      Source: Nation

  36. I am quite certain that you have already heard the story of the “Little Boy who cried wolf”. These lawyers wait around graduation time every year and make fancy speeches, promises and announce new initiatives and then disappear into the woodwork. The story have a sweet twist; the big bad wolves (lawyers) are here, but in this story the big bad wolves never disappear, The thieving and dishonesty continues.

    Fool me once shame on me; fool me twice shame on me; fool me three times and I am an idiot and you know it. For quite some time they have been singing the same song and the media and the public eats it up every year. Around this time next year, just like Christmas music, you will be hearing the same old song from the lawyers.

  37. Confession: I did not read the 3:5x bullshit postings.
    I suspect that many Bajans did exactly what I did.
    Boiling point will be reached at some stage.

  38. [She said they have had “some serious problems” with Reverend Bannister “for the past three years or so”.
    Their grievances concern the decline in church life, the absence of ministries such as providing hampers to the needy and a previously active youth band.]

    I chose a sid. I lost all respect for some of those involved. Some huffing and puffing about criminals but no concerns for the needy.

  39. Meanwhile the gumb-beat continues on how to treat attorneys. Please see BT’s epaper with an article titled “Keep them out”. The gist

    Excerpt from BT
    “Disbarred attorneys must be prevented from offering legal services to
    the public “under new guises”, says Chief Justice Sir Patterson
    In his last address to the Bench And Bar in that role, he said legislation
    must be strengthened to end this practice.
    “Where persons are found guilty of misconduct, are disbarred, they
    cannot be in a position to offer their skills to members of the public.”

    Every yea, one of these guys run out with a new version of their old song. Change up the lyrics just a little, call the media and announce a brand new hits.

  40. Can we recover from what ails us?
    Why must folks wait, until they are ‘exiting the building’ wit their bags of loot over their shoulder, to point out that something is wrong with our system.

    Their replacement occupies the vacated position and he/she says nothing or lack ideas until it is time to leave.

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