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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.

Take Note Commenters
  1. The objective of  BU LAWYERS in the NEWS page is to highlight reports of interest to the public about the activities of Barbados based lawyers.
  2. No Comments will be allowed.
  3. If you have information you think qualify email Barbados Underground by clicking on the following LINK.

This is a Page under construction which will be tweaked in the coming days. We welcome your feedback.

230 thoughts on “LAWYERS in the NEWS

  1. Cheraine Parris

    Accused lawyer hidden


    Added 17 September 2010

    LAWYERS hid one of their own who had just appeared on a theft charge in the Bridgetown Traffic Court yesterday. Cheraine Parris, 36, of No. 2 Lowlands, Christ Church, was shielded by three attorneys, who escorted her to her car. She left through the back of the Traffic Court and exited Court No. 2 of the District “A” Magistrates’ Court. Her car was idling in front of that court and the lawyers escorted her until she got into the car and drove off. The attorney had been charged with stealing $462 000 – the proceeds of a Bank of Nova Scotia cheque which was payable to her but belonged to Ashleigh Morrison – between April 15 and August 20 this year. She was not required to plead to the indictable charge. There was no objection to bail and Magistrate Christopher Birch released her on $400 000 bail with four sureties. The magistrate ordered her to report to Oistins Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by 9:30 a.m. and confiscated her passport. The accused reappears in court on September 22. (HLE)

    • Mark Winston Goodridge

      Two charged


      October 18, 2006


      by TIM SLINGER

      A 53-YEAR-OLD ATTORNEY-AT-LAW and his son will appear in District "A" Magistrates’ Court this morning, charged in connection with the beating of a 15-year-old boy in Highgate Gardens, St Michael, on October 6.

      Mark Winston Goodridge, of Cattlewash, St Joseph, and 23-year-old Simon Mark Goodridge, a businessman, of No. 1, Highgate Park, St Michael, are jointly charged with causing serious bodily harm to the youngster.

      The senior Goodridge will also face three other charges: incitement to racial hatred, assault and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of the highway.

      The charges are:

      * On October 6, 2006, Mark Winston Goodridge and Simon Mark Goodridge did cause serious bodily harm to a 15-year-old juvenile with intent to maim, disfigure or disable him, or to do some serious bodily harm to the said juvenile;

      * On October 6, 2006, Mark Winston Goodridge unlawfully discharged a firearm on Highgate Park Road, a public road;

      * On October 6, 2006, Mark Winston Goodridge, on Highgate Park Road, a public place, used insulting words, to wit, "You black nigger" to a 15-year-old juvenile which may reasonably be interpreted as likely to stir up, or to be capable of strirring up hatred against any section of the public in Barbados, distinguished by colour, race or creed;

      * On October 6, 2006, Mark Winston Goodridge did unlawfully assault

      a 15-year-old juvenile.

      Shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday, attorneys Sir Richard Cheltenham, QC, and Hal Gollop, accompanied the Goodridges to Hastings Police Station in Christ Church, after police had issued a public notice on Sunday, asking the two to contact the nearest police station for questioning on the matter.

      The attorneys sat throughout yesterday’s police investigations as both men were questioned about the October 6 incident.

      Following the charges last night, both men were refused bail and confined to the cells at Central Police Station.

      The Highgate Gardens incident was reopened over the weekend after the SATURDAY SUN published a story and photograph of the youngster with a bruised and swollen face.

      The boy, who is on remand at the Government Industrial School, was charged with unlawful possession of a pair of scissors, while a charge of trespassing was dismissed by a Bridgetown magistrate.

    • Ernest Winston Jackman

      [caption id="attachment_45233" align="alignleft" width="207"]Ernest Jackman Ernest Jackman was charged in 2008 for messing with clients monies[/caption]

      … Ernest Winston Jackman, 53, of Wiltshire Plantation House, St. Philip, appeared in court accused of stealing more than $1 million from two clients who were selling upmarket properties.

      Jackman was not required to plead to stealing $678 414, which belonged to HEJ Ltd. between June 23, 2006, and March 5, 2007 and $367 085, which was part of the proceeds of a Barbados National Bank cheque in the amount of $560 437, belonging to Foster Belle and payable to himself.

      Jackman is on $250 000 bail and must present himself to lawmen at District “C” Police Station twice a week. His passport was also confiscated.

      Nation newspaper link:

    • Therold Fields

      $700 000 theft charge

      Published on: 9/18/08.

      Attorney Therold Fields accused of theft. (Photo by Heather-Lynn Evanson)

      FOR THE second time in two weeks, a lawyer has appeared before the law court accused of stealing his clients’ money.

      This time, the attorney is Therold O’Neal Fields, who has been charged with stealing nearly $700 000 in money from three clients in a two-year span.

      Fields, 36, of No. 132, Warners Park, Christ Church, is now on $500 000 bail and was ordered to give up his travel documents before he was allowed to leave the District "A" Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

      Fields was not required to plead to stealing $5 000, between April 11, 2006 and August 22, 2008, belonging to Patricia Simpson of Catford, London, England; stealing £20 000, equivalent to Bds $78 800, between May 15, 2006 and August 22, 2008, and £112 000 equivalent to Bds $441 280, between November 27, 2006 and August 22, 2008, belonging to the same woman.

      The attorney is also charged with stealing $5 000 belonging to Jay E Dee Investment Ltd, between March 12 and August 14, 2007, and $167 146 belonging to Stephen Robertson, between September 19, 2007 and July 25, 2008.

      He was also ordered by Magistrate Pamela Beckles, to report to Central Police Station every Wednesday until his next court appearance on November 12.

      Nation Link:

    • Leroy N. Lynch

      Lawyer up for 28 days

      Heather-lynn Evanson,

      Added 15 March 2011



      Bring proof of ownership. That was the advice given by Acting Magistrate Manila Renée to money laundering and theft accused, attorney Leroy N. Lynch, his lawyer and those who indicated an interest in signing Lynch’s bail, when they all reappeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday. “This will not be a case where persons come into the (witness stand) and swear ‘yes, I own property’. This will be more than that. I require proof of ownership of property and the court will be sending out  documents that there is something against those properties (which were put up as surety),” the Acting Magistrate stressed. And once again, because those sureties failed to satisfy the court’s requirements,  Lynch was remanded, this time for the full 28 days. Lynch, 61, of Martindales Road, St Michael, was back before Acting Magistrate Renée after spending the weekend on remand at HMP Dodds. 

    • Michael Simmons

      “ Simmons back after 18 years ”


      EMBATTLED ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Michael Simmons returned to Barbados on the weekend. Simmons, who left Barbados 18 years ago for the United States, was among mourners paying last respects yesterday to his sister Letitia Simmons – a former nurse – at her funeral at the Whitehall Methodist Church in St Michael. It was Simmons’ first public appearance in Barbados since he reportedly left behind a $2.5 million-plus debt to 47 creditors, after being declared bankrupt by former High Court judge Justice Elliott Belgrave in January 1993. The attorney is also reported to have owed the Barbados National Bank (BNB) and Government’s Inland Revenue Department several thousands of dollars. A warrant for his arrest for fraudulently converting over $90 000 entrusted to him had been withdrawn after the sum was paid, but shortly after his disappearance, then police public relation’s officer Inspector Jeddar Robinson had indicated Simmons was being sought by lawmen for questioning in connection with a number of other criminal matters they were investigating. No warrants were outstanding at the time. However, the High Court in his absence had also granted an application for his committal to prison following a suit brought against him by one of his clients. Efforts to reach Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock for comment on Simmons’ status proved futile yesterday. When contacted, Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin said the matter had been drawn to his attention and he had asked for a review of the file. Former Solicitor General Woodbine Davis, who had been appointed official assignee and receiver in his investigation of Simmons, had publicly declared there had been little chance of recovering the $2.5 million debt left behind. He then also reported recovering approximately 110 files and title deeds which had belonged to Simmons’ clients both in Barbados and overseas.

    • David Bryan

      Monies repaid, fraud case dropped


      Added 01 September 2010


      THE ATTORNEY-AT-LAW charged in connection with the theft of over $226 000 had the matters withdrawn yesterday after the monies he was accused of stealing were repaid. Alvin David Bryan, 41, of Rose Drive, Wanstead Heights, St. Michael, who appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court, was not required to plead to stealing $61 950.01, between May 26 and August 13, this year, being the proceeds of a Barbados National Bank cheque, payable to A David Bryan for $123 345.86, and belonging to Georgia Broome. He was also not required to plead to stealing $165 000, belonging to John Jones, between February 19 and July 2, this year. Complainant Broome, who was in court, testified that while she had made a report to police and knew that the attorney had been charged, she was now no longer interested in proceeding with the matter. Meanwhile, attorney Bryan Weekes of the firm Weekes, Kissoon & Deane, said he had received instructions from his client John Jones and, as a result of “certain developments in the matter, he was is no longer minded to proceed with the matter”. Weekes further explained the reason his client was not in court was because he was in France, where he lived. Prosecutor Sergeant Trenton Small then informed the court the prosecution would not be proceeding with the matters and Acting Magistrate Manilla Renée dismissed them.

      – See more at:

    • Marlon Gordon

      [caption id="attachment_45237" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Marlon Gordon Marlon Gordon[/caption]

      Lawyer charged again

      Added 04 November 2014

      ATTORNEY AT LAW Marlon Gordon has been charged again by police.

      He will appear at the District “B” Magistrates Court today to answer two charges involving fear of violence and assault on a female. The offences allegedly occurred last Saturday at Glen Acres, St George.

      Gordon 44, went to the District “B” Court yesterday but reported to the magistrate that he was not feeling well. The matter was adjourned until this morning without the charges being read.

      On September 2, Gordon appeared at the District “A” Magistrates Court where he pleaded not guilty to five charges involving assaulting and resisting police officers; using insulting language and occasioning actual bodily harm. (MB)

    • Laureen Clothilda Waterman


      Lawyer charged with theft of $410 000


      September 12, 2006

      Attorney-at-law Laureen Clothilda Waterman has been charged with stealing more than $400 000, the amount resulting from a transaction between a bank and the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

      The 62-year-old woman,

      ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Laureen Clothilda Waterman has been charged with stealing more than $400 000, the amount resulting from a transaction between a bank and the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

      The 62-year-old woman, of Charlesville, My Lord’s Hill, St Michael, appeared in court on Saturday before Magistrate Deborah Holder.

      Waterman is charged with stealing $411 000, the proceeds of a Royal Bank of Canada cheque that belonged to the NHC between May 30 and June 10, 2005.

      She was released on $300 000 bail to return to court on October 11.

    • Gregory Nicholls


      Attorney taken to court for $9 500

      Added 29 January 2015


      Gregory Nicholls (FP)


      A CIVIL CASE has been filed against attorney Gregory Nicholls, allegedly for $9 500 owed.


      According to court documents, Nicholas Alleyne, of Callender’s Crescent, Christ Church, lent $15 000 on February 21, 2013, to Nicholls, and the attorney verbally agreed to repay the sum in two weeks.

      The civil matter, filed in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court, detailed that the money was lent to Nicholls at Deacons Main Road, St Michael, on the same date of the last general election.

      The attorney contested that poll as a candidate for the St Michael North West constituency for the Barbados Labour Party. (SP)

      Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.

    • Richard Byer

      Richard Byer charged Harrison’s Cave $766,855.24 fee

      Personal attacks and verbal abuse at the highest level, the resignation of a chairman and “exhorbitant” attorney fees that caused two Cabinet Ministers to intervene are among a list of nagging problems uncovered at Caves of Barbados Limited (CBL) over the past four years alone.

      Investigations by Barbados TODAY have revealed that CBL, which operates Harrison’s Cave at Welchman Hall, St Thomas, had been marred by internal tensions and deep divisions between Haldene T. Dottin, who resigned as chairman in July 2011, and Joe-ann Grant, who was recently fired from the post of chief executive officer.

      Grant, who has since referred her dismissal to her lawyers and is preparing to bring legal action, had also been the thorn in the side of CBL’s attorney-at-law Richard Byer for questioning and delaying payment of a $766,855.24 fee he charged for providing a legal opinion on a $25.7 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to finance the cave’s redevelopment.

    • Late Prime Minister and Attorney for Leroy Parris and CLICO David Thompson

      [caption id="attachment_12968" align="alignleft" width="226"]The Late Hon Prime Minister David Thompson The Late Hon Prime Minister David Thompson[/caption]

      The affidavit filed by the Judicial Manager states Thompson allegedly agreed to produce a false invoice to support a payment of 3.3 million dollars to Parris. Based on the foregoing we have to induct the late Prime Minister David Thompson into the Lawyers in the News BU page.


      CLICO move


      Added 01 February 2015


      Leroy Parris

      A HIGH COURT ACTION has been started by Clico International Life (Clico) through its judicial manager Deloitte Consulting Limited, to recover $3.333 million from Leroy Parris, Branlee Consulting Services and the estate of late Prime Minister David Thompson.

      Related articles

      The claim form, 99/2015, was filed on Thursday. It says that Parris and Branlee, both of Dayrells Heights, St Michael, and the estate of Thompson, represented by his widow, Mara, should account to Clico for that money.

      Parris is the former chairman of Clico International Life Insurance Limited and Clico Holdings Barbados Limited (CHBL), while David Thompson was the attorney for the company.

      According to the filed statement of the claim, Clico International Life Insurance Limited is alleging that on January 16, 2009, Parris “in breach of fiduciary duty and/or in breach of trust” procured a Clico cheque, number 92, in the amount of $3 333 000 to Thompson & Associates.

      Please read the full story in today’s Sunday Sun, or in the eNATION edition.

    • Vonda Pile

      Land row

      Yet another attorney-at-law is in legal hot water with a former client.Vonda Pile, who is already facing four criminal fraud charges including money laundering, is expected to appear in the High Court next month to defend a civil suit against her…
      Barbados Today

    • Update!

      Therold Fields disbarred

      Coastline Communication,

      Added 15 April 2015


      Therold Fields. (FP)

      THE NAME of Therold Oneal Fields has been struck from the roll of attorneys in Barbados.

      This decision was made by the Court of Appeal today, as the court also ordered him to pay $601 000 with interest of eight per cent to his former client, Patricia Simpson, who had hired him in 2008 in relation to the purchase of land at Gibbons in Christ Church.

      The ruling, read by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson on a three-judge panel that included Justices of Appeal Sherman Moore and Sandra Mason, was heard by several lawyers seated in the Supreme Court No. 1, including Fields himself and his attorney Debra Gooding.

      The judges, in their 80-minute judgement, found that Fields had "displayed neither penitence nor contrition" in the matter which had gone before the disciplinary committee of the Bar Association, and that he had sought to blame junior attorneys and a secretary in his office regarding Simpson’s three deposits of £120 000, £20 000 and BDS$5 000.

      Attorneys appearing in the matter yesterday included Marguerite Woodstock-Riley, QC, chairman of the Bar Association’s disciplinary committee; Donna Brathwaite, QC, for the Attorney General’s office; Barry Gale, QC, amicus curiae from the Bar Association, and Simpson’s attorney Philip Pilgrim. (Coastline Communication)

      – See more at:


      Lawyer faces fraud charges


      Added 22 July 2011



      ATTORNEY VONDA PILE was placed on $500 000 bail and  ordered to report weekly to Central Police Station, yesterday when she appeared before the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on four charges, including two of money laundering. Pile, 48, of Madison Terrace, Deacons Farm, St Michael, was not required to plead to stealing US$96 008 belonging to Anstie King, between April 29, 2009, and October 26, 2010. In addition, she was charged with stealing $205 481, between January 11, 2007 and March 16, this year, being the proceeds of a Royal Bank of Canada cheque payable to Patricia Hall. Pile also faces two counts of engaging in money laundering, that she disposed of the sums US$96 008 and $205 481, being the proceeds of crime, ie: that is theft of money. Prosecutor Inspector Trevor Blackman did not object to Pile being released on bail, but urged the court to impose strict conditions and asked that the surety be “in a substantial sum”. He petitioned the court to confiscate Pile’s passport and to make her report to the police station nearest to her. Acting Chief Magistrate Deborah Holder released Pile on $500 000 bail with one surety; ordered her to surrender her travel documents and to report to Central Police Station every Monday between 8 a.m. and midday. Pile returns to court on December 8. (HLE)

    • Philip Vernon Nicholls

      $200,000 bail for lawyer

      Added by Barbados Today on October 30, 2013.

      Saved under Local News


      Prominent attorney at law Philip Vernon Nicholls has been released on $200,000 bail, after appearing in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court today to answer charges of theft and the laundering of more than $500,000.

      Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch said the 53-year-old former secretary of the Barbados Cricket Association, who was granted bail with two sureties, is to return to court on February 25.

      Nicholls, who resides at Dover Mews, Dover, Christ Church, was arrested by members of the Fraud Squad and charged with the two offences earlier this week. (RG)

    • Lawyer given Tuesday deadline" on page 7 of the SATURDAY SUN dated March 07, 2015

      IF ATTORNEY THEROLD FIELDS doesn’t turn up at the District "A" Criminal Court 2 by Tuesday, a warrant may be issued for his arrest.

      Acting Magistrate Alliston Seale said yesterday he would issue the warrant after Fields sent a letter to the court stating that he was undergoing medical tests and could not appear."

      "There cannot be one law for the Medes and another for the Persians," Seale told the court, adding that he would not be currying favour with or for anyone but would live up to his mandate to provide justice for all.

    • Joseph H. Serrant

      (please email a picture if available)

      Submitted by Artaxerxes

      I know of a case involving a man who received injuries as a result of being involved in an accident in Mapp Hill on November 12, 2002. He retained the services of attorney-at-law, Mr. Joseph H. Serrant, of N. Keith Simmons & Co., James Fort building, Hincks Street, Bridgetown, to act on his behalf. In 2009, it was agreed between the parties involved that the insurer, Insurance Corporation of Barbados [ICB], would pay him the sum of $12,173.78 ($14,000.00 less legal fees calculated at 12.5% plus value added tax [VAT]).

      After making enquires about his settlement, he was informed that two cheques were issued to the attorney, Serrant, one which represented the payment of $12,173.78 to him, and the other for payment of legal fees to Serrant.

      When contacted about the payment he received on the client’s behalf, Serrant admitted that he had made representation on behalf of the client so that the payments would be forwarded directly to him. The reason he gave for his action was that the 12.5% he received from the settlement was insufficient for his services and he was demanding a further payment of $6,000.00. He further informed the client that he would be withholding the cheque until he is paid the $6,000.00.

      After learning the client sought the assistance of the police, Serrant returned the cheque to ICB and sought the services of the court to place a “stop payment” on the cheque, under the grounds that the client owed him $6,000.00. He subsequently filed a writ of Settlement of 1225 of 2004, (Exhibit JH52) on October 26, 2010 in the Supreme Court of Judicature – Civil Jurisdiction, claiming the sum of $10,251.63 from ICB as bill of cost for legal business performed on the client’s behalf, so that the company would pay the amount from the accident claim directly to him.

      This guy wrote letters to the past and present presidents of the Bar Association, the Ombudsman, then and present Chief Justices, Sir David Simmons and Marston Gibson respectively, and received no favourable response. The few lawyer with whom he discussed the situation, said he had a good case, but none of them were willing to pursue the matter.

      It was unreasonable for Serrant to demand a further payment of $10,251.63 out of $12,173.78, leaving a balance of $1,922.15m when he suffered no pain. But what was more unreasonable is the fact, in the itemization of the services performed in his claim of the $10,251.63 Serrant listed a charge of $800 for telephone calls he made in relation to the case.

      This guy is poor and does not have the financial means to seek legal redress as was done by Griffiths, and had no choice to forfeit the money.

      And this man, Serrant, can be seen on the Bridge offering the “Watch Tower” and “Awake” to passersby.

  2. Hal Gollop, QC and Vernon Smith, QC


    CCJ criticizes Judiciary and lawyers for excessive delays

    Added by Emmanuel Joseph on February 14, 2015.

    Saved under Judicial, Local News

    Accusing the judiciary in Barbados of not delivering justice in a timely manner, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has strongly condemned the local courts’ “excessive and inordinate” delays in resolving cases.

    But the Trinidad-based court reserved even harsher words for prominent Barbadian Queen’s Counsels Vernon Smith and Hal Gollop as well as their associate Steve Gollop, charging them with abusing the judicial process.

    Hal Gollop, QC

    Hal Gollop, QC


    Vernon Smith, QC

    Those criticisms were leveled by CCJ president Justice Sir Dennis Byron yesterday, in a judgment in which the regional court dismissed a case brought by the three lawyers. The case surrounded a land deal that went sour and was brought by Smith, Gollop and Gollop on behalf of land developer Systems Sales Ltd, against Arletta Brown-Oxley, the executrix of the estate of now deceased Glenfield DaCosta Suttle and his widow Sonja Patsena Suttle.

    On January 12, 2015, the legal team filed an application asking the CCJ to give them time to file a notice of appeal against earlier decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Barbados which went in favour of the Suttles.

    In November last year, the CCJ delivered a similar ruling in this matter, but it was later refiled by the lawyers who protested that the judgment was published in the media before being communicated to the litigants and their legal representatives.

  3. Margot Greene

    Attorney-at-law Margot Greene in the News, Aided by Tariq Khan and Woodstock-Riley

    by David on February 14, 2016 in Barbados News Edit

    Probate is the procedure by which a will is approved by the Court as the valid and last will of a deceased testator (the person who made the will). It also confirms the appointment of the person named as executor in the will – Probate of the Will – Public Legal Information Service of New […]

    51 CommentsContinue Reading →

  4. Lawyer granted $50 000 bail

    Added by Barbados Today on March 8, 2016.

    Saved under Local News


    Allison Helen Alexander (right) making her way from court today

    A lawyer accused of stealing over $150, 000 from a client was granted bail when she appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today.

    Trinidadian Allison Helen Alexander, 40, of #140 Breezy Hill, Halton, St Philip, denied stealing $165, 543.88 in money belonging to Cecil Marshall sometime between July 31 and September 7, 2015.

    There was no objection to bail by the prosecution, so Magistrate Douglas Frederick released her on $50,000 bail with two sureties and ordered her to return to court on June 7.

  5. Carrington steals and was allowed to repay without penalty BUT…


    One attorney disciplined; another to face charges

    Added by Emmanuel Joseph on May 9, 2017.

    Saved under Judicial, Local News


    A 41-year-old female attorney-at-law was Tuesday suspended from practising law in Barbados for 18 months, after she was found guilty of professional misconduct.

    Tuesday, the Court of Appeal handed down the decision against Allison Helen Alexander-Lovell of No. 140 Breezy Hill, Halton, St Philip, who was released on $50,000 bail with two sureties in March last year on a charge of stealing $165,543.88 belonging to Cecil Marshall between July 30 and September 7, 2015.


    Allison Helen Alexander-Lovell

    The charges against Alexander-Lovell, who was admitted to the Bar in 2004 and specializes in civil litigation, conveyancing, trusts, probate and administration of estates, stem from a complaint brought by one of her clients which became the subject of an internal investigation by the Disciplinary Committee of Bar Association of Barbados.

    “The disciplinary committee [of the Bar] found that a proper case was made out,” President Liesel Weekes told Barbados TODAY.

    However, she said even though the disciplinary committee had recommended that Alexander-Lovell be suspended for no less than one year, “the Court of Appeal felt that the nature of the offence was such that she should be suspended for a further period [18 months] . . . which may or may not be extended in the event that certain conditions are not met”.

    In the meantime, another female attorney, who has found herself in legal hot water also appeared before the Court of Appeal this morning.

    However, the disciplinary case brought against Joyce Griffith did not get off the ground since Griffith was not only reportedly unwell, but showed up without legal counsel.

    “The court gave her an opportunity to find representation and that matter was adjourned until June 29,” Weekes told Barbados TODAY.

    Back in February 2013, a woman who gave her name as Ordeen Broomes and her residence as New York, posted a complaint on Facebook against Griffith, who was admitted to the Bar in 1977 and specializes in estate Law, succession, conveyancing, wills, trusts and civil litigation.

    However, the matter involving Griffith, who along with Alexander-Lovell appeared before the Court of Appeal in June last year accused of withholding thousands of dollars from their clients, was adjourned.


  6. George Payne, M.P, St. Andrew

    Questions continue to swirl around a contentious land deal involving Attorney General Dale Marshall and Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development George Payne, despite a clarification yesterday by Marshall.

    At issue is a strip of land at Weston, St James, which a woman with the Facebook moniker, Jackie Stewart, and who describes herself as the daughter of the apparent property owner, said was willed to her mother by Stewart’s grandmother.

    The woman, who lives abroad with her mother, has been posting videos on Facebook, levelling certain allegations against Marshall and Payne, both of whom were involved in the land deal case when they were in private legal practice.

    Barbados TODAY will not publish the details of the allegations because of the damaging nature of these charges.

    However, while she did not give her name, Stewart’s mother joined her on the videos last July 5 to affirm the claims and criticisms against the two Queen’s Counsels in their handling of the case.

    But during a press briefing at Government Headquarters yesterday to address the issue of corruption against the backdrop of last week’s indictment by a United States grand jury of former Minister of Internatioal Business Donville Inniss on conspiracy to launder US$36,000 in bribes, Marshall shot down the charges.

    Attorney General Dale Marshall

    “I would say to you that while I do not know the lady . . . from my own involvement in a particular case, I am aware that a matter involving her mother was filed in the High Court of Barbados and I represented the other individual, the defendant, and we won the case,” the Member of Parliament for St Joseph said.

    “And, therefore, having the blessings of the court decision, as far as I am concerned, there is absolutely nothing that either myself or the firm which I used to be associated with has to be concerned about.”

    Still, Marshall suggested he was not about to take the public allegations lying down, stating he intended to sue Stewart for tarnishing his professional reputation.

    However, he said it would not be easy, because of the challenges involved in tracking down the woman.

    “We have tried to instruct attorneys, we have engaged Facebook on the matter and I think Facebook has acted. But the problem as you well know with social media is the anonymity involved. We only know the lady’s name cause she has said it. But in order to engage in a legal process to defend my own reputation, the reputation of my professional colleagues and the reputation as a whole of the legal profession, we have to find her in order to bring an action against her.

    “I am satisfied though, that the reputation of the professionals involved will sustain any criticisms made by the lady,” Marshall said.

    However, in a video response posted on Facebook today, Stewart, who was again joined by someone believed to be her mother, laced into the local attorney, describing his comment as a “ fiasco” and, wrongly, charging that the attorney general had claimed he had sued her and her mum.

    “I could only say it’s a fiasco because unfortunately, I had the distasteful . . . [displeasure] to see Dale Marshall yesterday make out that me and my mother are liars and that he had a case and that he went to court, and he won . . . Dale Marshall, you never ever had a case. We were taking you and George Payne to court . . . not you taking us to court,” an emotional Stewart said.

    She also made charges that called into question the integrity of the local court and the justice system, while claiming her family never had their day in court.

  7. Illegal Company (IFL Pipeline Inc) Invoiced BWA 3.4 Million Dollars
    Posted on August 22, 2018 by David 156 comments

    [Barbados Underground] On the 16 August, 2018 Barbados Underground (BU) published the blog – Was Michael Carrington VAT Registered When he Invoiced the BIDC 706 thousand dollars?. The article also included a concern by the blogmaster about a 1.5 million dollar invoice submitted by Hal Gollop to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) for services rendered. If we wanted to hammer home
    Read more

  8. Disbarred

    Added 02 February 2019


    Attorney-at-law Joyce Griffith has been disbarred. The decision of the Court of Appeal was handed down on January 30, ruling that Griffith was guilty of misappropriating the proceeds from a sale of property for a client.

    No money had been paid to the client more than five years and evidence showed it was used to pay medical bills.

    In addition, the court ruled that Griffith must pay $128 770 along with interest at a rate of six per cent per annum, dating back to August 2012, plus costs.

    Griffith had been engaged by Ordeen Bishop-Broomes to act for her in the sale of property situated at Holetown, St James for $300 000. The sale was completed, and the complainant’s brother, who was jointly entitled to the proceeds of the sale, received $128 778.70 representing his net share of the proceeds. Bishop-Broomes discovered that her brother had been paid whilst she had not. (BA)

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    For the latest stories and breaking news updates download the Nationnews apps for iOS and Android.

  9. Delay over
    Article by
    Fernella Wedderburn
    Published on
    May 10, 2019

    One of the Crown’s leading prosecutors has warned that there will be “no special treatment for anybody” – including fellow members of the Bar – when it comes to criminal matters before the court.

    Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale made the declaration as a theft and money-laundering case against attorney-at-law Cheraine Nicole Parris came up for hearing once again before Justice Randall Worrell in the No. 2 Supreme Court this afternoon.

    The top prosecutor made it clear that the “generous” number of adjournments given in the case was not sitting well with him, as certain undertakings made by the accused Parris had not been honoured.

    Principal Crown Counsel Seale said: “I was informed that notwithstanding the generous amounts of adjournments, nothing has been done.

    “This is a worrying situation because I do not want it to be said that there is in Barbados a law for the Medes and a law for the Persians; in that we bend over backward when there are attorneys… charged before the court for criminal offences and we allow the matter to stay in abeyance because we do not act with any urgency because they are one of ours.

    “I can’t have that be said about the Department of Public Prosecutions which I represent…. “Because we believe in justice for all. This is our mantra and there is no special treatment for anybody.”

    Parris is accused of stealing $302,000 from Ashleigh Morrison between April 15 and August 16, 2010. The Crown further alleges that she engaged in money laundering by conducting a series of transactions in moving the cash, being the proceeds of crime.

    Seale said: “We do realise in some cases it is better for a complainant to be restored in their original position than have an accused person sit in prison and being fed with taxpayers money when the complainant can at least be compensated and put themselves back on sound footing.”

    He pulled no punches in stating that he believed that the accused lawyer was “playing the system” by gaining the adjournments and that this would not be allowed to continue as it was not fair to the complainant.

    Seale added: “You have put her in a position where she is almost a pauper and that can not be fair and all she wants is her money back, that is what she has said. But we are now in a position where I believe that the accused is playing the system and
    I am going to be very frank and I told her so”

    He revealed that at one point complainant Morrison, who was present in court, was very ill and was still recovering.

    “And every time this matter comes up the accused says to the court ‘I am going to make amends’ and kicks the can further down the road. ‘I am going to make amends’ and every person in this whole scenario has bent over backwards.

    “Myself and the court have given her relatively long adjournments so that we can get this matter settled not because of any special favour for her but because at the end of the day a complainant does not benefit when their money is gone and they have to pay taxes to keep this person in prison.”

    Making it clear that the time for adjournments was over, prosecutor Seale requested that the judge set a date for the trial to begin.

    “This is a woman who by ordinary standards was not wealthy but saving her money and now she is placed in a position of impecuniosity. That cannot be fair and I am not caring about who you are… a man that is wronged should have his day in court and all I will say is I want this matter set for trial.”

    When Judge Worrell addressed Parris on what Seale had said, she responded: “I listened carefully.” He also informed her that the case, which he said had been before the court since 2017, would go to trial on September 23.

  10. Put up a poll on that last submission and ask people if they think that the way the defendant who is a lawyer is being treated is representative of how poor people are being treated

    A simple yes or no and a subjective list permitting them to choose if they think it is fair etc

  11. I have very strong feelings about this case but will refrain from expressing them.

    Take note.

    “Seale added: “You have put her in a position where she is almost a pauper and that can not be fair and all she wants is her money back, that is what she has said.”

    “He revealed that at one point complainant Morrison, who was present in court, was very ill and was still recovering.”

    ““This is a woman who by ordinary standards was not wealthy but saving her money and now she is placed in a position of impecuniosity.”

    The Lawyer should have to give the lady her money and spend 10 years in jail.

    Just think of the mental anguish the lady suffered as a result of the actions of the Lawyer.

  12. Hants

    Would you recommend imprisonment as well for Mia Mottley for the ” Mental Anguish ” she has caused / causing for :

    Pensioners ?

    Holders of Treasury Bills ?

    Holders of Reslife policy holders ?

    Foreign Bond holders ?

    Just asking

  13. May I suggest that one way of dealing with rogue lawyers is not through the bar’s disciplinary system, but visiting them at home and talking to them.

  14. @ Mr. Hal Austin

    Lawyers generally have Chambers.

    Lawyers generally have office hours when they will meet with clients

    What are you suggesting here for those clients who have contentious matters before the Disciplinary Committee?

    Are you of the opinion that a visit to their homes 🏡 after office hours, to discuss these matters contentious, may be more effective in resolving the issue that going to their Chambers?

    If one did not know you to be a man of strict morals one would be inclined to think that you are promoting “malice aforethought”

    Such though is reserved for seditionists and treasonous hand High Treason men like that fellow Piece uh De Rock Yeah Right whose visual moniker is similar to my own.

    I have to change that though lest we be considered to be the same person heheheheh

  15. Unless the money was used to buy ice, which was then put out in the midday sun to melt, at least it must be somewhere either as cash or as assets?

    • It is unexplainable why the court continues with the adjournments in this case. Where is the consideration for then applicant?

  16. Judges are aware of the ‘high’ opinion the majority of the population have about the legal profession. It should not be surprising if you see them start to ‘talk the talk’.

    As you can see judges are not yet prepared to ‘walk the walk’

    Tough talk without the requisite tough concomitant actions can be considered as a ‘placebo’ or promises to fools.

  17. Lawyer Vonda Pile Found GUILTY as Charged!
    Posted on June 4, 2019 by David 13 comments

    Vonda Pile was found guilty earlier today of thieving close to $200,000 dollars from a client Anstey King. The blogmaster salutes Mr. King for finding the time to pursue this matter which was kicked about in our dysfunctional justice system for several years. If the judge suffers no damascene moment- like in the James O’Rourke matter- Pile will be handed a hefty sentence for breaking the law stripped of her role as an officer of the court. She was remanded until July 16.

    Vonda Pile is featured in Barbados Underground’s Lawyer in the News.

    One regret of this blogmaster is that John Griffiths did not have the wherewithal to also criminally prosecute former Speaker of the House MICHAEL CARRINGTON.

    Another matter irking the blogmaster is to observe former minister of Michael Lashley in our Courts on a daily basis representing minibus men by exploiting laws he helped to enanct as a policymaker. There is something very wrong here.

    Time longer than twine!

  18. Condolences to his family and friends.

    STEPHEN ARCHER must be Barbados’ poorest millionaire. For though he was awarded $2.7 million in an injury settlement. ………

    The Barbados Today editorial is interesting.

  19. There must be a way to separate lawyer’s fees from a client’s money.

    First comment on this blog post is in 2007.

    Now look at the below 20018-2019 story. Eleven to twelve years, same old story

    The 74-year-old attorney from Bagatelle Gardens, St Thomas, was not required to plead to stealing £347 660.96, equivalent to BDS $855 000, from British national Errol Hewitt between November 12, 2018 and May 4, 2019″

  20. Lawyer’s standing remains intact

    For now Phillip Nicholls’ name continues to be listed on register of attorneys who can practice law in Barbados.
    While there were reports that the Barbados Bar Association’s Disciplinary Committee had planned to make a recommendation to the Court of Appeal that Nicholls to be disbarred today, no such action was taken when the parties met in Court No.1 of the Supreme Court.
    Instead, the matter, which was heard by Justices Kaye Goodridge, William Chandler and Rajendra Narine was adjourned until February 25, 2020.

  21. Attorney Susanna Thompson (left) appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday. (Picture by Jameel Springer.)

    • Sargeant this lawyer will pay like the proverbial coolie man? No disrespect intended. Where is the jus?

    • Another thing, the blogmaster appreciates your respect for the blog by posting items under the relevant subject matter.

      Almost ten years after being charged with stealing more than a quarter million dollars from a client, attorney-at-law Cheraine Nicole Parris threw in the towel and admitted to theft and money-laundering charges.

      And to make amends for her crime, today she handed over $10,000 in cash to her attorney, Angela Mitchell-Gittens, in order to continue repaying complainant Ashleigh Morrison some of the stolen $302,000.

      “At this stage, Ms Parris is seeking as much as possible to compensate the complainant because, ultimately, I suspect that. . . is what the complainant in this matter requires more than anything else,” Mitchell-Gittens told Justice Randall Worrell before two of Parris’ relatives testified before the No. 2 Supreme Court that they would assist in repaying the stolen money.

      The convicted attorney will be sentenced after submissions are made to the court on August 18, when Justice Randall will also be updated on the undertakings made by her relatives.

      Parris admitted to stealing the $302,000 belonging to Morrison – the remainder of a larger sum – in 2010. She also pleaded guilty to 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 at which Morrison was residing. The complainant had deposited in Parris’ account, a total of $462,000. Of that amount, $160,000 had been repaid on two separate occasions – $150,000 in the first instance and then $10,000.

      This morning, the court heard the steps that two of Parris’ relatives are taking to ensure the remainder of the money is repaid.

      An uncle said he was in the process of selling property and as soon as that sale was completed, he would help Parris and other family members would also assist.

      Her cousin, a local car dealer, said he was “willing to assist as much as humanly possible” and was ready to front some of the amount through the sale or transfer of the deed of a vehicle.

      “We are into the realm of restorative justice right now . . . . I have been speaking for them for a little while . . . and if things can be restored . . . an approach which is taken in many countries, then let us try to see if we can practice some kind of restorative justice until it is placed on the books,” Justice Worrell said.

      Parris will remain on bail pending sentencing, after Mitchell-Gittens made the submission for a continuation of bail, for the status quo to remain and in light of the fact that “tangible steps” were being made to compensate Morrison.

      “And given that this conviction will have serious implications for Ms Parris, professionally, going forward, no doubt there are things that she will need to put in place. I am asking that she remains on bail pending sentencing, so that she can deal with this issue of compensation, with a view to fully compensating the complainant before sentence in this matter,” her attorney added.

      While Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale did not object to the submission, he made it clear that the now convicted woman should be aware that “this is not an indication of a sentence”.

      “There is still the possibility of incarceration and most of all that she also understands that I have heard about compensation for the complainant but in lieu of custodial sentence there may be other things that she may have to contemplate as far as fines may be concerned,” he added.

      On September 16, 2010, Parris was arrested and formerly charged that between April 15 and August 16 of that same year, she stole $462,000 belonging to Morrison, a horse trainer residing at Unit 115 Golden View Condominiums, Sunset Crest, St James.

      Morrison decided to purchase the residence, which was owned by a man in the United States, when it was put up for sale in 2007.

      She retained the services of a lawyer who later died but not before informing her about transferring the matter to a colleague, Parris, which was done.

      After meeting with her new attorney, Morrison wrote a cheque for $30,000, representing five per cent deposit on the property, made payable to Parris. The attorney also informed Morrison that her legal fees associated with the transaction were $10,000. In July 2008, Parris was paid via a cheque in the amount of $5,250 which represented half of the legal fees and $250 for the preparation of a will.

      In April 2010, Morrison contacted Parris informing her of the desire to complete the sale of the condominium. To that end, she paid over $462,000 towards the purchase and Parris debited the money from Morrison’s account the same day.

      But, according to the Deputy DPP, who outlined the facts, Morrison became “troubled and impatient” after some time had passed because there were “no signs of anything positive happening”.

      In August 2010, she requested her money back and in the presence of another person, Parris handed her a cheque for the full $462,000, but it subsequently bounced.

      Morrison requested her money on three additional occasions but, despite promises, never received it.

      The matter was reported to police. After Parris was charged, and before the cases were committed to be heard in the High Court, she repaid the sum of $160,000.

  22. It will be interesting to see how this woman is treated and compare it with how Vonda Pile was treated. I still maintain that Vonda had the works chucked at her because she was uncompromisingly from Deacons. Magistrates disliked her.
    I remember one evening I was at the home of a prominent Barbadian who was in court that day as a witness; he told me a story about this lawyer’s behaviour in court that day. I quickly realised he was describing Vonda, who I had met on a couple occasions in the company of the late Trevor ‘Job’ Clarke, whose lawyer she was. I kept quiet. His comments were not complimentary.
    This is not to excuse her abuse of a client’s funds, but that is par for the course in Barbados. There are simple ways to control client money, but BLP/DLP (duopoly) governments do not want to go there. Too many lawyers in politics. They operate like a mafia.
    We must deal with the root cause of corruption and not just the symptoms.

  23. David,

    You seemed to have closed the Heather Cole blog to comments. John had made a comment that suggests black owned businesses are extortioners. He forgot to mention Cherish where the prices are the lowest in Barbados. They are deliberately kept so by the owner to cater to the cash challenged masses.

    Sorry to go offtrack but I thought it worthy of mention seeing as how he was trying to label all black business owners as unworthy of our support.

  24. DonnaJuly 18, 2020 7:25 AM


    You seemed to have closed the Heather Cole blog to comments. John had made a comment that suggests black owned businesses are extortioners. He forgot to mention Cherish where the prices are the lowest in Barbados. They are deliberately kept so by the owner to cater to the cash challenged masses.

    Sorry to go offtrack but I thought it worthy of mention seeing as how he was trying to label all black business owners as unworthy of our support


    I simply made the point that Bajans are not foolish and will choose where to shop based on their own assessment of the benefits the business provides for them, …. regardless of colour!!

    It is true of the retail sector and the services sector.

    It is unlikely Bajans requiring legal services will flock to lawyers who are known to be unethical.

  25. David,

    There is method to my madness. lol. I don’t counter to score points. (That is just a bonus.) I counter for those unsuspecting readers who might be swayed by certain deliberate distortions.

    We have acknowledged that many of our people are mentally enslaved still. These people are prone to comparing themselves unfavorably with other races.

    How many times have you heard the exclamation, “Black people!” accompanied by a shake of the head.

    I will not allow a deceitful racist to compound that counterproductive assessment that we have been programmed to make of ourselves.

    I hope you can see now why I seem to belabour some points. The thing is engrained in our psyche. As it was drummed in so it must plucked out. We know how weeds grow back if one does not remove the roots.

    • @Donna

      You will not win any arguments with John. The family feud has coloured his world view.


  26. David,

    Again, I am not trying to convince John. Nobody wins an argument with John in John’s eyes. But his defences are getting weaker and weaker. Pathetic really.

    Reread what I said above.

  27. David July 18, 2020 4:51 AM
    Almost ten years after being charged with stealing more than a quarter million dollars from a client, attorney-at-law Cheraine Nicole Parris threw in the towel and admitted to theft and money-laundering charges. (Unquote).

    Parris admitted to stealing the $302,000 belonging to Morrison – the remainder of a larger sum – in 2010. She also pleaded guilty to engaging in money laundering by conducting a series of transactions in moving the cash, being the proceeds of crime. (Unquote).

    @ Blogmaster David BU:

    But how can this be?

    Sounds a bit confusing, as reported.

    What kind of lawyer(s) would plead guilty to a serious ‘criminal’ charge made under a piece of legislation which had No standing of relevance in Barbados at the time of the alleged offence?

    Were the money-laundering charges made this year 2020 under the ‘upgraded’ M/L legislation or in 2010 under the old legislation?

    If we are to go by the ‘competent’ legal advice of our learned counsel “Greene” the ‘previous’ anti money-laundering piece of legislation only applied to criminal acts involving terrorism and drug dealing.

    • @Miller

      Looks like gaps in the case as reported. What is the timelines of the several charges laid?


  28. You will find this item deep in today’s Nation newspaper.

    Attorney’s theft charge dismissed

    LESS THAN a month after her first appearance, attorney Susanna Etonia Yvette Thompson had her theft charge dismissed after the complainant opted out of the matter in the Bridgetown Traffic Court last Wednesday.
    Thompson, 39, of Hillaby, St Andrew and The Belle, St Michael, was accused of stealing $5 078, belonging to Natasha Graham, sometime between June 23, 2017 and October 19, 2018, the proceeds of a Republic Bank cashier’s cheque payable to Susanna Thompson.
    Complainant Graham appeared and told Magistrate Graveney Bannister that she was no longer interested in proceeding with the matter.
    Magistrate Bannister then dismissed the charge.
    Thompson was represented by attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens. (HLE)

  29. Attorney to pay $40 000 in a week
    SELF-CONFESSED THIEF Cheraine Parris yesterday promised she would have another payment, in a week’s time, to give to the client she bilked out of more than $300 000 ten years ago.
    Parris, of Lowlands, Christ Church, was back in the No. 2 Supreme Court, where she had pleaded guilty to stealing $302 000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison between April 15 and August 20, 2010.
    The attorney also admitted she engaged in money laundering in that she disposed of $302 000, between April 15 and August 16, 2010, being the proceeds of crime.
    Property sold
    Yesterday, attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, who took over Parris’ case last month, told the court that Parris’ uncle had sold his property and had given the attorney a cheque last Friday.
    Parris then told the court: “My uncle is paying in $40 000. Can we be allowed to pay in seven days because the cheque has to clear.”
    On her last appearance, the uncle, Terry Ashby-Smith, who told the court he was selling a property worth $490 000, had said he was willing to help Parris but was waiting to see “how much everybody puts together”.
    Justice Randall Worrell granted Harris the adjournment yesterday and told her to return to court on September 25. She is on bail until then.
    The court had heard that the complainant, then 48 years old and a horse trainer, was interested in buying the Sunset Crest, St James condominium in which she lived and had engaged the services of attorney Karen Culbard. That was in 2007.
    Culbard subsequently passed away, and Parris took over the matter.
    In 2010 Morrison successfully renegotiated the cost of the condominium from $600 000 to $500 000 and told Parris to contact the attorney for the seller so the relevant documents could be drawn up.
    The woman then wrote a cheque for $462 000 and handed it over to Parris. She noticed her account was debited that same day.
    Never called
    But Parris never contacted the seller and either
    did not take Morrison’s calls or made promises she did not keep. The horse trainer went overseas, and when she returned she again contacted the attorney, who told Morrison she had not had time to work on her matter. Months later, and now fed up, Morrison demanded her money back. Three days later, Parris brought a cheque for $462 000 for the woman. A week later it bounced.
    The woman then went to the police.
    When interviewed about the report of theft, Parris told then Station Sergeant Mark White: “I know about this. I don’t want this in my life.”
    She refused to initial any documents, did not dictate a written statement and answered “no comment” to every question she was asked.
    Two years later, the complainant again spoke to police and showed them a $150 000 deposit to her account from Parris.
    The lawyer also paid $10 000 on a subsequent occasion.


    ATTORNEY Cheraine Parris’ matter will be heard again on Friday after she failed to turn up by the end of yesterday’s sitting in the No. 2 Supreme Court.
    Parris was to return with a payment of $40 000 after, on her last appearance, she had begged the court to give her seven days to allow a cheque, given to her by an uncle, to clear the bank.
    When her matter was called, Parris was not present. Her attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, however, said Parris had informed her she was going to the bank with her uncle.
    Request granted
    Mitchell-Gittens then asked that the matter be adjourned until Friday. The request was granted by Justice Randall Worrell.
    Parris, of Lowlands, Christ Church, had pleaded guilty at an earlier Session of the Continuous Sittings to stealing $302 000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison, between April 15 and August 20, 2010.
    The lawyer 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.


  31. Mitchell-Gittens objects to case being adjourned
    A REQUEST for an adjournment in a 2013 murder case came in for criticism from a senior attorney in the No. 2 Supreme Court.
    Ryan O’Neal Small, of Martin’s Road, The Pine, St Michael; Tyrone DaCosta Hope, of Hothersal Turning, St Michael; and Carlo Devere Hinkson, of Bridge Cot, St George, each denied they murdered Damian Foster, formerly of Eden Lodge, St Michael, between June 6 and 8, 2013.
    Small was represented by Angella Mitchell-Gittens, who was holding a brief for attorney Dennis Headley who is representing Hinkson, while Vonda Pile appeared for Hope.
    Crown Counsel Joyann Catwell, representing Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb-Agard, QC, requested that the matter be adjourned until October.
    But Mitchell-Gittens objected, saying the murder matter was extremely old and that one of the accused was “languishing in prison”.
    “Why are we adjourning? Why are we getting a mention date? Is the Crown not ready to proceed? What is happening? Why are we going all the way down to October?” she questioned.
    “This has been the subject of a constitutional motion where Mr Hinkson was granted bail, next-to-nothing Magistrates’ Court bail because of the delay in the matter,” the attorney said.
    Mitchell-Gittens noted the representative of the Crown was irrelevant since the Crown was an institution. In addition, she said Small wanted his matter adjudicated so he could “get on with his life”.
    “And I thought we were in an era where we are looking to try matters, especially capital matters,” she said.
    Justice Randall Worrell adjourned the matter until September 4 “so we can see what the situation is, whether the Crown is ready to proceed or not”.

    Source: Nation

  32. Lawyer turns up without money

    CHERAINE NICOLE PARRIS turned up empty-handed last Friday.
    The lawyer, who pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering after she bilked a woman out of her savings, was supposed to hand over $40 000 to the woman last Tuesday.
    But Parris did not turn up and the matter was adjourned until last Friday.
    The attorney, of Lowlands, Christ Church, had pleaded guilty to stealing $302 000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison, between April 15 and August 20, 2010.
    She 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 is being represented by attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, while Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale is prosecuting.
    When Parris reappeared in the No. 2 Supreme Court, she apologised for her absence earlier in the week and said she was “trying to get the matter resolved”.
    “I did go to the bank (with her uncle who was supposed to be giving her a cheque for $40 000) but I couldn’t get it resolved on Tuesday,” she said, explaining that was why she was late getting to court.
    Wanted evidence
    She explained that because of the sum, the bank had wanted evidence of where her uncle had gotten the funds.
    “I spoke to him at length as to how important it is to have the cheque today. We were not able to attend to the bank [Thursday] but I do believe that my uncle is still very willing to assist with this matter,” she said.
    Parris then asked the court for three more days to resolve the matter “either through his funds or funds from a different source”.
    “He is 70 years old, but I talked to him and tried my best to tell him how urgent this is. I don’t believe he is fooling around and I think we can get the funds to Miss Morrison, if not from him then from another source,” she said.
    Justice Randall Worrell told the self-confessed thief: “Whereas you may be finding difficulty, I think Miss Morrison is finding even greater difficulty. The lady wants her money. It doesn’t get any less than that.”
    He then requested that Parris’ uncle and her cousin, who had also said he was willing to help her repay her debt, appear in court next Friday.

  33. Submissions on sentence due today
    DESPITE turning up again without any money for the complainant, attorney Cheraine Nicole Parris said she still wanted an opportunity to repay the thousands of dollars she stole from a former horse trainer ten years ago.
    The attorney, of Lowlands, Christ Church, who was back in the No. 2 Supreme Court yesterday, had pleaded guilty, earlier in the Session of the Continuous Sittings, to stealing $302 000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison between April 15 and August 20, 2010.
    The attorney also admitted she engaged in money laundering in that she disposed of $302 000, between April 15 and August 16, 2010, being the proceeds of crime.
    She is represented by attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, while Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale is prosecuting.
    The attorney told the court she meant no harm to the complainant.
    “When the cheque bounced, I was actually in her presence. I immediately paid funds the same day and subsequently I gave her more funds,” she told the court.
    “I have been trying to settle this matter. I want the matter settled. I want to repay and I want the opportunity still to repay Ms Morrison,” Parris added.
    When the matter resumes today before Justice Randall Worrell, attorneys for both sides will make submissions on sentence.
    The court had earlier been told that the then 48-year-old complainant was interested in buying the condominium in which she lived and had engaged the services of attorney Karen Culbard. That was in 2007.
    Culbard initiated correspondence with the attorney who was working for the seller.
    However, Culbard died in June 2008 and Parris took over the matter.
    Morrison eventually wrote a cheque for $30 000, and then another for $5 250 after Parris said her attorney’s fees were $10 000.
    Account debited
    In 2010 Morrison then successfully renegotiated the cost of the condominium from $600 000 to $500 000 and told Parris to contact her counterpart so the relevant documents could be drawn up.
    The woman then wrote a cheque for $462 000 and handed it over to Parris. She noticed her account was debited that same day.
    But Parris never contacted the seller and either made promises or did not take Morrison’s calls.
    The horse trainer subsequently travelled overseas and when she returned she again contacted the attorney,
    who told Morrison she had not had time to work on the matter. Months later, and now fed up, Morrison demanded her money back. That was on August 16.
    Three days later, Parris brought a cheque for $462 000 for the woman. A week later it bounced.
    The woman then went to the police.
    Parris told then Station Sergeant Mark White: “I know about this. I don’t want this in my life.”
    She, however, refused to initial any documents, did not dictate a written statement and answered “no comment” to every question she was asked.
    Two years later, the complainant again spoke to police and showed them a $150 000 deposit to her account from Parris.
    The lawyer also paid $10 000 on a subsequent occasion.

    Source: Nation News

  34. Attorney in tears
    By Heather-Lynn Evanson
    For the second time in 12 months, an attorney has been sent to prison for stealing a client’s money.
    This time it is disgraced lawyer Cheraine Nicole Parris, who will spend four years for bilking her client out of almost half-million dollars ten years ago.
    “This is not a little amount,” Justice Randall Worrell told her. “This is a considerable amount of money, however one looks at it. In addition to that, the more aggravating feature is that you were placed in a position of trust and you breached that trust considerably. So there must be a sentence of imprisonment,” he said.
    However, unlike attorney Vonda Pile, who was stoic as she was sentenced to three years, Parris broke into loud sobs and wails when she heard her fate in the No. 2 Supreme Court yesterday.
    Parris, of Lowlands, Christ Church, had pleaded guilty to 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.
    She 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 was represented by attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, while Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale prosecuted.
    Parris’ guilty plea came after more than five years of appearances, adjournments before the High Court and promises to pay the money.
    What made the case so serious, said Justice Worrell yesterday, was that Parris had made no attempt to repay the outstanding balance.
    “I don’t think that anyone can complain. You had from 2010 to 2020 to try to see if you could pay back this money.
    “The date of this offence is April 15, 2010. We are now at September 2020. Even if you were paying back $3 000 a month, you would have exceeded the amount for which you have been placed before this court,” he said.
    “Ten years have gone. So if you didn’t get $302 000 in ten years, are you going to get it in 60 days?” the judge asked, as he noted Parris’ breach of trust had had a detrimental effect on the complainant’s health.
    He told Parris he had, however, considered her guilty plea and that she had a clean record. But those, he added, were the only two mitigating factors in her case.
    Discount given
    Justice Worrell said he had determined that the starting point should be six years and he had given her the one-third discount for her guilty plea. He then ordered that Parris serve the remaining four years for the offences.
    Prosecutor Seale, in his submissions on sentence, said Parris’ matter should be a lesson to young attorneys about “never hanging your hat higher than you can reach”. He said many young lawyers entered the profession with delusions of grandeur and felt they needed to live “the lawyer lifestyle”.
    Meanwhile, Mitchell-Gittens said Parris had been struggling personally and professionally since she was apprehended for the theft.
    “If it were in her power to repay Ms Morrison, she would have,” defence counsel said.
    It was in September 2019 that attorney Vonda Pile was found guilty and jailed for three years for stealing US$96 008 between April 29, 2009, and October 26, 2010, from Bajan/New Yorker Anstey King. She was found not guilty of money laundering.
    Since then she has appealed her conviction and sentence, is on bail and back practising at the Bar.

  35. A client who was hoping to own a half a million-dollar home is, instead, now dependent on welfare and the loss of the investment she entrusted to her lawyer was today compared to suffering an aneurysm.The analogy came from both the prosecution and the High court judge just before attorney-at-law Cheraine Parris was sentenced to four years in prison. She is the second lawyer, in just under a year, to be jailed for theft of a client’s money. In September 2019, Vonda Pile was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing $191 416. 39 from a former client

    The report is disjointed I am getting the impression that she has repaid $292,000….

  36. CHANGE THE LAW PLEASE. It can be done in less than a week. Will some honest politician put a bill before parliament to get this stupid law changed once and for all.

    Lawyers should never have access to the money in the first place to make such situations possible. Why must all the money be put in a lawyer’s hands in the first place? Clients should be writing two cheques on instructions from the lawyer, one to the seller’s name and one to their lawyer to pay their bill.

    What happen to tracing all the stolen money?

  37. @ Sargeant September 12, 2020 10:17 AM
    $292,000 is what is still owed. The original outstanding amount was $302,000 in 2010. She only paid $10,000 over the last 10 years. i.e. She paid the equivalent of $1,000 per year towards the $302,000 she owed.

  38. Lawyers living beyond their means. I was once told by a leading QC, a lawyer/politician, that the young lawyers in his chambers resented people returning from London having worked as bus drivers and nurses and are now millionaires(in Bajan dollars). That they went to university and were not themselves so wealthy.
    Apart from the nonsense about having been to university, what they were not told was how hard those men and women worked in the UK and what humiliations they endured for their money. In other societies people would have been proud of their returnees.

  39. It should not matter how hard a person worked for THEIR money.

    It is THEIR money to do as they please with it.

    All lawyers especially those SENIOR SUCCESSFUL LAWYERS, QCs and JUDGES shoulddo what is right.

  40. Change what law? The PM is a lawyer; the AG is a lawyer; they were both AG’s in previous administrations, they have had ample time to change the law but don’t expect miracles. I read where the last lawyer who was sent to prison for stealing her client’s money is out on bail still protesting her innocence and she had plenty of other lawyers willing to go to bat for her. This last lawyer must be really “hand to mout” none of her colleagues turned up to offer statements of “good” character.

  41. The idea of two checks has been floated here before. Simple me, believe there is no need for a new law….
    Just honest and ethical lawyers.

    It’s the people who need fixing.

  42. @ Sargeant

    They have had ample time to THINK about the law. Every adult, no matter what they do, thinks about ways of improving their jobs, in articular, and their occupations/profession, in general.
    So, we must assume, no change because they do not want change. They are implicit in all the wrongs of their profession. Apart from Ezra Alleyne, and formerly Jeff Cumberbatch, Barbadian lawyers do not discuss their profession in public.
    The one that gets me is conveyancing. You do not have to be a lawyer to do conveyancing, it is money for old rope. But in Barbados it goes a lot further.
    Lawyers are paid according to the value of the property. In reality, a lawyer takes the same time and effort to carry out conveyancing on a tin hut as they do for a multi-million dollar mansion.
    But this effective theft is given legal legitimacy by being listed in the Official Gazette. Every time I see it I smile to myself.

  43. Do I recall hearing that the same one who talks about his profession get chase down Pinfold Street with a machete?

    Ain’t nobody having access to my money. I am sure it is not written in law that they must. I think it is just convention.

    Why didn’t we ask Jeff when we had him here?

    But I forget! I know one honest lawyer who will level with me.

  44. @ David September 12, 2020 5:22 AM

    Parris, of Lowlands, Christ Church, had pleaded guilty to 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.
    She 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. (Unquote).

    Under which piece of legislation was Ms Parris charged for “Money Laundering”?

    Was she engaged, allegedly, in drug trafficking or terrorism?

    Could you ask your most ‘learned’ friend “Greene” to explain what went on here?

  45. @ David September 13, 2020 8:44 AM

    But it has been argued here on BU that under the ‘old’ piece of M/L legislation a charge of money laundering could only succeed if the “criminal activity” involved either drug trafficking or acts of terrorism.

    Isn’t that the basis for the argument why neither Inniss nor the ‘other’ Parris (Greenverbs) could have been charged and prosecuted successfully in the courts of Barbados prior to 2019 because of that very loophole in the old M/L law?

  46. Lawyer may face more action

    by COLVILLE MOUNSEY DISGRACED LAWYER Cheraine Nicole Parris may be in jail, but she may face even more trouble.

    Parris is now facing the possibility of sanctions from the Barbados Bar Association.

    This is according to president of the Bar Association, Rosalind Smith-Millar QC, who stopped short of saying whether the organisation would be seeking to disbar Parris, who was sentenced last week to four years after pleading guilty to stealing $302 000 belonging to Ashleigh Morrison between April 15 and August 20, 2010.

    In an interview with the DAILY NATION yesterday, a passionate Smith-Millar said the Bar Association was duty bound to take some form of action, especially in light of the fact that this is the second such convictionof an attorney in 12 months.

    “A criminal conviction is a breach of the Code of Ethics.

    There are various procedures that can be taken by different people . . . The Bar has to do something – it really does.

    I am not going to run from that one. The Bar has to do something, but I really don’t want to get into what that might be right now,” said Smith-Millar.

    Call for overhaul

    Smith-Millar also called for an overhauling of the disciplinary committee for the legal fraternity, contending that it was simply too small to handle investigations within an ever-growing profession.

    “That system does need some overhauling. The committee is too small for the volume of work that it has to deal with.

    It was established years ago when the Bar Association was much smaller. With an increased number of lawyers, there is a need to increase the size of the committee to deal with matters in a timely fashion.

    This is something that the Bar has been asking [about] for a very long time, along with new representation on that committee – for example, a member of society who is not a lawyer.

    So there are many initiatives that the Bar has put out there over time, but they have not been able to achieve those things,” she said.

    The Bar Association president contended that Parris’ actions, which had dominated public discourse in the last few days, had been a major blow to the legal fraternity’s reputation. In September 2019, attorney Vonda Pile was found guilty and jailed for three years for stealing US$96 008 between April 29, 2009, and October 26, 2010, from Bajan/New Yorker Anstey King. She was found not guilty of money laundering. Since then she has appealed her conviction and sentence, is on bail and back practising at the Bar.

    “Of course, we have taken a hit in our reputation. Lawyers are not supposed to do those things. We are in a position of trust and when clients give us their money, we are supposed to do exactly what they gave us the money to do. I am extremely disappointed about these matters. I have always taken the position that if you abuse that trust and steal client’s money, you are going to have to be held to account,” she said.

    Smith-Millar also responded to suggestions that young attorneys are often misguided by perceptions that grandeur and lavish lifestyles were par for the course upon gaining entry into the profession.

    She told the DAILY NATION that her association has done all it can to keep their young members grounded in reality.

    “I keep having to make the point that lawyers are human beings, we have specialist training and we are held to a higher standard in relation to our duty to our client.

    Unfortunately, because lawyers are human beings, one or two may do wrong things. The vast majority of lawyers do the right thing every day. I can’t say whether young lawyers are coming in with expectations of grandeur or other unrealistic expectations, but we do try at The Bar to engage with our young lawyers coming into the profession, to guide them and remind them what the code of ethics requires of them. I am not making any excuses for any of them because it is unacceptable behaviour for anybody,” she stressed.

    Source: Nation News

  47. Vonda Pile’s time practising law in Barbados could soon be cut short.

    Pile, who was convicted over a year ago of stealing almost $200,000 from a client and subsequently sentenced to three years in prison, was granted bail three months ago after filing an appeal.

    That appeal is set to be heard by the Court of Appeal.

    Weeks after leaving HMP Dodds, Pile shocked her colleagues and members of the public when she returned to work, representing her clients in the Magistrates’ courts.

    In an interview with Barbados TODAY, president of the Barbados Bar Association Rosalind Smith Millar revealed that the body was exploring certain options pertaining to Pile.

    She pointed out that while some authorities had the power to lodge a complaint against Pile on the basis of the conviction they had chosen not to do so.

    “Like everything else there is a due process that has to be undertaken. Now there is a limit to how much I can say about certain things, but I will say that the BAR Council has engaged its mind on these matters.

    There are some authorities who could, as of right, take action, who seemed to have declined to do so, and now it will be for the BAR to take the necessary action, but you don’t just wake up one day and it just happens,” Smith Millar explained.

    “There is a process that has to be gone through. We would have to get permission first to do what others can do without first asking for permission and we are engaged in that process.”

    When pressed if it meant the BAR Association was looking to take action against Pile and prevent her from practising law she responded: “There are certain actions the BAR can take but the disbarment of an attorney-at-law lies at the door of the Court of Appeal. The BAR cannot disbar anybody. We have to go through the process and it will eventually get to the Court of Appeal. I hope it will not take a long time, but we can’t disbar anyone, we can only start the process and try and hurry it along as far as we can.”

    Speaking on the recent conviction of another lawyer, Cheraine Parris, who was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday for stealing over $300,000 from a client, Smith Millar condemned her actions.

    While she said Pile and Parris’ convictions did not qualify as a trend, she admitted they were two convictions too many.

    However, the BAR president reminded Barbadians that they were just two attorneys convicted out of over 1,200.

    “One is too many. Two is way too many. It shouldn’t be happening at all,” Smith Millar maintained.

    “But the public has to put things in perspective; two out of 1,200 is not good, it should be zero. Secondly, if lawyers were not human beings they would not do these things. All manner of people commit offences and while lawyers are held to a very high standard of honesty and trust and they should not betray it, all kinds of people commit offences. It is not an excuse for lawyers, but it is not necessarily realistic to expect that it would never happen.

    “What can the BAR do about it? Remind people of their duty and what is expected of them,” she added.

    Smith Millar also expressed her regret that Parris’ victim Ashleigh Morrison had been wronged, saying she hoped no other client in Barbados would have to “suffer what she has suffered”.

  48. With regards to your redesigning comment for this Lawyers in the News and request for suggestion here are a few.

    I would look at a subpage that would be a combination between a customizable slider with would give a sub category e.g. client funds, misrepresentation, or other category headings

    The functionality of this page is not only to categorise its content so users see what they want to see quickly but you want it to be visually attractive.

    But you also don’t want or need to be changing its design too often

    By Barry Alleyne
    Applications are in, and a shortlist has been created from which Barbados’ next Chief Justice will be chosen.
    And six people have applied to fill the one vacancy on Barbados’ Court of Appeal.
    The Sunday Sun has been informed that five legal luminaries applied to be Chief Justice, including prominent Queen’s Counsel Patterson Cheltenham, Justice Carlisle Greaves and Justice of Appeal Francis Belle. Two non-nationals have also put their hats in the ring.
    When contacted on how the process had gone so far, Attorney General Dale Marshall said he had no idea who had applied for the post.
    “That is the way it’s supposed to be, so I’m glad there has been that high level on confidentiality involved. I’m not in a position to comment on the persons who may have applied for the positions,” he said.
    Marshall said the justice system remained an evolving animal, but having to twice go this route within two years of the current administration taking office had been a bit of a surprise.
    “Last year, when we stood up for the first time the new process of appointing judges to our Supreme Court, we could not have known that we would be engaged in a similar process a year later,” he said.
    Two months ago, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson announced his intention to retire. He went on preretirement leave from September 1.
    “On this occasion, the vacancies were the result of the retirement of the Chief Justice, Sir Marston Gibson, and Justice of Appeal Kaye Goodridge. This modern and transparent process has served us well in the selection of judges last year and I am confident that the Judicial Selection Committee will continue to serve
    us well,” the Attorney General noted.
    He said the time for applications had closed and interviews would be conducted this week.
    “I anticipate that the committee ought to be able to make their recommendations to the Prime Minister within a short period thereafter.
    “The Judicial Selection Committee thereafter will submit a formal report to the Prime Minister of the entire process from start to finish, and that report is laid in Parliament forming a permanent and public record of its work,” he said.
    Sir Marston, 66, became the 13th Chief Justice of Barbados, assuming office on September 1, 2011. He was made a Knight of St Andrew in the Independence Honours of November 2012.
    He had practised law in the United States for more than 20 years before being selected by the then ruling Democratic Labour Party for the position.

  50. @ Commander Theophillus Gazzerts.

    De ole man sends you kind greetings and wishes you continued success as you continue to battle the enemy that has been enlisted by Mugabe Mottley to silence you.

    That solution of which you passingly speak is so obvious a solution that a retard like Bedroom Police with his 14 degrees could have thought of it!

    If lawyers illrgally tekking cookies from the cookie jar in dem office MOVE DE COOKIE JAR from their office!!!

    But Commander, a obvious a solution that is, the fact is that the QC who now arrive to what de ole man grandson been saying for years, has been conspicuously silent about what she sees happening with existing client accounts currently held by QCs like herself AND OTHER WOLVES.

    I wonder if the Honourable Blogmaster could get this so called Bright QC to come pun Barbados Underground and expand on “she original idea”


  51. Bar’s report on Nicholls in focus

    HE REPORT of the Disciplinary Committee of the Barbados Bar Association, which conducted investigations into alleged professional misconduct by attorney Philip Nicholls, dominated the Court of Appeal proceedings yesterday.
    Queen’s Counsel Barry Gale, who is representing complainants Elma Inniss and Joyce Bowen, executrices of the estate of John Patrick Connor (deceased), is asking the court to consider the report of the Disciplinary Committee, while Queen’s Counsel Sir Elliott Mottley, who is representing Nicholls, says it is not a valid document.
    Acting Chief Justice Rajendra Narine and Justices of Appeal Kaye Goodridge and William Chandler are hearing the matter.
    Nicholls appeared before the Disciplinary Committee last year over his failure to account for $860 000, proceeds of the sale of a property which was owned by the deceased and his wife. The Committee, which was chaired by Cicely Chase (now Justice Chase-Harding), recommended that Nicholls be disbarred and his name removed from the roll of attorneys for unprofessional misconduct. The report was then submitted to the Court of Appeal.
    Sir Elliott has taken preliminary objections to the court relying on the report, saying it was flawed, but Gale submitted it had satisfied the requirements of Section 21 of the Legal Profession Act.
    “You have a report which is signed by the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee. You have a report which sets out the findings of the [committee], the reasons for its decision and the recommendations. This court therefore has the requisite jurisdiction and ability to consider the report,” Gale said.
    “It is clear that it is only this court that has the jurisdiction and power to discipline or not discipline Mr Nicholls,” he submitted, adding the appeal judges could adopt or ignore the recommendations of the committee.
    Statutory duty
    In terms of Sir Elliott’s objection, Gale said there was no evidence to support it and even if there were any technical irregularities, the court still had a statutory duty to hear the complaint.
    “The objection is questioning whether a quorum was present and whether the decision before the court is that of the Disciplinary Committee. You have evidence of Mr Nicholls himself contained in his affidavit on the 20th February, 2020,” Gale noted, adding the complaint was heard by the committee between 2008 and 2010 and that the report was signed by then chairman Cicely Chase.
    “This court will have to make its own ruling on the report. This court can decide whether to rely on the report – whether it accepts the recommendation or rejects it – and the court can substitute its own disciplinary measures or even go so far to say no disciplinary action is merited,” he argued.
    He said if the court were to throw out the report for the reasons advanced by Sir Elliott, “it would be a gross injustice to the complainants”.
    “This court has repeatedly said that it has a duty to protect the public from this type of behaviour and it has a duty to protect the integrity of the legal profession. It would be a gross disparity in justice if this court declines to hear this complaint. It would be a gross miscarriage of justice to the complainants and . . . a gross discharge of justice and total unfairness to the complainants if this matter is dismissed for some technicality.”
    In his submission, Sir Elliott said the Legal Profession Act spoke about the Disciplinary Committee deciding on an application of misconduct.
    He argued the report was signed by Chase and not the committee.
    “The powers are given not to the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee. The powers are given to the committee. The committee can only act by a quorum; it can’t by one individual,” he said.
    He referred to the affidavit of committee member Rita Evans in which she said she could not recall a meeting taking place on July 16, 2019, and as such she was unable to shed any light on the compilation of the report.
    Called into question
    “The report cannot be the report of the chairman of the committee. The chairman has a duty to submit that report for the consideration for members of the committee.”
    Sir Elliott charged that the integrity of the report had been called into question.
    “This is not a breach of natural justice, this is a fundamental flaw,” he said.
    “The very integrity of this report is being called into question and if you call the integrity of the report into question, you are calling the integrity of the chairman into question. What Miss Evans is saying is that she was not present at any meeting on July 16, so the whole integrity of the report is called into question. I don’t see how a chairman could sit down and write that and put it forward to the Court of Appeal as a document of the committee.”
    The court will give its decision at a later date.

    Source: Nation

  52. Barbadians always seem to make a mountain out of a molehill. This problem with lawyers misappropriation of client’s funds is such a simple matter to solve that I honestly believe the powers that be prefer to leave things as is to protect themselves and their buddies.

  53. John Knox was sleeping at 8:33 pm!!

    If you want to find out more about the odyssey of Philip Nicholls, read his two books.

    A third is also due out soon.

    You will find out just how corrupt the officers of the court are in Barbados.

  54. IN LIMBO 

    Retired Sir Marston still to deliver several decisions

    By Maria

    A number of Court of Appeal (COA) decisions involving former Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and two former Court of Appeal judges are at a standstill.

    That is because an appeal has been filed before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) challenging the constitutionality of Governor General Dame Sandra Mason and CCJ judge Andrew Burgess rendering a decision on a Court of Appeal case while not sitting as COA judges.

    Attorney General Dale Marshall confirmed to the Sunday Sun that the judiciary was awaiting the outcome of the appeal before the other cases could move forward.

    He was responding to questions about the outstanding judgments both in the High Court and the COA still to be delivered by Sir Marston, who resigned as Chief Justice at the end of August.

    The Sunday Sun understands that collectively there are about 30 cases.

    While Marshall said he did not know the exact number, he confirmed that there were a number of judgments to be written by the former Head of the Judiciary.

    Still to be written

    “The former Chief Justice Sir Marston does have a number of Court of Appeal decisions that he is to write. He also has a number of High Court decisions that he is to write. There is a constitutional challenge with his ability to deliver the Court of Appeal decisions because of the fact that the court at that time included Dame Sandra Mason and therefore the argument is that those decisions, having not been previously given, cannot now be given because of the notice of Dame Sandra participating in the giving of those decisions . . . .

    “The convention is that they would sign the decision and the argument is that the act of Dame Sandra signing a decision atthis time would be a breach of the doctrine of separation of powers. So that is before the CCJ and we would have to await the outcome of a CCJ ruling to determine whether Dame Sandra can join in those decisions before those can go forward – so those

    decisions are effectively at a standstill at this point.”

    However, he noted that in relation to High Court decisions: “There is provision in the Constitution for a judge to come back and give decisions, and I am hopeful that Sir Marston will get those decisions out of the way with some despatch.”

    With Barbados’ judiciary being widely criticised for its backlog of cases, Marshall said: “It is obviously not a good thing for him to still have decisions outstanding, so my earnest hope is that he would do everything in his power to get them delivered. Some of them do go back a number of years.”

    He said the number of COA judgments to be written by Sir Marston was over 25 but some had been given since he left the bench.

    “The matter of outstanding judgments is a tremendous concern to me as Attorney General and certainly to the Government and obviously to the people involved. I get people complaining to me that they had been waiting six years or more.

    “In my early meetings with Sir Marston after coming to office I told him to let me know if there are resources he needs so to be able to get rid of the backlog, but I was assured it wasn’t a case of resources.

    “I am aware that the former Chief Justice had adopted the practice of giving judges downtime so that they could write their decisions. I am sure some were delivered but the backlogs are still

    quite large.”

    Marshall said that he had asked the president of the Bar Association to compile a current list of outstanding decisions as well as the details and dates that the matters were heard.

    He said this was something that the Bar had been doing for a number of years.

    Timely judgments

    In terms of disciplining judges who fail to write judgments in a timely manner, Marshall reminded that Parliament had amended the Constitution to add to the definition of misconduct the delay of more than six months in giving a decision,

    but he noted: “Obviously you ought not to look at a six-month deadline mechanically because some matters are more complex than others; but I think it is a signal when we amended the Constitution, to all High Court judges that we consider that anything beyond six months is really unacceptable . . . .”

    However, he said there were no “coercive mechanisms” that could be used against a judge who was negligent in giving decisions other than to seek to remove them from the bench.

    “It is our earnest hope that the changes we made in the court in terms of increasing the number of judges will help to reduce the backlog. . . .”

    Source: Nation

  55. 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

  56. 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

  57. Court delays ‘obscene’
    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.”

    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)

  59. Ultimatum
    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.

  60. 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.

    • @Donna

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

  61. 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.

  62. 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!


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


  63. MOCKERY!
    Deputy DPP blasts automatic 3 months off a year at Dodds
    By Heather-Lynn Evanson
    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?”

  64. 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
    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.
    “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.

  65. 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

  66. 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.

  67. 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

  68. 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

  69. 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”.

    Source: Nation

    • 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

  70. 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

  71. @ 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.

  72. 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

  73. 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. (

  74. 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.

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