There was a news item in March that virtually went unnoticed by many of the media houses in Grenada.
It involved the disbarring of an attorney-at-law in Jamaica for bringing the profession into disrepute.
The item that was published in one of the newspapers in Jamaica said, “A noted attorney and senior member of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has been disbarred after being found guilty of professional misconduct.
“Harold Brady was found guilty of misappropriating funds belonging to the state-run Factories Corporation of Jamaica, which he represented in a legal matter.
“And over the weekend, the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council met and decided he would be struck from the list of licensed legal practitioners in Jamaica.
“Brady also has to pay more than J$110 million (US$854,376) in restitution.
“The disciplinary committee is expected to publish a full report on Brady’s disbarment.
“Brady is among several attorneys now under investigation by the disciplinary committee, according to Radio Jamaica. The council is said to be investigating more than 500 complaints filed against attorneys by their clients”.
THE NEW TODAY took careful note of the manner in which Jamaica was dealing with attorneys-at-law who have brought the profession into disrepute.
Can we say the same of our attorneys in Grenada? Is it that none of them have engaged in professional misconduct?
In recent years, the Legal Council has not been functioning in Grenada and was very dormant.
The current government took action to reconstitute the body with retired high court judge, Justice Rita Joseph, once a partner in the law firm of Grant Grant & Joseph as the new Chairperson.
This newspaper cannot verify what the council is doing at the moment but a few local attorneys have sought to assure us that the members are doing a lot of work behind the scene.
Nearly five years ago, a sitting high court judge by the name of Justice Margaret Price-Finlay had referred to the Council the case of a female attorney to be investigated with a view to either suspending her or disbarring her completely for alleged misappropriation of a client’s funds.
The information which came out in court records is that it was the second time that the courts had found this particular lawyer at fault with the money of her clients.
There are other matters involving attorneys and the funds of client that the court choose to impose Gag Orders on the media from reporting about them instead of sending them over to the Rita Joseph-led Council for investigation and action.
This, THE NEW TODAY regards as mixed signals coming from our law courts.
It appears to be much different in Jamaica as the Media there can report that the Council in Kingston is investigating more than 500 complaints filed against attorneys by their clients.
How many complaints are before the local committee? Is it because our lawyers are not engaged in much wrongdoing or Grenadians have lost confidence in the system?
Is it any wonder that Grenadians voted to remain in the so-called “Colonial” and White man’s court known as the Privy Council in Britain and rejected the attempt to impose their own Caribbean Court of Justice as the final appellate court in the jurisdiction?
Finally, THE NEW TODAY wish to make some passing remarks about a recent appointment in the Parliamentary Elections Office in light of the fast approaching general election.
It appears that a well-known political activist of the ruling New National Party (NNP) has been given a contract by the state to occupy one of the top positions in the office.
There can be no denying that many persons who know the individual are convinced that an “operative” of the NNP has been installed into the Electoral Office.
his is not good in light of the clumsy manner in which Dame Cecile sacked eight Registration/Returning Officers by the stroke of the pen in recent months.
In the final analysis, history will judge the actions of the current Head of State for her actions including the manner in which she terminated the services of Judy Benoit as Supervisor of Elections.
It was the same Judy Benoit who was praised by the Organisation of American States for the manner in which she supervised over the 2013 general elections in which the NNP was returned to power and Dame Cecile was appointed to succeed Sir Carlyle Glean as the new Head of State.