Former Attorney General, Cajeton Hood is now fully back in private practice after serving government as its principal legal advisor for the past four-and-a-half years.
Hood confirmed to THE NEW TODAY newspaper that his last day as a government employee officially ended on Wednesday and it is now time for him to return to head his Law office of Justis Chambers which has been in the hands of his son in recent months.
Hood said that his tenure as AG expired on April 4 but was asked to remain on the job for an extension of six months with which he complied.
The attorney stated that he has no intention of renewing his contract with the Mitchell-led government as his son needs him at the office.
“I spent four-and-half years away from office. I have a young son who has just graduated and he is the only one running the office. I had two friends who (were) running the office, but that did not work out. My son is not experienced, he cannot do it alone so I will be back at my office at Justis Chambers on Church Street”, he said.
“I am excited to go back. I have always liked litigation, I love the court. I am excited to go back onto that”, he added.
Former Minister of Legal Affairs, Dr. Lawrence Joseph, a long-standing confidante of Prime Minister Mitchell has been put in the post of Acting Attorney-General until the holding of the upcoming general election.
Hood described his time serving the NNP administration as enlightening since it was the first time for him working with Cabinet and advising government on a range of matters.
“It was (an) enriching, rewarding experience,” he said.
Legal sources told this newspaper that the relationship between Hood and Prime Minister Mitchell became rather strained in recent years.
The Grenadian leader choose to ignore the legal advice offered by Hood and Solicitor-General Dwight Horsford to be cautious in its attempt to grant Queen’s Counsel status to two lawyers in private practice – Ruggles Ferguson and Derick Sylvester.
The OECS Court has a protocol on appointing QC in which it states that the Chief Justice is the one responsible for making the recommendations after candidates are vetted by a 5-member “Silk Committee” headed by a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
The Prime Minister allegedly opted instead to follow the legal opinion offered by a non-national lawyer serving as an advisor that he is not bounded by the existing protocol.
As attorney Hood heads back into private practice, he was due to attend court on Thursday for the first time after the end of his tenure as the islands AG.
Hood was due to attend a sitting of the St. George’s Magistrate’s Court on St. John’s Street to represent the owner of Seaport Restaurant, Roger Lewis in a criminal matter.
Lewis has been bogged down in a matter involving the falsification of the will of his deceased father, Allan Lewis.