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Missing in action

Lawyer reprimanded by magistrate

courtA lawyer, who openly criticized the judicial system, was today publicly reprimanded by a magistrate for failing to appear in court.

Presiding in the District “A” Traffic Court, Magistrate Graveney Bannister took issue with the absence of attorney-at-law Arthur Holder, after a number of his clients appeared before him without their legal representative.

“This is the fourth time that he failed to appear . . . and failed to display any courtesy,
. . . wasting my time, clogging up my court, wasting police resources and time  . . . on successive occasions . . . always absent [and] no courtesy to write the court with an excuse,” an upset Bannister charged.

The magistrate then asked one of the accused whether he had been in contact with Holder, to which he replied, “Yes, he is in the High Court”.

“You [the accused] have multiple matters to be heard, if Mr Holder is unavailable find yourself another lawyer,” Bannister advised.

The accused man then revealed that he had already paid Holder, to which the magistrate responded: “Get your brief and your money back . . . find yourself another lawyer . . . I will proceed on the next court date,” he added.

However, that position did not go down well with the attorney-at-law in question.

When contacted by Barbados TODAY this evening Holder explained that he was in the No.5 Supreme Court on two other matters. The attorney also revealed that he normally made contact with the prosecutor of the Traffic Court to say when he would be absent.

“The High Court gives precedence, that’s the law  . . . and [Madam] Justice [Jacqueline] Cornelius was sick yesterday, so all the matters were adjourned for today,” explained Holder.

“Anytime I am not coming to the court, the standard procedure is, I normally speak to Station Sergeant Barrow who is the prosecutor in the Traffic Court or I send one of my juniors to that court. So, I really do not understand Graveney Bannister’s problem. I pun the record, if he has a problem with Arthur Holder he should say that,” the attorney said.

Holder also accused Bannister of disrespecting him in the presence of his clients.

“I believe he would have made some remarks to [one of the accused] to say, ‘come to my quarters or to go to the Bar Association’, I was told that.

“That’s no place for a magistrate to say that. That’s outside his purview. That has nothing to do with Graveney Bannister . . . telling clients to go to the Bar Association . . . that is disrespectful to an attorney-at-law and you can quote me on that . . . and I say that without reservation. That has nothing to do with him and the administration of justice,” Holder argued.

He also made it clear that he was not wasting the court’s time, saying he did not believe the prosecutor was ready to try any of the cases in question.

6 Responses to Missing in action

  1. Lennox Hewitt
    Lennox Hewitt June 8, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Yes i agree he should not be on the bench and i agree with Mr Bannister , imagine paying a Lawyer to work for you then he in turn and more than once too he should get his money back and a new lawyer he do it to some person i know all like now thing in good with him and person i know YEARS now it bout land he cannot sign a passport form for me i got 4 lawyers i no personally that any of them would fix me any problem i got .

  2. Rodney June 8, 2016 at 8:00 am

    “that is disrespectful” wow interesting and when you call and email some for 4 months without replies and you visit them they ask you if “You think you are my only client”?

  3. Sue Donym June 8, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Not at all surprised that Arthur Holder’s non-appearance had to do with his presence in the Supreme Court. This is so often the case for lawyers’ not showing in the Magistrate’s court, the only surprise should be that there is still no system to show and resolve scheduling conflicts. The magistrate should have some words for the court administration and the archaic system that wastes so much of everyone’s time.

    While the magistrate is remonstrating, he should explain to his fraternity how members of the public feel when ordered to appear at 09:30 and the magistrates show up after 11:00, sometimes only in the afternoon with no kind of explanation . That old feeling that they are above the need for an apology is part of the reason people have lost some respect for judicial officials and have some doubt about their ability to be reasonable.

  4. bajanguyster June 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

    @Sue Donym well said and to the point ,i am surely with everything you said here

    • Sue Donym June 8, 2016 at 10:24 am

      @bajanguyster, thanks. Appreciate your taking the time to mention.

  5. jrsmith June 8, 2016 at 10:22 am

    What do you all expect from a system with no proper management no character, cant even select a (Police Commissioner ) lazy ass people rude ,ignorant behaving like ghetto people no respect no morals and is serviced by a bunch of bad behave people who is up themselves..

    Barbados is having a bad name around the world by these people this tolerance need to stop , its about time people need to face up to they bad character and accept responsibity or be ban or sacked. Lots of people have been hurt by the judiciary system in Barbados by unscrupulous Attorneys who play the child like games. especially on people not living in Barbados..

    What we need in Barbados is an Internet data base of the bad Attorneys and let people see the tricks they get up to.. I noticed in Jamaica they ban the bad ones practicing, this wouldn’t happen in Barbados because they are all friends across the board covering up for each other. Its going to get worse …


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