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No unethical moves, CJ warns young attorneys

Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson warned the island’s newest crop of attorneys-at-law to be aware of the serious consequences that could arise as a result of any ethical missteps.

His plea came after 45 lawyers, the majority of whom were females, took the oath of office in a special sitting of the Supreme Court Friday morning.

New lawyers have a photo opportunity with Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and other justices.

New lawyers have a photo opportunity with Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and other justices.

“Your reputation . . . in a very real sense, it is your most valuable possession.  Ordinarily, fact and impression can differ and so, in most other professions, it is easy to cure a misperception by pointing to the truth and the fact.  It is not so easy in ours because we are involved in the dispensation of justice which should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done,” Sir Marston said.

The Chief Justice told the gathering, which also included other members of the legal profession, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, Registrar Barbara Cooke-Alleyne, as well as family and friends, that if any attorney was perceived “to act as a rule” in an “unprincipled” and “unjust” manner, it would result in negative consequences.

“One dishonest lawyer often leads to the wholesale castigation of the entire profession. Whether you like it or not, you are your brother’s or sister’s keeper, and any improvident acts by you will tarnish not only your reputation but that of the whole profession.

“And so, my request is that you should be aware of the serious consequences, which will attend any ethical missteps. Ensure that you are perceived as a consummate professional, and that good reputation will follow you,” the Chief Justice advised.

He also called on this new bath of attorneys to considered practising in different aspects of the profession especially criminal law.

“There is a huge backlog of pending criminal cases in our court system and one of the several reasons for it is that there are very few lawyers practising in the field of criminal law. You are needed,” Sir Marston declared, even as he reminded the attorneys-at-law that becoming an officer of the court came with “very awesome responsibilities”.

“You are at the start of what I wish will be a long career, but how illustrious it will be depends, in no small measure, on you.  It depends on your willingness to work and not cut corners, on your ability to come prepared for court or for whatever you are required to do,” he added.

The island’s top judicial officer also informed the lawyers that the law often underwent change whether by “legislation, court decision or practice direction” and it was their duty to keep up with those changes, one of which was the recent launch of the court-annexed mediation pilot project in both the High Court and the Magistrates Court.

9 Responses to No unethical moves, CJ warns young attorneys

  1. harry turnover October 15, 2016 at 7:14 am

    So how are they going to ‘make money’ ?? A Lawyer once told me that he doesn’t ‘make any money’ practicing Law….and he is 50+
    It boggles me though that so many people out there still want to mash up dem brains to study Law.

    Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne October 15, 2016 at 8:28 am

    WOW , all these persons going to find work in BIM ?.

    Reply
  3. Alex Alleyne October 15, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Got it,this is just a stepping stone for POLITICS.

    Reply
  4. Coralita October 15, 2016 at 11:39 am

    In a previous article Minister Donville Inniss said that lawyers were only functioning in the traditional areas of practice and apparently only a few had dared to specialise in non-traditional areas. He was pleading with them to get into niche areas especially in international business.

    A few people cussed him. I recall one blogger saying, that he should say where the tax payers money going and that Inniss always putting his mouth in people business. Now the question is being asked, if all these persons going to find work in BIM. Only time will tell.

    Remember many parents are still stuck with the mentality that their children must be lawyers or doctors. It adds to their status.

    Reply
  5. jrsmith October 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    What is to understand the big up living on lawyers money in Barbados wow , wow ……

    Reply
  6. Hal Austin October 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Every year we lose some of the brightest and best of our young people to law.
    What a waste.

    Reply
  7. Bajan boy October 16, 2016 at 12:29 am

    34 women and just 10 or so men in an area that was once dominated by men. Where are our young men who is looking to change the regressing environment that is obviously affecting our boys. A government without a vision or a plan just there for their pockets and guts full and offer absolutely nothing to development of our country. Hal Austin these aren’t the best brains don’t fool yourself with that if not they wouldn’t studying law and then come back and remain just as poor as those who never went. One of the reasons for a university education is to specialize in a field and so make a decent living from it. If not you better not go there and work as a laborer. The reason why they spend clients money and barely survive is simply because the country is saturated with them. Another 30 will come next year with nothing to do as well and the cycle continues…

    Reply
  8. seagul October 17, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Another 45 hired guns from her majesty’s dodge city. A time to kill exposes the true nature of a lawyer.

    Reply
  9. Smiley October 17, 2016 at 10:50 am

    WHAT A BUNCH OF STUPID COMMENTS WHEN YOUR ASSES GET INTO TROUBLE WHO WHO WILL HAVE TO REPRESENT YOU ? A PLUMBER,CARPENTER SOIL TECHNICIAN STORE WORKER ELECTRICIAN NURSE ETC. THIS IS THEIR CHOICE NOT YOURS .STOP THE STUPID JEALOUSY AND BE PROUD BAJANS WE HAVE SO MANY TALENTED YOUNG PEOPLE.YOU WANT NIGERIANS TO WORK HERE INSTEAD LIKE HOW THE BARBADIAN NURSES WERE REPLACED BY SO MANY FOREIGNERS NOT LONG AGO WHO COULDN’T TREAT MEN BECAUSE OF RELIGION.I CAN’T STAND ENVY AND JEALOUSY.GROW UP ! ALL PROFESSIONS HAVE BAD PEOPLE IN THEM CHILL OUT .

    Reply

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