Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Tries To Forget His Own Past As He Chides New Lawyers To Be Ethical

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Warns New Attorneys “Do Nothing To Tarnish Your Good Reputations” (Looks Like David Simmons Learned The Hard Way!)

Last Friday, Chief Justice SIR David Simmons delivered the address to 22 new Barbados attorneys at a ceremony in front of their parents and colleagues. While the words that the Chief Justice spoke expressed the most noble concepts, standards and values of the legal profession, his own actions have long betrayed the legal community, the justice system and all Bajans.

David Simmons Provides The Wrong Kind Of Leadership And Example

When David Simmons accepted the post of Chief Justice of Barbados, he knew, or should have known, that his controversial appointment would weaken the image of the Office of the Chief Justice, and in fact, weaken the image of our entire justice system.

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At the time of his appointment, even the average person on the street knew that there was something fundamentally wrong with having the government’s Attorney General transition within a matter of weeks into the position of Chief Justice.

All of a sudden a longtime friend of the Prime Minister – a top member of Cabinet who was involved in prosecutions and defending the government – was now supposed to be an IMPARTIAL judge and also defend the rights of citizens against government excesses. To the average citizen, it looked like the Owen Arthur Government now controlled the courts through a political and personal connection.

By Accepting The New Job, David Simmons Tainted The Office Of The Chief Justice

David Simmons wanted the new job and all it’s prestige more than he valued the appearance of justice. His acceptance of the position of Chief Justice showed the entire legal community that it is all about getting what you want and to hell with ethics and a higher calling. To hell with the concept of the appearance of justice.

At the time, only the government’s control of the local media kept the issue from serious discussion in the public forum. Thanks to the blogs, the government can no longer control the discussion about this important issue.

What Do You Think Folks?

Should Attorney General David Simmons have refused the position of Chief Justice?

Should David Simmons resign from the office of Chief Justice of Barbados? 

From the Barbados Advocate…

Chief Justice advises new attorneys to uphold the tradition

Uphold the distinguished tradition of excellence and do nothing to tarnish your good reputations!

That’s the advice of this country’s top lawyer, Chief Justice, Sir David Simmons, to 22 new attorneys whom he admitted yesterday to practise law in Barbados. At a ceremony attended by parents, relatives and friends in the Supreme Court, Sir David told the attorneys that it must be their firm resolve to always seek to uphold the tradition.

He said, “The practice of law can provide you all with intellectual excitement, career satisfaction and a comfortable standard of living, but always remember that you can only attain those desirable objectives if you keep uppermost in your minds the imperatives contained in the Code of Ethics and the fact that you are members of a great profession with a distinguished tradition of excellence.”

The Chief Justice also reminded the new attorneys of two rules, which he advised must always be pre-eminent in your consciousness. They are Rule 87 and 88 of the Legal Profession Code of Ethics.

Rule 87 states, In pecuniary matters an attorney-at-law shall be most punctual and diligent. He shall never mingle funds of others with his own and he shall at all times be able to refund money he holds for others.

Rule 88: An attorney-at-law shall keep such accounts as clearly and accurately distinguish the financial position between himself and his clients as and when required.

Sir David further told the attorneys, The requirement for segregation of accounts implies that your client’s account must not be used as your personal bank account. You must not use your client’s money to fund your own personal needs. Your clients’ funds are not yours.

In congratulating the groups which included four Trinidadians, three Guyanese, one Jamaican, one Irishman and 13 Barbadians, Sir David also said “You are joining a profession with a long and noble tradition. The Bar is one of the great professions and those who are admitted to practise are colleagues in a great fraternity.”

He, however, warned them not to rest on their laurels nor relax their attitude and approach to their professional career and therefore urged the same dedication and resourcefulness that you brought to bear on your studies during the past five years must now continue in this new phase of your life.

Attorney-General, Dale Marshall introduced 21 of the new attorneys, while Queen’s Counsel, Anthony Reece introduced his daughter, Joia.

The complement included Career banker, Hilford Murrell; Police Constable, Pearson Leacock; and Merlene Holder, acting senior legal assistant in the Land Adjudication Unit.

From the Barbados Advocate (link here)

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15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

15 responses to “Barbados Chief Justice Simmons Tries To Forget His Own Past As He Chides New Lawyers To Be Ethical

  1. Jason

    His appointment cannot be justified. It looks bad. how can we respect the courts when the head judge is a govment puppet?

  2. Anonymous

    Do the other judges check with the Chief Justice before they make a decision, to make sure everything is okay with the Prime Minister?

  3. Crusty

    While past actions and appearances are important, is it not better to form an opinion based on current activities?

    Perhaps the Chief Justice has made his own conversion on the road to Damascus.

    *********************

    BFP Comments

    OK… currently the Chief Justice of Barbados is embroiled in a legal action where fraud is being alleged from (as we understand it) activities that occurred prior to his assuming the Office. Whether David Simmons is guilty or not has nothing to do with it. The person who takes that office should be clean enough that the integrity of the office will never be in question. Decades in the rough and tumble world of Bajan politics made him a risky choice and that can be seen by anyone. This Canadian court case is only more proof.

    His former position as a Cabinet Minister in the ruling party and close associate of the Prime Minister means that only a fool would not expect Simmons’ former job and current friendships to have some impact upon his decisions. How can he be fully on the government’s side one day and then “impartial” the next?

    He shouldn’t have taken the position. It was unethical, and that truth still exists. Simmons should resign.

  4. akabozik

    Our judges should be independent and also LOOK independent. I don’t have much respect for the courts because so many judges are politically connected. Didn’t one of the judges used to be solicitor general or am I wrong?

    Arthur has stacked the courts. Simmons is one of his men.

  5. Bajan In Kansas

    Trust the courts in Barbados? Who would trust a Barbados court? Barbados is ripe with nepotism and secret deals in every area of government and business. Every other person works for the government or holds some kind of perk. Can anyone tell me how many Justices of the Peace there are on the island? Practically very rum shop owner is a Justice of the Peace.

    Because of all that the Prime Minister should have been careful to choose someone for Chief Justice who at least looked like they were impartial.

    They are so confident and the peoples so used to the corruption that they don’t bother trying to hide the corruption anymore.

  6. Anonymous

    Simmons should resign.

  7. passin thru

    RESIGN!

  8. Anonymous

    Owen Arthur put all his friends on the courts so as he do wat he wants done. Everyting rotten to de core. Everyting is de govrment. Court one mo ting. Boss judge Simmons one more corrupt ting.

  9. J. Payne

    Oooooo I just found a juicy tid bit… Look what I just came across… Why do they hide these darn sites??? Who they hiding from???

    http://oag.gov.bb/

    Al-beit whoever made the site made it with NO functionality.

  10. Anonymous

    By the Way,

    Don’t we have enough bajan lawyers here,why are we still continuing to admit to the bar almost equal the number of foreign lawyers as we are bajans?

    What are these foreign lawyers bringing to the table that will elevate the practice of law as it currently stands in Barbados?

    Nothing.

    All that will happen is that Barbados will become a litigation crazy society as hungry lawyers encourage people to sue anything that moves so that they can eat.

    Boy for a little 166 sq miles country Sam Pooch and the Duppy certainly interested in piling into this already overcrowded place.

    Revolution waiting to happen muh boy.

  11. reality check

    “What are these foreign lawyers bringing to the table that will elevate the practice of law as it currently stands in Barbados?”

    ethics, diligence and a true understanding of the Rule of Law.

    We live in an increasingly global world!

    Try an crawl out of the barrel anonymous rather than dragging your citizens back in.

  12. BFP

    Reality Check…

    You are correct, and it is also this global world that demands true Rule of Law from our country.

    So far, we have a problem because not only do we lack many of the laws that outsiders expect (ie: building codes, conflict of interest rules for public officials etc) – where we do have laws the government ignores or changes them with the wind.,,

  13. Pingback: » Spotlight On … Chief Justice David Simmons Continued Keltruth Corp.: News Blog of Keltruth Corp. - Miami, Florida, USA.

  14. Pingback: Ethically-Challenged Barbados Chief Justice Subject Of Talk Show « Barbados Free Press

  15. gyrran

    I happen to like Simmons.
    The man is a legal magnate and his legal analytical skill would be an asset to any government.What r u gonna say when the opposition goes in and he retains the position with their approval ? May b then u’d be convinced that he has the acumen to deliver on the job and his friends should promote his calibre not serve to bring him into disrepute .
    Bottom line no one else is qualified.