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.
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)