Trinidad still cleaning up the mess, but was it all David Myers’ fault?
Lawsuit launched over 10 year wait for justice
Lawyers typically waited years for Judge Myers’ decisions
For a moment we thought we were in Barbados when we read the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday article Judge in Barbados.
We’ve covered many stories of the pathetic state of our Barbados courts where land disputes can take twenty years to work their way through court. (Yes, we said TWENTY YEARS.)
Not to despair though, because Barbados Judges can push a child rape case through the courts in as little as seven or ten years. (Yes, we said TEN YEARS for a child rape case to reach trial.)
Was Judge Myers a failure, a victim of an unreasonable workload… or both? .
When one of our typically acidic BFP writers sent us this story, they included the phrase “So it’s wonderful to know that “resigned” T&T High Court Judge David Myers is now assisting the courts and clients in Barbados…”
That’s a slap in the face comment, but not unlike something we’d publish if we felt it was deserved. Really folks, we’re the people who published a photo of Chief Justice David Simmons in a dress a la Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” CD cover. It’s not like we don’t say it like we see it.
But then I started reading some of the old news stories about Judge David Myers and I wondered if he might be more of a victim than the bad guy. When he saw the workload was getting behind, he requested time to deal with his backlog but he wasn’t given it. Not enough judges, you see.
Then when the situation became worse, he was told to take no more cases until the backlog was cleared – but they couldn’t find another judge to do a sitting in Tobago so he was assigned to do those new cases and that was the last straw.
To his credit, David Myers admitted his failures and said it was his fault without throwing some of the rocks that he was probably entitled to throw no matter his own faults.
“Finally, while I have always been a fierce defender of judicial independence, I have never taken the view that I, or any other judge, was a sacred cow. It was and is clear to me that through personal management failures, to adopt the cliche, I bit off far more than I could chew. That is my failure, for which I am ultimately responsible, whatever the difficulties inherent in the lot of a Trinidad and Tobago trial judge.
It is I who must do what I can to make things right by departing early, but after I have completed my commitments.
David A Myers
Could it be that no matter his own mistakes, Judge Myers was placed in a classic “no-win” situation with an outrageous workload, little clerical staff to assist, in a chronically underfunded and understaffed Justice system?
When you read all the articles about Judge Myers – not just the current lawsuit – you might be as inclined as I am to give him the benefit of the doubt. Do a Google search, spend some time and you’ll see what I mean.
The latest news media stories report him working in Barbados as a lawyer. If his law clients in Barbados have no problems with his current performance and service, that might be an indication that whatever happened with Judge Myers in the Trinidad and Tobago Justice System wasn’t all one-sided.
Trinidad Guardian: Judge Myers resigns