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Practicing Law with Integrity

According to Jamaica's General Legal Council's website, fifty-seven attorneys have been disbarred between 1978 and 2018.  Below is a breakdown of the numbers:  1978 - 1 1988 - 1 1990 - 1999 - 8 2000-2010 - 27 2010-2017 - 18 2018 - 2 (to date) The majority of these attorneys were disbarred between 2000-2010; the period right after the passing of The Legal Profession (Accounts and Records) Regulations, 1999. The regulations, which are still in force, require attorneys to maintain separate accounts for client funds and provide the GLC with records of their management of client accounts. Between 2010-2017 there was a 33% decline in the number of attorneys disbarred and while will have to wait to see what the next 18 months will bring as the number of disbarred attorneys to date is upsetting, not just for the public but also for attorneys who practice law with integrity.
One does not have to read the rulings published by the Disciplinary Committee to know that the majority of the cases in …
Recent posts

Chronicles from my former life as a prosecutor in Jamaica

Whenever people discover I was a prosecutor, in Jamaica, they tend to ask the same questions: Did you ever prosecute murderers?Have you ever been threatened by a criminal?Weren't you afraid?Did you ever send someone you thought was innocent to jail?Has any criminal ever confessed to you?Have you ever encountered someone you prosecuted out of court?Would you prosecute someone you know? 1. Did you ever prosecute murderers? Yes. Prosecuting murderers is commonplace for Jamaican prosecutors.  Within a year (or less) of joining the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Department, a prosecutor would have prosecuted a few murders.  This is primarily because of the high murder rate, an inadequate number of judges, courtrooms and prosecutors in relation to Jamaica's escalating crime rates. The government has, through the years, added a few judges, prosecutors and courtrooms, but the numbers remain inadequate to deal with Jamaica's ever increasing crime rate.  There is a direc…

How I Organise My General Legal Council Stuff

There was a time in my life when I did not have to concern myself with anything GLC related.  Then I left government service to be in-house counsel and that changed.  Months after I resigned from my that job I forgot to pay my Practising Certificate fees and I had to pay the penalty.

I am generally an organised person so I was … No strike that I still AM, quite pissed at myself for not realizing and having to pay double when I wasn’t even practising law.[I only keep current … just in case I need to do something in the capacity of a Lawyer.]I could not believe I missed that!My only revenge was to organise my business so it would never happen again.
The first thing I did was go through all the legislation related to the profession and created reminders on my computer.Then I created a folder on my computer that I labelled “General Legal Council”.In that folder I created sub-folders for:

1.GLC - Annual Declaration of Activities – Money Laundering Regulations      I had created this folder…

Managing Legal Cases Digitally (When Case Management Software is not an Option)

This article is not intended for attorneys who practice law in first world countries or large firms equipped with case management software.  Instead, I write from the perspective of a practitioner in a third world/ developing country where subscriptions to case management software are simply unaffordable and most of my colleagues shy away from using the computer.  For attorneys in my country, Jamaica, and other Caribbean territories to obtain a good case management software they would have to pass on the cost to clients who already cannot afford, or would rather not pay, legal fees.  With a little computer knowledge and organisation skills, attorneys can save pockets of time that add up over time.
I began my legal career as a prosecutor.  There was no computer on my desk, cases were simply managed by the maintenance of a good old diary which was manually updated from the court sheet daily.  I owned my a computer but relied heavily on pens and paper to summarise the cases.  My most priz…