Misuse of client’s funds by lawyers a “great concern”

fundsAttorneys have been warned that the courts in Eastern Caribbean states will have a zero tolerance policy on the misuse of clients’ funds and property by them.

Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Dame Janice Pereira, said the matter is one of “great concern.”

“Great responsibility is placed on an Attorney at Law who has been put in charge of client’s funds,” she stated. “It is very disconcerting that in an overwhelming number of cases these funds are inappropriately managed by Attorneys at Law. The court will show no tolerance for such behavior.”

She was addressing the opening of the new Law Year on Thursday.

According to Pereira, many of the member states of the Eastern Caribbean, disciplinary committees have been established to whom litigants can lodge complaints against an attorney.

“Such indiscretion can be very costly to the client and quite damaging to the attorney not only financially but also professionally,” she stated.

Reference was also made to countries such as Barbados and Jamaica which “have of late shown zero tolerance for such behaviors and we have seen cases of disbarment.”

“In our jurisdiction as well, we have seen a few cases of some attorneys being struck off the robe,” Pereira noted. “I will not say much more on this in this forum except to say that Attorneys should always remember and view the duties to which they owe to their clients and to the profession as sacrosanct and uphold them at all times.”

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31 Comments

  1. vole
    September 21, 2015

    A message to the young lawyers working on cases against the state and just making bargains with other attorneys and don’t fight Govt cases in an effort to get a cut. your days are numbered. young and corrupted..smh

  2. smh
    September 21, 2015

    It’s two years now an attorney has my 8000 dollars and I cant get any results or info on what I told him I wanted. I’m going to put him before the court. the attorneys need to stop robbing poor people. a number of them are doing the same and they need to stop. other persons who suffer like me need to speak out and make an example out of them. dishonesty

  3. DR Clayton Shillingford
    September 21, 2015

    it is quite shameful that such conduct is engaged in by our attorneys..Some indulge in unprofessional and unethical conduct ..Others see their role in our sobriety as principal political propagandists..I have a particular compliant with an attorney in Dominica relating to a land matter which I fully intend to see to the end ..This particular attorney thinks that she has no obligation to answer questions about a land matter which requires clarification..and for which service she has been paid..The tactic employed is to ignore any request to sort the matter out..drag it out long enough for it to go away..

  4. Pardon
    September 21, 2015

    Nice topic DNO, better late than never to bring out an issue like this. This has been going on for long time now. There are also lawyers who give people work to do and do not pay them. There are also lawyers who crook their clients and sell there cases and i always say i have seen people beat police but i have never heard of a person beating a lawyer yet.. but its inevitable..

  5. Concerned
    September 21, 2015

    There are those who took from people who have fled DA and are currently critising the government as if they are angels. God will take care of them

  6. You wonder
    September 21, 2015

    Sometimes you wonder why does one choose that lawyer profession. To help people or to help themselves and quickly get rich. That is not right.

  7. Francisco Telemaque
    September 19, 2015

    DNO, the response which I submitted, which you disallowed in reference to: “Pereira stresses role of attorney in dispensing justice.” This present article is precisely the point I made, I identified no particular attorney by name, truth of the matter is that; in all that I wrote I said nothing that would constitute a law suit against DNO.

    What is the difference in a lawyer robbing his client, stealing his client money, and obstructing justice. I was robbed by a attorney right here in Los Angeles, he settled a cased in the amount of twelve thousand dollars for me, and it took him four years before he gave me three thousand dollars out of the amount!

    The only way I was able to recover four thousand dollars more is by retaining him to handle another case, and when it was settled I ensured he did not get one red cent. Lawyers are thieves! I have a friend who is an MD., he ask me if I trust lawyers, I told him yes, he said; Francisco, I now know you are…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      September 19, 2015

      “he said; Francisco, I now know you are crazy!

      From the lessons I’ve learnt from layers way back in Dominica, I can surely say anybody who trust a lawyer is a fool! And I have been one of them. When I was a young boy, my grandmother retained a certain lawyer to deal with a matter, I lived in Antigua then I gave her the money pay the lawyer.

      He took the money and did nothing, I went to Dominica and went and confronted him, and told him he need to give back the money to my grand mother, he puts on a big voice and told me “Lawyers do not return money.” The sucker died about four year, when I heard I wrote something nasty about him hereon DNO Louis Robinson read it and informed me that the man is my cousin,his mother is from Marigot, and I believe she called my grand mother aunt oui! Hahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha!

      So you see they all have a bad reputation!

  8. September 19, 2015

    it’s happening all the time . those bobol lawyers are probably laughing their heads off because they feel like untouchables.

  9. Memory
    September 19, 2015

    No they are not shaking in their boots,those few are the heartless ones they know what they doing, just a bunch of Heartless Devils who have already sold their SOULS for wealth of the the world.
    They will steal and even kill to take other peoples wealth.
    Illuminati wanna be’s, and the young ones are just as dangerous.
    Nothing is wrong with having a lawyer looking over the shoulder of another lawyer if you believe your business is of high importance.

  10. Memory
    September 19, 2015

    This is for the blogger MAY, if you are sure that you and our relatives have been victims of an unscrupulous Attorney,as Dame Janice Pereira have said in her address,do what you should do now that you know.
    Get an Attorney you can trust or maybe you already have one and go and have a sit down discussion with your Attorney to seek justice for you and your relatives, and please don’t say you have no money for lawyer fee.
    Most lawyers will take cases like those and will take pay after the case is settled. Some of those Attorneys are too dishonest.
    Like I said, MAY if you are sure you have been done wrong fix it, I am sure your Grandpa would be glad you did.

  11. Pipirit
    September 19, 2015

    This came as the last chapter (Revelation ) in the bible, nonetheless, it’s
    the Genesis to ensuring honesty, ethical standards and professionalism
    in those legal persons and the judiciary that we as ordinary citizens, crave
    to trust….Too many times clients become victims to the attorneys, like
    the curse of a double wammy, when they should be representing the best
    interests of their clients.
    It’s clear indication one cannot obtain a degree in intergrity, thus the reasons
    it’s absolutely necessary for this new genesis, that will hold our lawyers accountable.
    There are many of them, who have the obnoxious attitude of God’s best gift to law, who think
    that will evade the system at all times but they got something coming.
    Special and urgent emphasis need to be placed on Political Vulture like attorneys for
    their illegal and corrupt practices…These Business Vultures are a disgrace to the Legal system
    and prostitutes of the bar that’s worthy of the high Esteem.

  12. September 18, 2015

    What about the ones representing those, the elderly and clients without kids who are widows taking their properties and monies, saying that the dead client willed it to them, what about these lawyers, using client monies and taking client’s properties is a crime, my late grandpa was a victim of a lawyer in Dominica, only after his death we received the shock of our life, no name, no warrant

    • The Real Facts
      September 18, 2015

      You should pursue it. Some family members also do likewise, taking the property for themselves, saying it was willed to them when there are other immediate family members. They take advantage of the ill and make them sign a revised Will or a new one which they prepared (I would call it forgery) when the ill do not know what they are signing. This, too, is shocking.
      I also read of a relevant article pertaining to family members. People who do those things will be punished by God in His time. Nothing escapes our God.

    • Barbara Saunders
      September 21, 2015

      As I said in another post on a similar subject, wrong is wrong, so corruption is not limited to politicians in government, as wrong as that is!

      If you are a lawyer and you engage in unscrupulous activities such as described in this article, it is wrong; if you are a doctor and abuse the system and poor patients to your personal advantage you are in the same class as the corrupt politician.

      If you are a church leader and exploit your congregation so that you can live like the Joneses you also join the corrupt class; if you are an employee and rob your employer blind when no eyes are upon you or through fake sick leave and unnecessary absenteeism you fit nicely; if you are an employer and exploit employees you are also there!

      If as a media practitioner you suppress major wrong doing by your friends while exploding much less significant actions by those you do not like, or distort news, you are even more there.

      I guess that very few are left standing to point a finger…

  13. As if we did not know
    September 18, 2015

    Exactly as I thought it would be waiting for moderation till Monday? TiM workers?
    These comments moderated came after my posts and they are in the let\’s delete these box lolLMAO real loud.
    Hate the truth? Can\’t swallow it? more so after Erika.

    ADMIN: We feel compelled to respond to your comment because every time you comment, you have to write another comment about its moderation and it is getting annoying. We don’t only sit at the computer waiting for comments or we don’t have someone whose job is to only moderate comments. Your comment won’t appear one second after it is posted. You will just have to wait!!

    • The Real Facts
      September 18, 2015

      I have the same problem but refrained from commenting on it. I try to be patient, knowing that God is even more patient than I am. :lol: As my dear mother always said, “God is good!” I suppose others also have the same problem.

    • Independent Observer
      September 19, 2015

      The response of ADMIN here is quite perplexing. I thought the DNO forum was such that people could share their views… whatever they are about varying issues…including DNO and its administration of posts. Why is it annoying? If these are your feelings perhaps you are not in the right line of work….just saying. It might be a good time to point out that there are still too many grammar mistakes in many of your pieces.

    • Tjebe fort
      September 20, 2015

      Good for you admin. Some people just too full of themselves.

  14. WorldCup
    September 18, 2015

    MoRe talk with no action

  15. Patriotic Dominican
    September 18, 2015

    This took a long time in coming in terms of it being mentioned, we all know this has going on for a long time and these Attorneys as the Chief correctly said it is very expensive to the litigant or plaintiff when it is brought to the authorities because of their friends in the fraternity and they know that and again as the Chief said this has not gone well in Jamaica. They are very strict and stern and they don’t play games there, you’re caught doing that in Jamaica you can kiss your law career goodbye. Take heed and I know some of these Attorneys are shaking in their boots right now…gone are days when cash was in abundance and you could replace instantly or pay these things off but not these days, cash is pretty hard to come by nowadays and we all know that.

  16. D/can to de Bone (F)
    September 18, 2015

    It time something is done. Some lawyers in Dominica who rent from landlords are defaulting on rent payments…I say no more my family is a victim of such dishonesty of a certain lawyer in Roseau.

    • The Real Facts
      September 18, 2015

      Dominica is a small country and so they get away with it. Not so in a bigger country. They better pay up or else they will be brought to the Rental Tribunal, Landlord and Tenant. There is a Landlord and Tenant Act. No mercy will be shown to them. There is no partiality for them.
      I realize much has to be done in D/ca. The D/ca government must institute such a Law and others. This should be the next government move.
      The government was in the process of instituting the Consumer Protection Act. I hope this does not fall by the wayside. People need protection from those who want to gorge others and not pay for it.

    • Titiwi
      September 20, 2015

      What is there to stop you from evicting them.

  17. As if we did not know
    September 18, 2015

    Such indiscretion can be very costly to the client and quite damaging to the attorney not only financially but also professionally and legally ,” she stated. We can take action to confiscate the ill-gotten properties /$ Pounds Euros what ever.Such criminal lawyers can even lose their own properties if /when proven guilty.
    We have pollitican -lawyers who have milked the system and ignorance of clients. They have houses bank account in names of relatives ,frinds wives, cuncubines etc. Luckily the courts finally gets the truth out when their is scandal divorce ,cuncubines breaks away etc. or to add a local twist when RoRo spills.
    We have lawyers whose wives have blew-up and boy look RoRo.Children grow up leave the nest or are ask to leave due to sexual orientation and other issues the lawyers may not accept.
    We have politicians who have skip town LMAO
    Now with Ericka many a corruption charge for politicians as lawyers or a hybrid lwayer-politician will be bygones.

  18. Sylvester Cadette
    September 18, 2015

    I comment on this because I am appalled at the “great concern.” of “Volers & volering” -thieves and stealing in the OECS legal circuit and jurisdiction. I doubt the Chief Justice would raise an issue of that nature if it had little merit or credence or premise. This is highly despicable and very sad indeed. But I have a feeling it may well be 1-2% engaging in such unscrupulous behavior. If the percentage bordering on 5% then you have a disease causing mistrust and trepidation in what should be a noble profession.

    In my mind, lawyers as officers of the court ought to be – yea must strive always to be – true vintages and uncompromising exponents of integrity, honesty, fiduciary prudence and responsibility; they must be impeccable, immaculate and circumspect.

    So the BAR Association should immediately find a legal avenue within there self-regulatory framework to give occasion to saying “Good riddance” to the “common thieving Street rats” who may have infected their ranks

    • The Real Facts
      September 18, 2015

      This is not uncommon. It occurs in every part of the world. In Canada, if they are caught, they are arrested, will be imprisoned and will be disbarred. They will be ordered to repay the clients.
      Depending on the amount of money, they may remain in prison for the rest of their life. You also know what occurred in the US. One investor was sent to 150 years in prison. He will die there. There are others.
      Nothing lasts forever. They should know that one day they will be caught. It is better to be honest than not.

    • September 20, 2015

      Comrade, as always, well written, My friend and very good friend ## in the Canefield East location}No name no warrant.} is a true victim, of such volering by allegdely no order another former comrade, what a dam shame, in light of all present efforts to retrieve his allegedly money, to no avail. The feeling of one`s hopelessness, in such matters give rise to lots of frustrations and harbouring of unusual thoughts in a victim`s mind. There seems to have zero redress for those affected, and if there are avenues for redress, it is rendered none existance, or that arm of seeking redress is absoulutely Slow to act. Come on Just do it! To those concern remember, whats goes around comes around, when your turn comes and you get your just deserve, you might be quick to claim that Obear, was cast on you. Remember the eveil that men does lives with them. A word to the wise, do the right thing.

  19. Laughing Cow
    September 18, 2015

    Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Dame Janice Pereira, said the matter is one of “great concern.”
    “Such indiscretion can be very costly to the client and quite damaging to the attorney not only financially but also professionally,” Does this apply to the new lawyers? We don’t even have an opportunity to get cases let alone control large estates. one attorney said asking not to be identified.
    There are some old lawyers who have become not millionaires but billioniares in little DA.
    There lawyer couples who classical ej .There is a famous case where an elderly woman who own a hast extent of property upon whose death all the estate went to the lawyer.
    It is said she would carry meals and snacks 24/7 ensuring the loot.

  20. Imbalance of Justice
    September 18, 2015

    Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Dame Janice Pereira did not say anything about punishment by incarceration for lawyers who break the law when they misuse clients’ funds and property . Simply put, that is stealing. ‘
    Reference was also made to countries such as Barbados and Jamaica which “have of late shown zero tolerance for such behaviors and we have seen cases of disbarment.”
    “In our jurisdiction as well, we have seen a few cases of some attorneys being struck off the robe,” Pereira noted. Well “disbarment” and “Struck off the robe” is not enough.. What about “sent to jail”… they should face the full extent of the law and repay the money to the client from whom they stole. What’s good for the goose…

    • The Real Facts
      September 19, 2015

      There again, those countries are small and the authorities are hesitant to send them to prison. They should be imprisoned.
      As bad as some countries are in criminal activities, this is why some of us prefer residing abroad. We have all sorts of Laws to protect people which I also like. Some people may say the Law or the Judge is not always fair. We know our rights and what pertains to us.

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