Theodore ill-prepared for appeal, ordered to pay AG for legal expenses

Theodore

A Court of Appeal matter involving former parliamentary secretary Jacqueline Theodore and the Attorney General of Dominica regarding a land dispute has been traversed to the next sitting of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal in April.

The main counsel for Theodore, a foreign attorney, failed to show up for the hearing due to reasons he stated in a letter to the court, which include difficulties he faced due to the passing of Hurricane Tomas.

Theodore was asked to pay $700 to cover the expense of the AG’s appearance in court yesterday while her attorneys, who include Lennox Lawrence, were ordered to file and serve skeleton submissions within 21 days. These submissions were due to the court since June 2010, the justices of appeal reminded them.

“You’re giving us all sorts of excuses…They’re not holding water,” Chief Justice Hugh Rawlins told Lawrence when he attempted to justify his team’s non-compliance with court orders.

Lawrence told the court that though he was present at yesterday’s hearing, Theodore’s main counsel was the one who was detailed to put forth the appeal since the matter was handled exclusively by his chambers.

Lawrence told the court that he had only received word that their main attorney would not be able to attend a few days prior to the hearing. This, he said, was not enough time to secure an alternative attorney due to the “weight” of the matter.

“Your record has to count…don’t call on Sir Richards, it’s your responsibility,” one of the three Justices of Appeal responded.

“I respectfully say in relation to that….counsel is very well qualified to respond,” Francine Baron-Royer who was and represents the Attorney General supported.

Lawrence, in light of this, asked for an adjournment which Baron-Royer, suggested it be put at the earliest convenience, even if it means in another jurisdiction – to avoid a long delay. She asked however, that the opposing team be made to cover these expenses.

Lawrence countered this request stating that this would cause great financial burden on his client.

“To date, we haven’t been served with any submissions,” Baron-Royer argued, adding that the appeal had already been scheduled in April 2010, where Theodore’s lawyer had said he was not prepared. Baron-Royer highlighted that the first hearing for this matter was in April 2009.

The justices of appeal further frowned on the lawyer’s non-compliance stating: “We have not heard a justifiable excuse why skeleton arguments have not been filed…that does not have to do with the Hurricane…What has happened between October 2009 and now?”

The justice informed the court that the high court registrar had made a formal request to Theodore’s attorneys for submissions to be ready in June 2010. “That’s almost five months and no skeleton,” he stated.

Lawrence promised to have the submissions ready by the stipulated time. As ordered by the court, he will be bound to pay $750 to the high court if these submissions are not filed or served within the 21 days.

“We have had enough of it. The court cannot sit…while matters are languishing in the system,” the Chief Justice said.

This appeal was spurred when a tribunal had awarded Theodore over $3 million for land belonging to her husband in Calibishie, which the government had acquired for the use of a road some years ago. Theodore took the issue to the media some time ago when she was not fully compensated by the government.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit then announced that the government would appeal the amount that was awarded to the former parliamentary secretary in 2008 for the land.

She has already been paid $ 210,737, according to the Government.

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17 Comments

  1. youth
    November 18, 2010

    Woe be unto the bad mind who thinks that fighting for justice is being greedy. Mrs. Theodore fight, for u will win ur battle

  2. facts
    November 18, 2010

    Get ur facts strights.

  3. Embarrassing
    November 11, 2010

    That’s what she gets for being greedy! I bet you she will end up without land and without money in the end. You know well that the land was not worth $3million dollars; and you done get so much money already, more than the actual land value at the time. Cut your losses and move on else these same lawyers will cause you to see your downfall. You too licky licky!

  4. MOUTH FOOL
    November 10, 2010

    This woman was paid almost a quarter million dolars already $210, 737.00 and yet her lawyers say that to pay $700.00 in cost would pose an undue hardship on her , if she is broke after that big pay off I wonder where the bulk of the money went . Maybe in Legal fees.

  5. Outrage
    November 10, 2010

    Jacqueline should seriously consider firing her lawyers. Since 2009, no submissions with $3 MILLION at stake! These guys are not serving her well.

  6. Mouth Open.....
    November 10, 2010

    If is one thing… I doh trust lawyers.

    It have some lawyers in Dominica that hungry for land and would like to drag a case to ensure every time that a client comes to their law chambers or law office they bill for consultation services.

    They will allow these costs to accrue and go as far and ask for piece of land in exchange and try and get your CT regardless if you have kids or not and hope you die o take everything.

    My lady fire these lawyers and take your files away from them. Mr. Riviere is a good lawyer check him. Mr. Wiltshire is also a good lawyers. Check him out too. Mr. D. Bruney is very effective and he should be your lead council.

  7. Poule Coutouni
    November 10, 2010

    I am suspicious of this $700 fine. I find that really strange. How many times has the Government side requested a deferrment and NO fine was paid? How many times has the Hon COURT itself FAILED to hear the case and NO fine was paid? I know a senior Skerrit Attorney who ALWAYS requests deferrments yet NO fine is paid. Somebody PLEASE enlighten me here. That is why I DO NOT support the CCJ! Jacqueline I support you.. DO NOT GIVE UP GIRL!

  8. Piper
    November 10, 2010

    I think she should fire these lawyers and fike a complaint against them. These lawyers should be disbarred. All they are interested in is money.

    I have heard of so many complaints against there lawyers. They are so unprofessional. They never seem to be able to meet a deadline.

  9. magistrate
    November 10, 2010

    That is what we calling caught between a rock and a hard place. Mrs you might as well higher Tony Astaphan or Alick Lawrence cause Lennox Lawrence is one of them. As for you foreign lawyer don’t be surprise they are all connected. Mam you really need to find a trust worthy lawyer.

  10. PUNISHMENT
    November 10, 2010

    WELL THATS WHAT HAPPEN WHEN ONE THINK FOREIGN IS BETTER THAN LOCAL<

  11. Fete Sal
    November 10, 2010

    first Matt and now you. I was looking forward to seeing someone win the government. Hmmm!! let me get jerry brisbane’s take on this.

  12. Tonge and Cheek
    November 10, 2010

    You call that an abuse of the system. Literally wasting the court’s time. Common Lennox, DUN C (as penned by Eddo) would have done better job even though he was sure to loose some if not most of his arguments

  13. In The Knick Of Tyme
    November 10, 2010

    I think she should settle and cut her losses. Her attorneys seem incompetent and are doing her a dis-service. A Bird in the hand is worth two in the Boosh!

  14. looking in from the outside
    November 10, 2010

    Madam, even the Lawyers are fed up with this matter and are giving flimsy excuses why they couldn’t make it, and why they were not prepared.
    Regardless of your political affiliations, you should just agree that is your contribution to nation building and move on. We all have to die and leave these properties behind.
    Get something better to do with your time and life.

  15. Black is Beautiful
    November 10, 2010

    Ms. Theodore word of advise if you are going to pursue this please ensure you have proper representation. I hope you are not paying these attorneys one dime in fact you should sue them for embarassment and misrepresentation. Sometimes it’s best to leave well enough alone.

  16. marzhie alone
    November 10, 2010

    domininca have marzhie in in ehhh yes aa………

  17. mouth of the south
    November 10, 2010

    weh papa,,,,i just hope the lax on the part of the foreign lawyer will not cast a bad sight on the lady’s case,,,,,why those lawyers acting so lazy,,,,i smell a set up eh no lie

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