Is law still a noble profession?
Listening to Eastern Caribbean Chief Justices, attorney generals and ministers of legal affairs, resident justices, presidents of the Dominica Bar Association and legal professionals at the Roseau High Court over the years, I have noticed that there continues to be a clarion call for a Legal Profession Act.
Some people like Justice Wynante Adrien Roberts in an address at the opening of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Law Year in Roseau in 2014 put that call for the Legal Profession Act at more than 20 years in the coming through. Dominica. Attorney General Levi Peter told the opening of the Law Year in September 2015 legal professionals that the Legal Profession Act was one of four pieces of legislation likely to come into effect in the next few months.
Mr. Editor, I am in no position to advise anyone on anything on which I think and know that the person is supposed to be trained for or in. But as a media person, people do share experiences with me. I do not consider myself a crusader, except for the one God and the church he established through his Son.
A woman (name withheld) died in her eighties earlier this year. She had consulted a lawyer to draw up her will. This woman who had no child of her own left her estate to a nephew, the one person who she could rely on to look after her best interest. This man who had a family overseas would abandon his family at short notice to ensure and secure the welfare of his aunt. I know that for a fact. He was always there for her as she aged and became ill.
She even at one point introduced her nephew to that lawyer. The lawyer in turn advised the beneficiary to have doctors examine his aunt to avoid complications in the future.
The woman died a few weeks ago. The will was read out before the people who were supposed to be there. Now, there are some people making a claim for part of the estate. I expect that the will would have to go through probate. But the person representing two of those making claims on the estate is the self same lawyer who wrote up the will for the deceased in the first place, for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The legal profession here should have a good time trying to explain to lay people like me how to deal with a situation where a lawyer goes to court to challenge a document that he himself created. Already, there is the suggestion that the original will can't be found.
People react to that sort of perfidy in different ways. Even if one gets justice from the law eventually, what sort of sanctions can be taken against such unethical practitioners, in a profession loved to be described as "noble"?
Morris Cyrille Journalist Roseau