British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021

'You are the problem!'- Senior Magistrate tells lawyer

'You are the problem!'- Senior Magistrate tells lawyer

Senior Magistrate Tamia N. Richards has lashed out against lawyers in the [British] Virgin Islands for what she said were a few shortcomings of persons in that profession that have served to hold back the free flow of the judicial system.

At the time, she was responding to Attorney-at-law Michael Maduro, who was the legal representative for Pia King, 22, of Butu Mountain, in the Magistrate's Court on Monday, March 8, 2021. King was charged, along with Dwight Callwood, for the offence of Keeping a Firearm Without a License.

Attorney Maduro was at the time making legal arguments for King to be granted bail, which was eventually granted to her in the sum of $60,000 with a $10,000 cash component and one surety.

Trial delays argument


Mr Maduro told the court that one of the factors that must be taken into consideration for granting bail is how timely a matter like this one would advance to trial as sometimes the evidence and witnesses are not there on the day of the trial.

“It is a prejudice to them your honour,” he argued, adding that it is especially the case for persons not granted bail and are at Her Majesty’s Prison on remand.

The magistrate then asked Maduro if there was a case law that he could reference so she could take into consideration to support his point; however, he was unable to provide it.

Lawyers are the problem!


Magistrate Richards then commented that the reason sometimes cases are held up is because lawyers are taking on too many cases and causing their clients to be negatively affected as a result.

“The only problem in my court with matters such as this system is lawyers. I don’t have a problem with matters getting into my system but it is not just me, it’s you, your High Court, when you in High Court, not you necessarily, you are before this person, you are before that person, you guys want all, you want to get all. So basically, you are the problem in this system, and maybe the high court allows you guys to just run amuck but you know I don’t allow you to run amuck down here!”

She said lawyers have a habit of skipping court, especially defence lawyers.

“You have this other client, that other client, and the next other client, and you forget about the first client. So don’t use it for your advantage because you are the problem, you and your colleagues, you are the problem!”

She also referenced the tardiness of certain lawyers who have the court waiting.

“So don’t use it before me to say that there is a delay in the system when you are the problem,” the Senior Magistrate stated.

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