Choose lawyers ‘with care’
BARBADIANS need to “shop” better for legal representation to reduce the chance of being exploited.
President of the Barbados Bar Association, Leslie Haynes QC, made this point yesterday, while expressing the association’s deep concern about lawyers ending up in the court for unprofessional conduct.
Haynes indicated that in some cases Barbadians did a more thoughtful job of grocery shopping than of selecting a lawyer.
He said they have to stop picking a lawyer at random or choosing one simply because a friend suggested a name.
He was reacting to comments about the number of lawyers charged in recent times with misconducting their clients’ affairs, including holding on to their money.
“Truth be told, we are concerned about the number of attorneys who expose the general membership to ridicule,” Haynes told the SUNDAY SUN.
“. . . I suspect that this is not the end of the line because we are now in a recession and cash is tight. There is a cash flow problem, not only with attorneys. I would suspect with the country as a whole.
“So I don’t think we have heard the end of the story as yet. But, yes, we are concerned . . . and the public can help themselves by vetting the attorney in whom they entrust the business.”
Haynes said in choosing a lawyer Barbadians need to exercise selectivity.
“You go to the supermarket and there are many varieties of baked beans on the shelf and you look and you say this one is the better price but it contains this (ingredient), but this one is a bit more expensive but is a better product and you make your choice,” he said.
“But people say I know the lawyer down the road, a friend, and this is how some people choose a lawyer.”
Haynes made the comments during a break in a seminar the association held at Hilton Barbados yesterday on conveyancing. (TY)