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Bar Association called upon to look at disbarred female attorney

Brenda Wardally – despite being disbarred she has found a way to offer legal services

Concerns have been expressed in the legal profession over an advertisement in the public domain by disbarred female barrister-at-law Brenda Wardally-Beaumont to offer para-legal services to the public.

One senior member of the profession told THE NEW TODAY that this is an issue that would have to be discussed with some degree of urgency at the level of the Grenada Bar Association (GBA) since there is no legislation in place at the moment to prevent anyone from offering this kind of legal work.

“We have no structure in Grenada today to determine how you become a para-legal. Is she wrong? The answer is no. There is no criteria in Grenada for becoming a Para-Legal,” he said.

Wardally-Beaumont was struck off the list of lawyers at the island’s Supreme Court Registry just over a month ago following a ruling against her by a 2-member Panel of High Court judges including Justice Raulston Glasgow.

The controversial female attorney-at-law was censured by the court for failing to pay over EC$300, 000.00 that she collected for a client in a divorce proceedings.

It was not Wardally-Beaumont’s only legal brush with the legal profession on monetary issues involving clients in the past decade.

The lawyer conceded that as the law currently stands no one can stop the disbarred lawyer from offering Para-legal service on the island.

In light of this development involving Wardally-Beaumont within weeks of her disbarment from practicing law on the island, the lawyer said that this is a question that should now be addressed by the local Bar Association.

“They can’t stop her –nobody can stop her. Until we create a criteria and a qualification and a certification that is the only time we can stop her. To say she (Wardally-Beaumont) can’t, you can’t say that but you could say how does a disbarred person continue to render legal services – that is para-legal.”

“It is a question the Bar Association should address in creating the same way the GCLA law came in – we need a para-legal law now. It’s for us to fix that. We don’t have that – we don’t have nothing like that (on the books).”

Stating that Para-legal works falls into “a different category to law,” the lawyer stressed it is virtually still the same kind of work that is being done by qualified barristers since some lawyers do work with para-legals and just sign off on documents passed onto them by these people.

He admitted that many law firms on the island totally depend on the services of para-legal person to do “all the work” for them and will then present it before the court.

According to the attorney, some para-legals in England and the U.S make more money than even qualified junior lawyers because they perform “an important” function within the Judiciary.

He also conceded that there are some para-legals who operate at a very “high level” and might even know more of the legal work within their sphere of knowledge than “their boss” who is a qualified barrister-at-law.

“So para-legal is something very significant (to the legal profession). So it’s for us to fix that (the Brenda Wardally-Beaumont issue). That is something we need to fix. Our Bar Association needs to fix that,” he told THE NEW TODAY.

“The Bar has to address it. It is something the Bar needs to address. Once it is addressed the law will then be tailored to address persons like that. In the current situation she can do what she wants,” he said.

In some law firms, it is known that para-legals are paid at a much higher salary level than Secretaries working in a law firm.

According to the lawyer, the T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) at Tanteen runs a course which they claim is para-legal in nature but is not officially recognized.

“Do you have to get a Certificate to say that you are a Para-Legal in Grenada? The answer is no – you don’t have a structure for that.”

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