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Attorneys accuse each other of unethical behaviour

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A matter involving two senior attorneys here is threatening to unfold into a protracted legal battle laced with accusations and counter accusations.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT understands that the matter stems from a case involving a claimant and a financial institution filed four years ago.

A judgment was issued in the matter in August of 2007, SEARCHLIGHT is informed. However, the attorney for the claimant filed an appeal because the award of around $50,000 was deemed insufficient.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that the financial institution, acting on advice from its attorneys, decided to settle the case and make payments amounting to over $200,000.

The matter then took an interesting twist.

The financial institution is now alleging that it was not aware of the initial judgment which was awarded and has accused the claimant’s Lawyer of behaving in an “unethical and fraudulent” manner in a complaint lodged with the local Bar Association.

In responding to the accusations levied, the Lawyer for the claimant has responded by not only denying the charge of unethical behaviour, but by making accusations against an attorney for the financial institution.

The Lawyer for the claimant argued in response that the initial judgment was public and should have been known by the financial institution through its Lawyers.

The attorney for the claimant also asserts that the appeal on behalf of the claimant showed dissatisfaction with the original judgment and the appeal was only withdrawn when settlement was arrived.

But the claimant’s lawyer didn’t confine the response to the issue at hand but also included a damning accusation against the attorney for the financial institution.

The accusation alleges that the financial institution’s attorney sought the assistance of the claimant’s lawyer to pervert the course of justice. This unsuccessful attempt would have involved trying to influence a particular judge, in a matter involving someone close to the financial institution’s attorney.

The financial institution’s attorney has struck right back.

In a letter dated February 19, 2009, addressed to the lawyer of the claimant and copied to Chief Justice of the Organization of East Caribbean (OECS) Supreme Court Hugh Rawlins, the Disciplinary Tribunal and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bar Association, SEARCHLIGHT understands the lawyer for the financial institution strongly denied the accusations.

It is now left to be seen where this tit for tat will end and what will in fact come out of the entire situation.