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Veteran lawyer appointed as Queen’s Counsel by ECSC

Veteran lawyer appointed as Queen’s Counsel by ECSC


The High Court in Kingstown was home to quite a celebration last week, in honour of the call of veteran lawyer Stanley John to the inner bar.{{more}}

A special sitting of the Court, attended by John’s family, friends and colleagues, was held on April 24, to officially mark John’s appointment as Queen’s Counsel by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court on February 12, 2014.

Many of the attorney’s colleagues paid tribute to him in their remarks.

In his address, John’s son, Akin John, himself a barrister-at-law, expressed gratitude for having the opportunity to express his appreciation to his father, not only as a colleague, but also as his son.

“There are very few public occasions in the life of a son where he is able to express his appreciation to his father for impacting on his life in a meaningful way, whilst he is still around. I am fortunate in that today, I have the opportunity of doing so, not only as Stanley’s son, but also as his colleague in law. Those are unique circumstances and it makes this occasion even more significant for me,” he said.

While reflecting on his father’s upbringing, the young John noted that his father’s focus has always been service to others and the promotion of just causes.

Akin added that John served as his role model, when he (Akin) made the decision to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer.

“I had solidified in my mind that there was no other career path for me other than to become a lawyer. I needed not go far for a role model to emulate,” he said.

“My father is never short of wise words and advice. He is not a fan of conciseness. He always reminds my brother and I, that that one moment where you fail to be thorough and to go the extra mile is the occasion on which you would have failed in making some meaningful impact.”

Having worked alongside his father for eight years at Elizabeth Law Chambers, Akin praised his father’s work ethic and described it as a “tremendous learning experience.”

“I experience a rare treat on a daily basis. I work with a practitioner who exhibits the highest ethical standards and thoroughness as it relates to the preparation of his work in representing his clients,” the young lawyer said.

Fellow Queen’s Counsel, Parnell Campbell congratulated John on his appointment.

In his remarks, Campbell reflected on his friendship with John, which began budding in 1969, when Campbell taught him at the St Vincent Grammar School.

With respect to John’s political past, Campbell described his colleague as “a premier nation builde.r.

“Most of our conversations were of the political nature. We devised plans to revolutionize St Vincent and the Grenadines politically,” said Campbell, as he reminisced about their time, while studying together in England.

The Queen’s Counsel, who was once a member of the New Democratic Party, also revealed that from 1984 to 1989, when John served as an Opposition senator, he was one of the most feared parliamentarians.

“His incisiveness, his persuasiveness and his utter presence in the Parliament, caused us to be respectful of him, if not fearful,” he said. “Even though our political paths went into different streams, there was never one occasion up to this day that Stanley “Stalkey” John and I exchanged an angry word over politics or anything else.”

In his own address, John revealed how touched he felt by his colleagues’ kind words. He also thanked everyone present for coming and sharing in his success.

“I am truly overwhelmed by the generosity of my colleagues. All who have spoken in support of my admission to the inner bar, each single one of you exceeded my expectations. When I asked you to say a few words today, I thought you would make brief remarks, kind, fairly considerate remarks about my humble efforts over the years at the bar. I listened with rapt attention and at various points in your addresses, with bemusement, I was wondering if the person you were speaking of was me or someone who I have aspired to be,” said John, who has been an attorney for 37 years.

“To see each and every one of you here today who have taken the time off to come and to identify with this event is in my mind further indication of your approbation for my earnest efforts over the years in the course of my professional life.”

Other remarks during the special sitting were delivered by Bertram Commissiong Q.C, Carlyle Dougan Q.C, Andrew Cummings Q.C, Rene Baptiste, the president of the Bar Association, and lawyers: Ronald Jack, Kay Bacchus-Browne, Nicole Sylvester, Randolph Howard and Linton Lewis.(BK)