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Former High Court Registrar disbarred from practising law

Former High Court Registrar disbarred from practising law

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The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has disbarred the former High Court registrar Tamara Gibson-Marks from practising law.

This ruling was passed down on February 18, 2016, by High Court judge Esco Henry and acting High Court judge Pearletta Lanns, following an application made by Attorney-General Judith Jones-Morgan for Gibson-Marks to be “struck off”.{{more}}

The judges found that Gibson-Marks had “conducted herself improperly and unprofessionally in the discharge of her professional duty” by misappropriating the sum of $350,000, which had been held in a trust account.

Additionally, the ruling stated that she had also conducted herself “improperly and unprofessionally” by stealing $21,925 from the mediation programme of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

The court ruling also stipulated that the Attorney-General will carry out a full forensic audit of the Registry’s banking records and official records to ascertain whether any further amounts are due to the beneficiaries.

This audit is scheduled to be carried out on or before April 30, 2016 — the results of which Gibson-Marks will be notified on or before May 13, 2016.

The ruling further outlines: “Tamara Gibson-Marks shall pay to the Registrar of the High Court any and all such additional sums determined by the audit to be outstanding and due payable to the beneficiaries of the trust account.

“The Registrar shall arrange for Mrs Gibson-Marks to be repaid any sums found to have been paid by her, in excess of the amount determined by the audit and reimbursable by her to the trust account.”

In their ruling, the judges warned that this case should be taken as a “cautionary tale” for barristers and solicitors.

“We take no pleasure in making the orders in this matter. However, the profession and the public interest demand no less.”

The Attorney-General was represented by Cerepha Harper, and Gibson-Marks was represented by Duane Daniel.

Gibson-Marks served as High Court registrar for eight years, ending on May 21, 2014.

In October 2014, after pleading guilty to the charge of stealing $21,925 and abuse of authority as registrar, she was fined $10,500.

When she appeared in court in October 2014, defence attorney Alberton Richeilieu said Gibson-Marks had made full restitution of the sum stolen from the mediation programme and at a press conference in September 2014, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the former registrar had repaid over $300,000 which had been withdrawn from the trust account. (JSV)

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