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Legal Council points Jamaicans to lawyers in good standing

Published:Sunday | July 5, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Less than one week after The Sunday Gleaner reported that almost 50 of the country's more than 4,000 attorneys-at-law have been banned for life from practising law in Jamaica, the General Legal Council (GLC) has issued a plea to Jamaicans to be careful when engaging the services of a lawyer.

Chief executive officer of the General Legal Council, Ian Jackson, is encouraging Jamaicans to utilise its website to check for practising attorneys who are in good standing.

"The website contains the necessary information. Persons may go to a section on the website titled 'Practising Attorneys' to see the attorneys who are in good standing," Jackson told JIS News last week.

"All information is provided there - you'll find the name of the attorney, the attorney's number and the date when the attorney was admitted to practice," added Jackson.

Practising attorneys are those who, having been issued a practising certificate by the General Legal Council for the current calendar year, are legally entitled to carry on a private practice in Jamaica.

Attorneys-at-law in the full-time employment of the Government of Jamaica (who do not have a private practice) are not required to have a practising certificate.

According to Jackson, to be in good standing, the attorney must have paid the necessary practising certificate fees; submit the necessary audited accounts on an annual basis; and must have no outstanding disciplinary action against him or her.

The council's website also indicates attorneys who have been disbarred.

"There is a heading on the website called disbarred attorneys and it gives information on all the disciplinary action that the GLC has taken since its inception in 1972," said Jackson.

He noted that, so far, one attorney has been struck from the Bar since the beginning of the year.