Attorney defends role with Chief Magistrate legal defence team

Lawyer Wendel Robinson
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By Robert A. Emmanuel

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Attorney-at-law Wendel Robinson said that he will defend anyone “fearlessly” in response to persons who have questioned why he has chosen to represent Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in her upcoming disciplinary hearing.

The Chief Magistrate is facing 10 disciplinary charges filed by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC)—the body charged with the appointment, discipline and termination of judges.

Robinson is assisting the lead attorney Kenny Kentish in the matter.

“I made my name as an attorney in private practice because of practicing in her court,” Robinson said, claiming that besides cases before the Traffic Court, the Chief Magistrate has had “the fastest moving court in the history of this country”.

“I don’t always agree with her; there are times when we fight bitterly because she is as stubborn as I am, but I have been able to get a number of cases decided by her,” he added.

Robinson reiterated that the Chief Magistrate should receive the same fair opportunity to defend herself as any other person.

“A person is innocent until proven guilty and so she must be given the opportunity to have her case properly ventilated.

“I am sure that there are many options available to her in terms of retirement, but nobody wants to retire in a situation like this; a person would want their name cleared before the question can be considered,” he said.

There have been several complaints over the years against the Chief Magistrate, mainly regarding her conduct in office and attitude towards members of staff.

However, precise details of the charges against her have yet to be made public.

A three-member panel, reportedly including an unnamed Court of Appeal judge, will oversee the tribunal hearing, set to take place next month.

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