Credible information reaching the Daily Observer reveal that several senior and junior lawyers have been suspended from practicing law in the country for not paying their annual dues as required by the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA).
The annual fee for Counselors (senior lawyer) is US$380 and Attorneys are required to pay US$180, according to a memorandum posted on the bill board at the Temple of Justice.
The document further named the lawyers falling into that category as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges of Record, Counselors and Attorneys-At-Law.
It is not clear whether Associate Justices or Judges were among those suspended.
The list does not include lawyers who were suspended for disciplinary violations, a legal expert who spoke with the Daily Observer under condition of anonymity hinted.
“Several of my colleagues (lawyers) have been suspended, because of their failure to pay the dues,” he said.
“Our law requires suspension of lawyers who are delinquent in the payment of their yearly dues as a penalty,” he further disclosed.
“We lawyers need to be more responsible to comply with our dues payment. Nobody needs to tell us before we can pay it,” he said, wondering “Why should the Bar suspend or threaten to suspend us before we pay the dues.”
He did not name those senior and junior lawyers who have been suspended by authority of the LNBA.
The action, according to our source, stemmed from the attitude of indifference to their obligations being exhibited by some lawyers.
“They are charging their clients hundreds and thousands of United States dollars and they can’t pay a common thing like dues which is less than five hundred dollars,” the legal expert exclaimed.
He said the suspension of lawyers has been enforced by all courts in the country.
Supporting his assertion, a notice posted in every courtroom at the Temple of Justice reads, “Pay your Bar due before hearing/trial and present your certificate of good standing before you will be allowed to practice in this courtroom.”
Good standing, according to the Bar, refers to those lawyers who have paid their annual dues and have been issued a certificate confirming their compliance.
A document also posted at the Temple of Justice quotes The LNBA president Cllr. Theophilus Gould warning lawyers that, “If you can’t pay your annual due you will not be allowed to practice in the legal system.”
Cllr. Gould also did not give the number of lawyers who have been suspended.