In its opinion (judgment) on Wednesday, August 13, the Supreme Court took several drastic measures against senior lawyers and their clients, as part of effort to restore the credibility of the Judiciary.
Some of those affected by Wednesday’s decision were Cllr. Musa Dean, Cllr. Nicholas Edward and their client, one Allen E. Brown.
Dean and Edward are both senior counselors of the Supreme Bar and members of the Dean and Dean Law Firm.
Cllrs Dean and Edward had filed a “Bill of Information” against the late Cllr. Emmanuel Kollie, the Judge, who heard the case between their client, Allen Brown and his wife Meata Huge Brown.
A Bill of Information is a formal written accusation made by a prosecutor attorney charging a named person with a specific crime.
Delivering the High Court’s opinion on the matter, Wednesday, Associate Justice Jamesetta H. Wolokolie publicly ordered that “Counselors Musa Dean and Nicholas Edward both of the Dean and Dean Law Firm are hereby fined US$500 each, which is to be paid within 72 hours. This is an abuse of the legal process.”
She further stated that their punishment ranges from suspension, expulsion, fine and detention.
“Because of the outbreak of the Ebola virus and our decision to decongest the prison center, we will not send them to jail,” Associate Justice Wolokolie stated.
“They misinterpreted the domestic relationship law, in their Bill of Information filed before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, on behalf of Allen Brown. Though, similar request was denied by then Justice in Chamber,” she disclosed.
“But, they chose to disrespect the Chamber Justice and filed the bill directly to the Office of the Chief Justice,” she maintained.
In furtherance of the High Court’s opinion, Justice Wolokolie ordered that “The request for the Bill of Information is hereby denied and the ruling of the Civil Law Court is confirmed.”
She continued, “Mr. Brown is hereby ordered to pay US$30,000 to his wife, Mrs. Meata Huge Brown for failure to support her over the years, and also ordered to give her US$1,500 monthly.”
In addition, the Associate Justice said, “There is no divorce proceeding between them, neither are they on separation.”
In the bill, they were seeking the High Court’s approval to overturn a ruling of the Civil Law Court against their client, Brown.
They alleged that the late Cllr. Emmanuel Kollie, then judge of the Civil Law Court, ruling against their client was in error.
Their client Allen Brown was sued by his wife, Mrs. Meata Huge Brown, claiming non-persistence support.
In her lawsuit, Mrs. Brown further alleged that she and her husband were still married, but he chose to deny her access to their properties.
It was based on that, she complained to the court to compel her husband to give her little over US$22,000 for her monthly upkeep.
However, after carefully listening to the case, Judge Kollie ruled in her favor and ordered Mr. Brown’s lawyers to negotiate with her for a better settlement.
Instead, of negotiating with Mrs. Brown as was advised by Judge Kollie, both Dean and Edward advised their client not to do so and filed the bill.