Cleric says too many unfit people in legal profession

Barbados Today:-The legal profession is being encouraged to weed out the “square pegs in round holes” who get in the way of progress.

In a fiery sermon Monday morning at the Calvary Moravian Church on Roebuck Street, The City to mark the official start of the 2017-2018 legal year, Rev Dr Adrian Smith said the profession needed to get rid of bad attitudes and behaviours and old mindsets if it wished to live up to its theme of Repositioning for World Class Excellence.

And, he said, it must begin by getting the right people for the job.

“Too often brothers and sisters, we have the wrong people in the wrong places. Sometimes it is for popularity, political reasons or selfish gain . . . but we have too many square pegs in round holes, whether by election or appointment. And I call upon the leadership of the legal fraternity that you must take a stand to get the right people in the right places,” the unapologetic priest told the audience, which included Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, Acting Attorney General Michael Lashley and members of the legal fraternity.

The young cleric also took a shot at those who allowed non-performers to keep their jobs, insisting that not only did this discourage commitment to performance, it also tended to block or stagnate progress.

And he warned those aiming for excellence to expect backlash and backstabbing because they would stand out.

“I want to caution those of you who commit to excellence there will be people who would try to distract you. And it is sad that even though all of us may have committed ourselves to doing our best in our vocation, there are some people sitting around you in the legal fraternity who would want to pull down their own,” Smith said.

The Moravian priest also sought to draw parallels between members of the clergy and the legal profession, contending that both were often seen as “wicked” people due to “questionable ethics” and moral issues.

“I believe you don’t need me to tell you this morning of all the deficiencies, flaws and challenges and problems within the legal system. You do not need me this morning to tell you of all the frustration that some people have with questionable ethics and the morality of some lawyers. In fact, I believe that pastors and lawyers, we share a common reality. We are often the brunt of many sweeping generalizations. In fact I can’t tell you brothers and sisters how often I have heard that people say all pastors and lawyers are wicked,” the cleric said.