19 December, 2007

Legal Aid

The Anguilla Legal Aid Clinic. ALAC is a service offered by the Anguilla Department of Social Development. The Clinic operates three mornings a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Any person can telephone the front office at 497 2317 and make an appointment. There is a simple Intake form that the client is required to fill out, giving some personal background information. There is an administration charge of EC$10.00. That is it. The attorney will see the client and offer advice on whatever the problem is.

Sanford Richardson is the Director of the Department. When the idea for offering the service was first put to him, he jumped at it. Dr Bonnie Richardson-Lake is the brave Permanent Secretary who took the project to the Hon McNeil Rogers and got it officially sanctioned. First Kishana Rogers, and now Janique Richardson, act as the initial contact at reception. All the staff in the Department have been kind and generous with their time and advice. Several lawyers have taken clients as either pro bono cases or at greatly discounted cost. Thomas Astaphan of Astaphan and Associates, Eustella Fontaine of Caribbean Associated Attorneys, Ricki Camacho of Joyce Kentish and Associates, Cora Richardson Hodge, and Keesha Webster have all provided excellent services to the clients of the Clinic. For this we thank them.

The majority of the problems brought to the clinic fall in the area of family law. These range from child support and custody cases, to adoption and divorce. Family law is closely followed by criminal law. These involve visiting the prison to consult with and advise mostly juvenile offenders. Probate and administration questions compete with land disputes for attention. All in all, it is just like a normal legal office.

The Clinic is just one year old last month. I am inordinately proud of it. But, I missed its birthday celebrations!


  1. Don, I fear we will now hear from those who question what you have done with the administrative charges, and demand an audit and judicial inquiry. :)

    Thank you for your service to those most in need of help. I wish you satisfaction and good health in the New Year!

  2. And quite rightly so. Proper account keeping should be par for the course for any institution where monies are involved, in particular Public funds, which ought to be available for scrutiny by the public or the public's agent.
    In addition, Mr Mitchell has been campaigning publicly in his blog for that level of scrutiny into public institutions and their accounts.

  3. I think the accumulated proceeds should be spent on the:

    Legal Aid Wish List for 2008

    1 desk (small)
    1 bookshelf (small)
    2 small matching chairs
    1 set of Laws of Anguilla
    1 picture for wall
    1 wall calendar for 2008
    1 office diary for receptionist


  4. Perhaps Timothy Hodge will donate one of the wall calendars published by Social Security at public expense.

    Why does Social Security have to advertise? What public purpose does it serve to use the Fund's money for such a purpose?

  5. Don't even get get me started on Social Secuirty. Timothy failure to embrace information techonology will be the reason many Anguilliasn will have to keep working until 70.

    The entire social security should be computerise and every year each person should get a receipt of how much they have contributed and an estimate of what they will get once they retire.

    But Timothy rather spend our hard money on music festivals and make believe speeches.

  6. And calendars. And phony surveys with leading questions on how much his mother is admired for leading the Revolution. The overstuffed little man doesn't even realise what a fool he makes of himself.

  7. … why make useless noise here about the Social Security’s mismanagement. As a beneficiary to the Social Security Scheme; take the Director and/or the Board to court (Equity/Trust) for misuse and/or mismanagement of your trust.

    Who is a beneficiary? You!… once you were or is contributing to the scheme or the trust.

    Again… Ask Don, not the Director.

  8. Taking the Director to court would not afford an adequate remedy for his peacock behaviour and buffoonery.

  9. Most SS schemes highlight how monies can and cannot be used. I can understand the Director need to sponsor social activities. But he needs to realise this is not his money but the public money. Can you imagine people in the USA allowing monies from their SS be used for private activities?

    We may have 200 Million in SS reserves. But that is not much money when many more persons start to tap into it.

    I am sure SS will fully furnish the legal Aid Office since he has carte blanche to do whatever he wants with the people money..

  10. The Social Security Fund has been used by the Politicians over the years as their piggy bank to fund politically geared projects, like basketball courts etc.

    The problem is that every cent collected by Social Security is TRUST MONEY, held by the Board upon Trust for the Contributors for their Benmefit. It is to be spent solely for the Benefit of the Contributors; not the public at large. Therefore the funding of all sorts of non- Social Security items, none of which directly benefit the Beneficiaries of the Trust, constitutes a serious breach of the Trust, and no amount of passing of Laws to justify those expenditures can correct that.

    Instead of wastinf the Trust Monies, and, instead of imposing yet another tax and bureauracracy on the People of Anguilla, the Social Security Fund should be used to fully fund the Health Authority of Anguilla and provide the best FREE Universal Healthcare to the contributors.

    Enough of wasting our money on gimmicks and politics and spend ity on what it was collected for: THE WELFARE OF THE INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS.

  11. Beautifully said!!!!!

  12. Anguilla is a small place, how fear will the law be, to an outside investor.


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