Attorney at Law Winston Hinkson has been referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the Saint Lucia Bar Association.
The judgment came from High Court Master, Alvin Shiva Pariagsingh pursuant to Section 37 (3) of the Legal Profession Act, Chapter 2:04 of the Laws of Saint Lucia.
“The Registrar of the Supreme Court is directed to forward a copy of this decision together with a copy of the Court’s file to the Committee for its consideration,” court documents stated.
Hinkson was one of two defendants, namely himself trading as Winston Hinkson and Associates and Tonjaka Hinkson, in a High Court civil case which featured Marigot View Property Limited and Iain James Fielder as Claimants.
Before the Court was the Claimants’ application for summary judgment against the First Defendant, meaning Winston Hinkson. The matter first came up before the Court on May 19, 2021. On that day, Hinkson was represented by counsel. Counsel sought permission for Hinkson’s absence to be excused and this request was granted. It was indicated that the Claimants wished to proceed to have their application heard. The Court gave directions for Hinkson to file and serve an affidavit in opposition, permission to the Claimants to reply, if necessary and directions for the exchange of submissions between the Claimants and Hinkson.
Court documents revealed that Hinkson did not comply with any of these directions. In effect, at the hearing on June 24, 2021 save for the Claimants submissions, the Court noted that it was in no better position than it was on May 19, 2021. The entire period of the adjournment was met with silence by Hinkson.
According to court documents, “When this matter came on for hearing on May 19, 2021 the Court enquired of all counsel if the date proposed for the hearing was convenient, to which all parties indicated it was. The Court also indicated to all parties that because the application was being fixed for hearing a specific time was being scheduled. The application was scheduled to be heard at 11:00 a.m on June 24, 2021. All parties indicated that the time fixed was convenient. When the matter was called at 11:17 a.m it was stood down as there was no appearance of the First Defendant’s (Hinkson’s) counsel neither did the First Defendant appear. None of the other counsel in the matter had any word from counsel for the First Defendant. The matter was again called at 11:21 am and again there was again no appearance for the First Defendant neither did he appear. No communication was sent to the Court indicating any difficulty of counsel. The Court also enquired of the other counsel in the matter and they too had not received any communication from counsel. The First Defendant himself did not appear and no explanation for his absence was advanced. Given that the matter was fixed to proceed in the presence of counsel for the First Defendant after consulting his diary, none of the directions having been complied with, no appearance of the First Defendant or his counsel and the Court allowing a further 21 minutes for any appearance or communication from the First Defendant, the Court proceeded to hear submissions on the application and reserve decision.”