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Jul 30, 2020

P.U.C. Attorney Sanctioned by C.C.J.

Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay pressed the court that it would be unfair for him to proceed with the presentation of his argument.  The judges offered that the P.U.C., represented by attorney Fred Lumor, assume the cost of court for attempting to introduce a late submission and with that as a remedy, asked to proceed with the trial.  Courtenay, however, insisted that it would be unfair for his client.  The judges then went into recess to discuss the matter privately and upon their return this is what they had to say.


Justice Adrian Saunders, Caribbean Court of Justice

“We take under review of the filing of this speaken note. In effect, we agree with Mister Courtenay that it is not a speaken note. It really is written submissions that are added to the submissions which were earlier filed. The effect of this is that you have, again Mister Courtenay said, put him in an awkward position, an untenable position. You’ve also put the court in an untenable position. And this is simply not on; we cannot encourage this. It is not something which represents good practice. And therefore, we would have to effect a sanction on you—in fact, a series of sanctions. Given that what is at stake here are large sums of money and also issues of statutory interpretation that would have precedential value, we wouldn’t be able to proceed today. We are going to adjourn this matter until the fourteenth of October. You are going to have to pay the cost for today, the cost that has been thrown away and we want those costs paid before the end of September. Mister Courtenay, do you have any figure in mind now for what those cost would be that would be suitable for our senior counsel of course.”


Justice of the Caribbean Court of Justice

“Mister Courtenay, maybe also not just for today, but the consequential cost. You have to prepare or redesign your oral arguments. So the price for that would also be something that needs to be…”


Justice of the Caribbean Court of Justice

“And I believe, Mister Courtenay, you would have to file further submissions so you should factor those in as well.”


Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for SpeedNet

“Oblige. Your honours, could you give Mister Lumor and I twenty-four hours or at least until Monday. I am sure we will be able to agree at.”


Justice Adrian Saunders

“Very well.”


So in essence, the court ordered P.U.C. to pay SpeedNet’s costs involved in preparing for today’s hearing plus preparing additional submissions.  Both sides are to agree to the fees by Monday or the court will fix the costs, which are likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.  The court also said costs must be paid by the thirtieth of September or the P.U.C. will not be heard.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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