Earl Melhado struck from roll of attorneys again

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Earl Melhado struck from roll of attorneys again

Friday, October 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prominent attorney-at-law Earl Melhado has again been struck from the Roll of Attorneys-at-law entitled to practise in Jamaica.

In a notice published today, the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council (GLC) said action was taken against Melhado effective June 19.

Melhado had been previously struck off in another matter in 2015.

The committee said it made its decision to take action against Melhado after hearing evidence in a complaint brought by Clarence Clarke, where it found that that the attorney was guilty of professional misconduct.

It was reported that Melhado was acting for Clarke in a divorce settlement in which Clarke was ordered by the court, to pay $4.3 million to his wife, and given a deadline to make the payment.

Clarke gave the $4.3 million to Melhado for him to pay to his wife's attorney but this was not done. After sometime Clarke had to retain the services of another attorney and had to pay the $4.3 million again.

Melhado later admitted that he had received the money from Clarke and agreed to repay it plus the interest and fees which Clarke incurred.

Melhado repaid the $4.3 million over time but failed to pay an additional $1.78 million, which Clarke had to fork out because the money had not been paid to his wife's attorney in the first case.

“The Disciplinary Committee was of the view that it is obliged to act in the interest of the profession to ensure that the collective reputation of the profession is maintained and that the appropriate sanction for such a breach was a striking off order,” said the GLC.

“The public is advised that Mr Earl Melhado is therefore not entitled to practise as an attorney-at-law in Jamaica, nor can he be employed in that capacity by any member of the public,” added the GLC.

It also reminded other attorneys that under Section 20 (1) of the Legal Profession Act they cannot employ, or remunerate any of their colleagues who is disqualified from practising as an attorney because their name has been struck from the Roll.

Melhado had been previously found guilty of professional misconduct in October 2015 and struck from the Roll in relation to his failure to pay over between $1.56 million and $1.58 million, which he had collected on behalf of a client who was involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Arthur Hall

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