Alan Richards Appointed Supreme Court Justice Turns Legal Fraternity Upside Down

TNN News has been reliably informed that the decision to appoint Alan Richards, a Supreme Court Puisne Judge, has caused more than few raised eyebrows among the local legal fraternity.

Chiefly due to the fact that Mr. Richards, who is Deputy Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, was chosen ahead of two highly experienced members of the legal fraternity. Those individuals said to be Attorney Mark Pettingill who continues to sit as an Acting Judge and current Sitting Magistrate, the Worshipful Mr. Craig Attridge.

Both are considered as eminently qualified for the post to which Mr. Richards was appointed, leaving many to wonder as to whether Bermudians being given first preference when such positions become available is still the norm.

What’s more, as reported elsewhere, it will be at least eighteen months before Mr. Richards would be able to hear any criminal matters, given his current role in the office of the DPP.

A recent check of the court schedule shows Mr. Pettingill is slated to hear a number of matters in the coming weeks and currently presides over the trial of Syhon Akinstall, who has pleade not guilty to murdering Ayinde Eve and Micah Davis, well as the attempted murders of Troy Eve Burgess and police officer Derrick Golding.

One member of the Bermuda Bar Association described the situation as an “Outright insult to Mr. Pettingill and Mr. Attridge”. That Attorney also questioning whether Chief Justice Mr. Larry Mussenden was in support of the decision to appoint Mr. Richards to the Supreme Court.

We have reached to Mr. Mussenden as well as Mr. Pettingill and Mr. Attridge for comment.

Elsewhere, questions are being asked as to whether Mr. Richards sitting on the bench in the Supreme Court, would not be working outside the parameters of his current work permit.

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