Cut and Paste Attorneys Print E-mail
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Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00

Said Musa and Anthony SylvesterAttorneys Anthony Sylvester and Said Musa have become somewhat the laughing stock of the legal community in Belize after they have been able to successfully bungle an Election Petition they have taken on, on behalf of Orlando Habet. They are now being called the "Cut and Paste attorneys" after they attempted that maneuver in an attempt to try to pull a fast one on the Supreme Court.

Their attempt had started from April 10th when they bunched together 8 affidavits along with an election petition to have a recount declared against Hon. Elvin Penner. The document contained arguments among others that alleged that Hon. Penner had bribed voters during his election. It also demanded a recount of the votes. However, that process was struck down by Justice Minnette Hafiz-Bertram on April 10th but at the same time she granted them leave to apply for a true petition.

In the process by which a petition is heard, it must first be given leave before it is presented in court. In this case, the not-so-dynamic duo attempted to present a petition before it was granted leave. So, the court struck it down along with the accompanying 8 affidavits.  They, however, were given leave to apply for leave and that they did.

At some point, these two attorneys had decided that they would simply cut and paste the original document they had tried to pass as an election petition. Senior Counsel representing Hon. Elvin Penner went to great lengths in court to point this out. He began explaining that the petition presented was in fact the same old one which was struck down earlier on. He explained that two of the affidavits in the most recent petition were actually a part of the first document presented. He then explained that what appeared as a petition was actually a document which had been edited significantly; what made it bad was the fact that the document was disjointed where entire paragraphs had been taken out but those presented it did not take time to make the numbering of the paragraphs be sequential in order.

Williams continued to explain that because the document presented as an election petition was in fact one that had been presented earlier and struk out it was a nullity. In effect, the duo did not present a petition at the time of the deadline and therefore, the entire matter should be struck down.

Court room observers giggled as Musa instructed Sylvester to explain this one; of course, there is no explanation that could be given for poor legal work and Sylvester had to be asked who was it that actually did the cutting and who did the pasting. The world may never know the answer to that question.
What will be known is Justice Bertram's decision which will be given on May 24th.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 May 2012 05:58