While the BGYEA matter is now complete, the organization’s attorney faces charges that she breached the confidentiality of the process when she gave multiple press interviews in February. The mediation process is closely guarded and the attorney opposing BGYEA, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, has moved to have the outspoken attorney cited for this breach due to her premature revelations. However, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, appearing for Matura-Shepherd in chambers before Justice Courtney Abel, says the issue is confined to specific avenues which he outlined.
“An application has been brought to visit the client, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, with the sanction of costs. The allegation is that she breached rules of the Supreme Court which requires confidentiality in mediation proceedings. The argument was about a simple point, which is that provision of the rules. They have argued that Mrs. Shepherd breached the confidentiality rules. We have argued that she certainly has not, because the confidentiality rules apply only to where you make disclosures of things that happen in a mediation in other court proceedings, so that disclosures to the media for instance do not attract the strict and technical prohibition set out in the act, and really that’s what the matter was about. The Judge has reserved his decision on that and we will get it sometime in the future.”
Matura-Shepherd herself says her actions, right or wrong, should not distract from the bigger picture.
“The bigger is that if you look at what really happen, which attorney will get up and do these cases for people pro bono? So whatever I may have done or whatever destruction I became, that is unfortunate because I shouldn’t be the subject of the proceeding. It should be the issues of my clients but that’s the price I pay for 1.) My speaking out, 2.) Taking the chance and going on a limb and 3.) Allowing any little cracks to give those who oppose any people movement to come after me. So it just means that I have to be far more guarded in how I operate, because whether we want to accept it or not, I am one of the few people in this country who will speak out and one of the few attorneys who will go and take on an issue and not ask for money for it, and I am not ashamed of that. So if people don’t see the bigger picture that the system is designed to quash and quiet anybody who is prepared to talk, then too bad.”
Justice Abel has reserved his decision.