Court orders sale of attorney’s assets to pay debt

Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has ordered that senior attorney Ernest Staine sell his assets to return some $230,000 owed to former client Rita McField for the final sale of a parcel of land to Forward in Faith Ministries on Douglas Jones Street for the building of a church. The total sale was for a quarter-million dollars but Ms. McField only received $20,000 of that amount and an examination of his disclosed finances shows that the escrow account was clear and Staine does not have the cash on hand. Staine’s attorney Naima Barrow says her client is working to obtain the money from the sale of his assets but says it could take some time since there is no expectation of immediate or guaranteed sale. Attorney for McField Julie-Ann Ellis Bradley explained that her clients have no choice to work with their former advocate to settle the case. But might there be criminal charges for the senior attorney, whose fellow members on the Bar were heard to doubt his competence when the case was last before the court? Both attorneys say someone would have to make a criminal complaint as is their right. Ellis-Bradley said such a complaint would reinforce ethics on the part of attorneys which she believes her senior abandoned in this case.Ernest Staine

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