A LAWYER, suspended from his legal practice for two months by the Court of Appeal, is suing a local daily for publishing a story he claims has defamed him.
Godfrey Wallace Pinder, and his law firm (Godfrey “Pro” Pinder and Co), have brought a civil case against The Nassau Guardian and two of its editorial staff claiming the contents of a report published on page 2 of the July 25 edition libelled him.
Mr Pinder claims damages against the Guardian, its news editor, Candia Dames, and senior reporter Artesia Davis on several grounds contained in the article, headed: “Appeal Court Suspends Lawyer from Practice.”
Mr Pinder alleges that as a result of the publication, he and his firm have suffered “embarrassment, loss of business and goodwill and have suffered odium, contempt before right-thinking persons of his profession, both nationally, intra-nationally and internationally.”
The title is claimed to be “slanderous” while the second and fourth paragraphs to be libellous.
The second paragraph reads: “Delivering the decision, Court President Anita Allen said the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Bar Council was right when it found Pinder guilty of improper conduct in relation to a property sale. Justices of Appeal Christopher Blackman and Stanley John concurred.”
The third paragraph tells how the hearing and disbarment came about. The article reported a complaint filed by Alma Gibbs against Pinder in 2005 concerning the handing over of legal title to a Freeport condominium she had purchased three years before filing the complaint.
The fourth paragraph reads: “In April 2010, the disciplinary body suspended Pinder for three months after it found that he had ‘failed to act in a competent and professional manner.’ Pinder was disbarred after he failed to deliver the conveyance to Gibbs within that period.”
Mr Pinder claims the defendants knew the statement published in the story to be “patently false.”
He has one month left before he is allowed to continue with his legal career. He is now claiming damages for libel, loss of business, loss of goodwill, slander and defamation of character.
He seeks an injunction against the defendants and their affiliates and is also seeking interest and costs for aggravated damages.