Today's Date: 29 June 2016
Last Updated: 11 January 2016 17:07:40 EST
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Alberga called Father of the Bar

Ramon Alberga's portrait joins gallery of judges

Ramon Alberga QC and his son, Attorney Michael Alberga, take a closer look at the portrait that will be displayed in the Law Courts Building.  Photo: Carol Winker

Ramon Alberga, Queen’s Counsel, has appeared before every chief justice of the Cayman Islands since the resident post was created in 1964. Now his portrait will be displayed in the foyer of the Law Courts Building along with pictures of judges of the Grand Court and Court of Appeal. He is the only non-judge to be so honoured.

Mr. Alberga’s portrait was unveiled in a surprise postscript to the formal opening of Grand Court last Wednesday. Chief Justice Anthony Smellie explained to an audience of over 100 lawyers, legislators, guests and court staff that 2011 marks the 60th anniversary of Mr. Alberga’s call to the Bar. A citation on the portrait’s frame salutes him as Father of the Bar, Lawyer’s Lawyer and Friend of the Court.

The senior attorney retired from practice last year, but continues to serve as consulting editor of the Cayman Islands Law Reports.

Although the portrait and its presentation were a complete surprise, Mr. Alberga responded with his customary mix of humour and insightful observations.

He said he was glad to have survived long enough to hear the words of praise in person rather than have them said in his obituary.

He has attended all Grand Court openings since Chief Justice Sir Denis Malone started holding them in the early 1990s and all had been happy occasions.

The first 25 years of his career were in Jamaica, the last 35 years in Cayman. Whether other attorneys had appeared with him or against him, they had become valued associates and friends, he said.

“I have seen a most monumental and significant development in the administration of justice,” Mr. Alberga commented. It gave him great satisfaction to say of the judges currently serving, that the present bench is the strongest, largest, most knowledgeable and greatest collection of jurists the Cayman Islands has ever had.

This had arisen under the leadership of Chief Justice Anthony Smellie and Mr. Alberga expressed confidence that it would continue to be so for a long time.

He asked all present to continue to give judges support, recognition and thanks. The Cayman Islands Law Reports, a collection of their written judgments, are so well regarded because of the judges’ hard work, Mr. Alberga concluded. 

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