There were so many people in Grand Court on the morning of 1 June that Mr. Justice Karl Harrison thought at first they were jurors waiting for selection in a new case.
When he realised the assembly was comprised of the friends, relatives and colleagues attending Richard H. Barton Jr’s call to the bar, he remarked that they would be judging Mr. Barton later on.
The application for the admission was moved by Attorney General Samuel Bulgin QC in recognition of the young attorney having served his articles with the Legal Department and staying on as Crown Counsel.
Mr. Barton is the son of Mr. Richard H. Barton Sr, principal officer with Her Majesty’s Prison at Northward, and Mrs. Ann-Marie Barton, formerly with the Registrar of Companies and now in the private sector.
In his first speech before the court, the new Crown Counsel observed that the Legal Department is Government’s chief advisor and so offers an invaluable wealth of knowledge and practical law experience.
He said his training with the department had equipped him not only with legal assets but also the confidence and resilience expected of an attorney practising in today’s increasingly competitive arena.
He thanked his many friends and well-wishers, who included Solicitor General Cheryll Richards and Ramon Alberga QC. Referring to Mr. Alberga as the mentor whom he had always admitted, he said one of the great honours of being admitted to the bar was that he could now call the senior attorney ‘my learned friend’.
He paid special tribute to his mother, who had reassured him of her conditional love whether he failed or succeeded; and his father, whom he saluted for his obsession with the truth.
Mr. Barton is a graduate of John Gray High School. One skill honed there has already stood stand him in good stead: he was a member of the debate team that won the 1996 inter-high school championship.
Mr. Barton continued his studies at the Community College of the Cayman Islands, receiving an associate degree in 1999. Then it was on the Cayman Islands Law School, where he obtained an LLB honours degree classification from the University of Liverpool in 2002.
He was able to pursue the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law in the UK, receiving his post-graduate diploma in 2005.
While in the UK, Mr. Barton was admitted into the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and was called to the Bar in November, 2005.
In his address to the court, Mr. Barton acknowledged the funding assistance from the Portfolio of Legal Affairs and the Walkers law firm that had enabled him to go to England.
‘It is always a wonderful feeling when one’s desires and aspirations are recognised by others,’ he said. ‘But to receive a positive contribution so that the desire becomes a reality and the aspirations become achievements creates a feeling of joy so great that any attempt to describe it would do grave injustice.’
He pledged his continued commitment to hard work and upholding the good virtues of the law profession.