Attorney John Furniss was sworn in as Acting Magistrate on Monday, to serve while Magistrate Grace Donalds is on leave.
Mr. Furniss, whose oath of office was administered in the presence of the Governor, Stuart Jack, said his appointment was for approximately four weeks.
His local experience includes two years as a Crown Counsel, 1980-82. After a sojourn back in the UK he returned to Cayman in 1986 as a defence attorney, which practice he has continued ever since.
Any of Mr. Furniss’ clients who are due to appear in court while he is on the bench will have to attend and be given a new date.
While Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale will be assigning his duties, Mr. Furniss said he will primarily preside in Traffic Court. This arrangement leaves the Chief Magistrate and Magistrate Nova Hall free to deal with the criminal lists.
Mr. Furniss has been serving as Duty Counsel for the Drug Rehabilitation Court and that work will not be interrupted.
Clerk of Court Valdis Foldats has occasionally sat as Acting Magistrate in recent years, but his current workload does not permit him to be away from his duties for extended time.
Mr. Furniss is not the first practising attorney to be appointed Acting Magistrate. Others include Ian Boxall and Charles Quin, who last year was appointed a judge of the Grand Court.