There was standing room only in Court 2 last week when former MLA Cline Glidden and Miss Cayman Islands 2008 Nicosia Lawson were called to the Bar. The audience included Premier Alden McLaughlin, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush, present and past government ministers and MLAs.
Attorney James Bergstrom of Ogier moved the applications for their admission after they completed their articles with his firm.
Both new attorneys made their first address in the Thursday ceremony at the invitation of the presiding judge, Justice Robin McMillan. Ms. Lawson said her speech would be short because she wanted to give more floor time to her colleague: “I know he will most likely need it.”
Mr. Glidden used a portion of his speech to discuss his bout with stage 4 cancer, from which there is only a six per cent survival rate. His condition was diagnosed in April 2014. “Everything else I had ever faced all of a sudden paled in comparison,” he said. The last 12 months had been a roller coaster, but just the previous Wednesday, he revealed, his medical scans “all came back showing no signs of cancer, making me at least for this time, cancer free.”
“I believe I had the support of the entire Cayman Islands,” he said, thanking everyone for their prayers and good wishes. He paid special tribute to his employer Ogier and training principals because his fight had involved constant travel overseas for treatment.
For reaching his goal of becoming an attorney – a designation he said was significant “because it is permanent” – he thanked God, his wife Gloria as being second only to God, his sons, his parents Cline and Eula Glidden “because they pushed me, believed in me and have always been there for me.” He said he was committing himself to the fair administration of justice and doing his part in facilitating true access to justice.
Mr. Glidden’s credentials, presented to the court by Mr. Bergstrom, included his graduation from Cayman Islands High School and diploma in telecommunications engineering earned in the U.K.
Mr. Glidden was elected MLA for West Bay in 2000, 2005 and 2009, serving as deputy speaker, tourism councilor and minister for tourism. He was chairman of the government team that successfully negotiated an agreement with Cable and Wireless liberalizing the telecommunications industry. He has been active in sports organizations, including the Special Olympics. He graduated from the Cayman Islands Law School in 2010 and completed the Professional Practice Course in 2012.
Ms. Lawson, a product of John Gray High School and the Community College, obtained two tertiary degrees in Canada. She worked at the Cayman Islands Development Bank for four years and then used her Miss Cayman scholarship for law studies in the U.K. Throughout her career, she has been heavily involved in youth programs, including Big Brothers Big Sisters.
In her maiden speech, Ms. Lawson paid tribute to the many people who supported her on her journey to becoming an attorney. “Words cannot express my gratitude at being offered training with Ogier, as articled clerkship is an often seemingly elusive opportunity for many aspiring lawyers in Cayman,” she said. She also thanked the firm of Bodden and Bodden for giving her the opportunity to gain work experience while still in law school.
Ms. Lawson said it was an honor to work in a profession for which she had the deepest respect. “I understand the values and overriding importance of integrity towards clients, opponents and, above all, the court. I shall act with the utmost professionalism,” she pledged.
Justice McMillan congratulated both new attorneys. His wish for Ms. Lawson was that she continue to do as she has done to this point, “as a wonderful example to the young people of Cayman.”
The judge paid tribute to Mr. Glidden’s courage and steadfastness, overcoming obstacles above and beyond the ordinary challenges of legal studies. He said telecommunications will be an important aspect of Cayman’s future and he hoped Mr. Glidden would use his knowledge and background to assist the community in development of the law in this field.
The first attorney to be admitted in the colorful ceremony was Sabina Jerrybandan, who was called to the Bar in Trinidad in 1995. A Cayman resident since 1995 and recipient of Caymanian status in 2012, she specializes in trust law. Attorney Colin McKie presented her credentials.
Justice McMillan noted her particular interest in the area of compliance. He said it was very important there should be persons of her competence to fill this role in the community.