Attorney Orson OJ Elrington Faces Professional Misconduct Ruling by General Legal Council

Attorney Orson OJ Elrington Faces Professional Misconduct Ruling by General Legal Council

Attorney Orson OJ Elrington is back in the news tonight after the General Legal Council (GLC) ruled that its findings amounted to grave professional misconduct.  Elrington was taken before the GLC after a complaint was filed against him by Pastor Dozie (pronounced DOZIE-YAY) Ifeanyichineke (pronounced IFAN-YAY-CHI-NEH-KE).  According to a document from the GLC, Elrington has been summoned to appear before the General Legal Counsel (GLC) on May 24.  His appearance will see him present reasons why the sanctions for such behavior should not be levied against him.  It is a case that dates back to September 2023 when Pastor Dozie contracted Elrington to file a claim against the Social Security Board regarding the constitutionality of men not being allowed to collect the survivor’s pension.  Love News understands that when the pastor’s wife died in 2021, his claim to SSB was rejected based on the fact that he is a man, and the benefit was only meant for women.  It is a situation that the pastor refused to accept, and began exploring his legal options.  The pastor had appeared in our news in early March when he had just filed the complaint to the council.  He explained that Elrington agreed to a settlement with the SSB without his consent.  Here is a snippet of his 30-minute interview.

Pastor Dozie IfeanyiChineke: “Having been convinced that I do have a case I hired a Belize City attorney to take my case to the High Court of Belize against the Social Security Board and my case was not taken to the Supreme Court for trial and so at the end I had no other choice. It was a very difficult decision for me I had no other choice but I had to file a complaint with the Bar Association of Belize and as a result thereafter the General Legal Council having reviewed my complaint they concluded that there is a case against the former lawyer. He called me and told me of a out of court settlement and that I had no idea what he was talking about that was not what I explicitly instructed him to do when I met and I hired the service and I paid and everything else. I explicitly told the brother to take my case to the Supreme Court of Belize for final decision. That was explicitly what I told the brother to do. Unfortunately that did not happen hence I find myself going around another route. I’m making a public appeal. I’m making a public appeal via my media appearance starting today in this interview making a public appeal to the General Legal Council to make the penalties stiffer for attorneys who are found guilty of professional misconduct. Last but not least I am urging us Belizeans, this is a clarion call, I’m making a loud call for us Belizeans to make use of the Bar Association of Belize that is an office, use it.”

According to the documents from the GLC, the settlement was paid to Elrington in early October last year to the tune of forty-six-thousand-five hundred and eighty-eight dollars.  The document further states that the monies were not paid to the pastor which is one of two factors that led to the intervention of the General Legal Council.  The second factor is that Dozie reported to the council that he had not signed one engagement letter with Elrington.  Dozie was able to provide evidence to the council, including original documents and WhatsApp conversations with Elrington, while Elrington was unable to do the same. Further in the ruling of the GLC, the document noted that they had found holes in Elrington’s testimony and had raised concerns over his reliance on a paralegal to handle clients and legal processes.  We understand that the council has referred the case to the police for further investigations including the authenticity of the second engagement letter that Dozie denied signing.  The council noted that these findings have now highlighted the gravity of Elrington’s actions and brings his credibility into question.  Love News understands that Elrington now faces the possibility of being exiled from practicing law and/or a fine to be determined by the Council.  Interestingly, coming out of this case with the SSB was the recommendation by the Board to the government to amend the SSB Act to ensure equal treatment of men and women concerning claims made for a survivor’s grant.  The recommendation was approved and officially announced on March 4 this year that the registered beneficiary for the insured woman has to be a man she lives with as his wife, and for the insured man, a woman with whom he lives as her husband.//////

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