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Good morning, Justice Batts

Queen’s Counsel to be appointed puisne judge September 3

BY PAUL HENRY Court/Crime Desk co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012    

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NOTED Queen's Counsel David Batts will be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court, the Jamaica Observer has been informed.

Batts, who has been practising law for the past 26 years, is expected to be sworn in as puisne judge on September 13.

The elevation comes two months after Batts and three other attorneys — George Soutar, Sandra Minott-Phillips and Walter Scott — were appointed queen's counsel in June.

Batts, who is with the firm Livingston Alexander Levy, was admitted to the Bar in Jamaica in October 1986 and practices civil and criminal litigation. He has also appeared before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Jamaica's final appellate court.

The attorney was not available for comment yesterday. However, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer after being appointed queen's counsel, Batts said that law was the farthest thing from his mind when he was considering possible career choices during his years at Kingston College.

"Law was not my first choice at all," Batts said.

"For a long time, and up to the time I entered Sixth Form, my desire was to serve my country as a police officer or in the military. But I never joined the cadets because they required a clean haircut and in high school I sported an afro," Batts said.

He was very successful in his GCE 'A' levels and elected for a degree in international relations at the University of the West Indies. His intent was to either remain in academia or seek employment with the United Nations.

But some friends of his, upon hearing of his success at the 'A' levels, encouraged him to study law. With this encouragement, Batts, a native of Falmouth, Trelawny, transferred faculties to law before his first year grades were out.

Regarding his being called to the Inner Bar, Batts said then: "I do feel a sense of joy and accomplishment, particularly as my parents and family are able to share the experience with me. It is also a humbling experience knowing that the process of selection involved the participation of the legal profession as a whole."

Batts's vast litigation experience includes him representing public utilities companies, banking institutions and insurance companies, among other entities.

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