Saturday, December 29, 2012

Teddy Guerra dies; AG Ramlogan pay tribute to "larger than life" Trini

Theodore "Teddy" Guerra
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan on Friday extended condolences on the death of Theodore “Teddy” Guerra, S.C., who died on Friday morning describing Guerra as "a larger than life figure whose contribution to the legal profession and public life were invaluable and worthy of emulation".

Ramlogan said Guerra epitomized the true “Trini spirit” and way of life, with a sense of humility and dedication to duty.

"As a former police officer, he successfully pursued his dream of practicing law, when he was admitted as a barrister into the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn on the 15th day of November, 1957.

"He was called to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago on the 3rd March, 1960, where, over time, he so distinguished himself that he was awarded silk and became joint head of the prestigious Criminal Chambers of Guerra, Elder & Associates in Woodbrook, Port of Spain.

"Mr Guerra was also called to the Bar of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

"Some of his notable cases included:

i. Prosecution of sedition and mutiny matters arising from the 1970 insurrection;

ii. Defence of former Commissioner of Police Randolph Burroughs;

iii. Prosecution of Dole Chadee & ors.; and

iv. Prosecution of the treason matter against Abu Bakr & the Muslimeen.

"Throughout his legal career, Mr Guerra never hesitated to advance his legal expertise to those who needed them, no matter their financial circumstances. Many attorneys can also vouch of the selfless help and guidance they got from Mr Guerra while they were fledglings.

"His legacy and career were heavily punctuated by his frequent pro bono (without fees) appearances in court. The records would show he did hundreds of cases pro bono. 

"Furthermore, he was a regular volunteer for Legal Aid work, which means his demise has left an immense void in the legal profession and the Attorney General asks that the members of the legal profession mark his passing by undertaking more pro bono cases in future."

Ramlogan also called on lawyers to make a New Year resolution that "each attorney would undertake at least one pro bono case in 2013, as Mr Guerra demonstrated such service to the poor and downtrodden lies at the very heart of the legal profession."

Guerra served as a Member of Parliament for POS South between 1986 to 1991 in the NAR Government. Ramlogan noted that he was a community-oriented person, participating actively in the spheres of cricket, steelpan, calypso and also an avid gardener and horticulturist.

"Because of his consistent dedication to the legal profession and wider community over the eight-decade span of his life, Theodore “Teddy” Guerra, SC, shall always be remembered as one who served his country with distinction.

"On behalf of myself and the staff of the Ministry of the Attorney General, I extend condolences to his bereaved."

The Judiciary also released a statement on Guerra's passing."It is with great sadness that the Honourable the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Ivor Archie, has learnt of the passing of Mr Theodore Guerra, Senior Counsel.

"Mr Guerra could be regarded justifiably as a stalwart of the Criminal Bar with a career spanning more than four decades. He was a powerful and passionate advocate whether his role was that of Defense Attorney or of Prosecutor. 

"His performance at the Bar was distinguished by many high profile cases, including trials arising out of the events surrounding the 1970 State of Emergency in Trinidad and Tobago.

"With Mr Guerra’s passing, the legal profession records the loss of one of its most experienced champions, and the Honourable the Chief Justice, on behalf of the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and on his own behalf, wishes to extend deep condolences to his family in particular and the legal fraternity in general."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai