Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Meeting with my Attorney
It is always helpful if you try to write or type a brief summary of what your matter is before meeting with your Attorney. This would include names, dates and places relevant to the matter. Doing this helps you to focus on what the important issues are as it may be daunting when asked to recite your recollection of the matter. Writing down your thoughts also minimizes the risk of leaving out some crucial detail that would have evaded you during the meeting with your lawyer. It is also important to bring with you documents or items that are relevant to the matter that you wish to pursue.
Is it normal for cases before the court to take a long time?
The length of time that a matter takes generally depends on the nature and complexity of the case. Further, Jamaica’s legal system has a backlog of cases which contributes to the delay of matters before the court.
How much time do I have to bring a claim in a civil suit?
The limitation of actions period varies based on the type of matter that is pursued. If the claim is one of negligence you have a period of six years from the date of the accident within which to file your suit. Please note, however, that if it is a fatal accident you have three years from the date of the deceased’s death to file an action.
Personal Injury / Labour Law and Industrial Relations
What should I do if I am involved a motor-vehicle accident?
The first thing that you do, is to take the contact details of the other driver. If you have access to a camera take photos of the vehicle(s) involved and also of the scene of the accident. If possible, note the names and contact details of witnesses. When making an accident report at the Police Station bear in mind that you will need your drivers license, certificates to confirm registration, fitness and insurance, and if the vehicle involved is a public passenger or commercial vehicle, the road license must also be presented. Thereafter, it is important that you seek the advice of a lawyer.
What can I do if I think my job has been terminated unfairly?
Schedule a consultation with your lawyer.
Real Estate / Conveyancy / Property
Why do I need a lawyer to buy land, if the vendor has already agreed to the price?
The ownership of land is a complex matter because land is capable of having many ‘interests’. This means that even if the Vendor has a valid Certificate of Title for the land, there could be other factors such as leases, mortgages or covenants that may affect your rights as a new owner.
During conveyancing, your attorney conducts investigations to uncover any possible outside interests on the property and to ensure that rights to ownership are properly transferred from Vendor to Purchaser.
What if I cannot find my Title?
If you have lost your Title, contact your Attorney-at-law immediately. The lawyer will prepare an Application for a replacement Title and will lodge same at the Titles Office. You must tell your Attorney-at-law how the loss or destruction occurred and the last time you saw the Title. Your Attorney-at-law will use this information in your Application for a replacement Title.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a graphical representation that differentiates goods or services of a person, company or other legal entity from others. These graphical representations may be comprised of letters, numbers, names, images, colours etc.
Estate Planning and Administration
Why should I write a Will?
A last will and testament allows you to achieve many objectives. In the will you will state how your property should be divided, provide for your loved ones, determine who will receive your heirlooms, set up trust funds, and nominate a guardian for your minor children, if necessary
Commercial / Corporate Law
What is the difference between a business name and a company?
A company is a legal entity that is considered to be separate from its members or owners. A business name on the other hand, is not a separate legal entity and has no legal identity or existence outside of its members.
Can I register a company with the same name as another company?
No. Jamaican law does not allow you to register a company with a name that is the same as, or too similar to an existing company. Once you register your company, your company’s name will be protected in the same manner.
Who should I call if I, or someone I know, gets arrested?
If you or someone you know is arrested, your first concerns should be safety and bail. You should contact your lawyer and a close friend or family member and also your lawyer.
How do I go about getting a divorce?
An attorney can make an application for divorce on your behalf after you have given the attorney the necessary information about your marriage. Factors such as whether or not you have young children from your marriage, or whether you and your spouse jointly own property or bank accounts may affect the length of time and complexity involved in obtaining your divorce.
What documents do I need to facilitate my divorce?
The most important document to take with you to your Attorney-at-Law is the original Marriage Certificate. Also, if children are involved, take along their Birth Certificates. If property is involved, you must also take along a copy of the Title.
Here you will find several private and government agencies that are relative to our industry.