Liberia: “Let the Truth Be Told” Probate Court Judge Nominee Misleads Judiciary Committee
Dear Members of the Judiciary Committee:
I love Liberia. As we celebrate Liberia’s 175th Independence and its Bicentenary, I hesitate to write to get into the endless injustices and greed of Liberia’s Judiciary System. To remain silent, however, is to endorse untruth and allow wrong to continue.
Cllr. Neuclar Y. Edwards, Nominee for Probate Court Judge, misled and gave false statements during his hearing concerning ethical charges.
Recently, during the hearing of the Judiciary Committee of the Liberian Senate for nominee Cllr. Neuclar Y. Edwards as Probate Judge, he was asked if a client had filed ethical charges against him. He responded that I had. He misrepresented the truth by stating that I had gone to Cllr. Frank Musa Dean and Cllr. Neuclar Y. Edwards to represent me for a US$30,000.00 labor claim against the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary and that I was awarded US$192,000.00 for the case. Let the truth be told that I did not request representation in a labor case. I requested a counter defamation of character case against the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary’s (LBTS) eviction case while they were adamantly refusing to pay me past due 3 years salaries, benefits (29 years severance pay) and receipted personal investments into developing the LBTS Dorothy Pryor Baptist Compound in Congo Town.
I held prior consultation with astute Cllr. Moses Paegar on my defamation case and he made the referral to Cllr. Dean and then Atty. Neuclar Y. Edwards. Both cases — the Defamation of Character case for US$3m (my request) and the Labor case (Cllrs. Dean’s and Edwards’ preference) could have been filed in 2008. They failed to file the defamation case and to represent the best interest of their client. They received all monies awarded and firstly deducted their professional fees, other fees and taxes, as agreed by the client, totaling over $90,000.00, but failed to complete legal services.
Cllr. Frank Musah Dean and Cllr. Neuclar Y. Edwards, of the Dean & Associates Law Firm, served as my defense legal team beginning in 2008: Liberia Baptist Seminary Vs Dr. Lincoln Brownell. I was misled by Cllr. Dean and Cllr. Edwards from my primary written request [Ref. 2-page letter of June 23, 2008] to file a counter case for defamation of character, and to proceed first for a labor case. The labor case and receipts/payments lasted 11 years (for 4 of those years I could not find employment due to the LBTS and Liberian Baptists’ conspiracy and public scandal).
Cllr. Dean and Cllr. Edwards assured me of a stronger defamation of character case once we won the labor case filed. Cllr. Dean, Cllr. Edwards and the Justice System deducted payments of over US$90,000 from the labor case won in Liberia.
In 2013, the Probate Court denied my defamation case due to the 3-year statute of limitation. Interestingly, both Dean and Edwards claimed they did not know about the statute of limitation. Let the truth be told: Cllr. Edwards lied, saying they declined to file the defamation in 2013 because they were only 2 lawyers in the Dean and Associates Law Firm. Atty. Clark (female) and another male lawyer worked at the firm and could have filed the case.
I filed a complaint [June 17, 2013] to Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, who referred Cllrs. Dean and Edwards to the Grievance and Ethics Committee. The facts and copies of supporting written documents were presented to the committee 4 years ago. However, the Grievance and Ethics Committee has still not presented a ruling to go to the Supreme Court.
When my appeal regarding the probate defamation case was brought to the Supreme Court, the entire Bench was present, and I again requested the ruling of the Grievance and Ethics Committee. Chief Justice Korkpor asked for the Committee’s Report and promised to hold
a follow-up Supreme Court hearing. Cllr. Edwards lied on the deceased Cllr. Farmere Stubblefield by saying that Cllr. Stubblefield had dismissed the charges. For two years I did follow-up to the Supreme Court’s Grievance and Ethics Committee’s Office. The late Cllr. Stubblefield had assured me that the written ruling was being prepared by the Committee; that a copy would be sent to the Chief Justice; and that the Supreme Court would hear an appeal. Astute Cllr. Winston Tubman, in sympathy with my plight, agreed to represent me.
Let Cllr. Edwards present a copy of the ethical charges ruling from the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Supreme Court. Does counsellor-client privileged information still exist in Liberia’s legal practice? Not surprising, the legal fraternal bond of Dean and Edwards hassilenced and delayed the ruling and justice. Now we have Cllr. Edwards, nominee to the Probate Court, lying under oath that I requested US$30,000 as 3+ years salaries, benefits and 29 years severance pay as The First Black and First Liberian President of The Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS). His lies are not logical. Who (unemployed, bloodied, defamed, homeless, with a sick wife and a traumatized child enrolling in college) goes to court after 29 years of working to claim US$30,000 when a labor case is valued at US$192,000? Cllr. Edwards careless and insensitivity of ongoing public money talk makes me a target and endangers my life and that of my family. This is another blatant displace of injustice and the furtherance of Liberia’s greed, guns and genocide.
Cllr. Dean and Cllr. Edwards compromised me as their client/defendant (2008-2016) because there was a conflict of interest with them representing a trustee of the Seminary (complainant/prosecutor), Deacon Joseph M. Boakai, Sr., and he forms a Muwetana Incorporation  to lease the very LBTS Baptist Compound property in Congo Town.Deanran as a Representative candidate on Boakai’s political party ticket , while he was representing me legally. My family was bloodied, imprisoned and nearly lost our lives.
Both Cllr. Dean and Cllr. Edwards knew and promised to file a defamation of character case and a labor case for me, as their client. However, they did not.
I am the grandson of two astute Liberian legal minds: Cllr. Nete-Sie Brownell and Cllr. Charles B. Reeves, who served as Attorney General and on the Supreme Court Bench, respectively. As a cadet to Grandpa Nete-Sie, I learned that “lawyers were of a noble profession”. Is that still true in Liberia?
“But let justice roll down like waters. And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24, NASB). Justice! “Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free!” (John 8:32, NIV).
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Lincoln S. Brownell, Jr.
Lincoln S. Brownell, Jr. (Rev. Dr.)
Former and First Liberian President,
Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS)
(the first black and longest serving President of LBTS)