CHRISTLYN MOORE boasted of her exclusive clientele as a private attorney, which included the likes of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, after she was sworn in as Justice Minister yesterday.
Both of Moore's former clients were present at Knowsley building, Queen's Park West in Port of Spain to witness yesterday's swearing-in ceremony.
"In my capacity as an attorney at law I have represented numerous people, as it happens the competence of my advice and the efficiency of the service that I offered has lent itself to attract a certain type of clientele," Moore told reporters after the ceremony.
"It is quite telling that among my clients would have been listed the Attorney General and the Prime Minister, not many attorneys can boast of a clientele so august," Moore said.
Earlier this year Persad-Bissessar retained Moore's legal services when she filed a pre-action protocol letter against the Express over the publication of a front-page story entitled "Neighbours Flee".
Persad-Bissessar claimed the article was libellous and damaging to her character and retained the legal services of Kelvin Ramkissoon and Associates, as well as Christlyn Moore and Queen's Counsel Alan Newman to represent her.
Speaking at yesterday's swearing-in ceremony, Persad-Bissessar described the reputation of her former attorney as "legend".
Persad-Bissessar said her administration created the Justice Ministry "in recognition of the need to have a dedicated ministry dealing with matters which lay at the heart of the administration of justice".
"Ms Moore brings to this Ministry a wealth of experience as she has practised at both the criminal and civil bars for a number of years and is acutely aware of the shortcomings that plague the administration of justice and the challenges that it faces and which we have to overcome if we are to achieve the noble ideal of justice for all," Persad-Bissessar said.
"Her reputation for competence and hard work in her professional undertakings are legend. This combined with her amiable personality suggests to me it would be a recipe for success," Persad-Bissessar said.
Persad-Bissessar said she was "confident that Ms Moore would discharge her portfolio with integrity, efficiency and decorum and I wholeheartedly welcome her as another sister into the fold of the Cabinet as we join hands together to move our country forward and fulfil the mandate of this administration".
Apart from Persad-Bissessar, Ramlogan also retained Moore's legal services earlier this year.
In July, Moore and Gerald Ramdeen filed a lawsuit against Opposition Leader Keith Rowley for allegations of defamation against Ramlogan.
The lawsuit alleges that Rowley made defamatory remarks against Ramlogan to the media in November last year in reference to the extradition matter involving businessmen Ishwar Galbaransingh and Steve Ferguson.
According to the writ obtained by the Express, Ramlogan's attorneys stated Rowley's comments could have been understood to imply Ramlogan made "improper political promises" to Ferguson and Galbaransingh and had caused or orchestrated the warrant of surrender made against them to be quashed by Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh.
Moore was yesterday sworn in by acting president Timothy Hamel-Smith as Herbert Volney's replacement as Justice Minister. Volney was fired by Persad-Bissessar last Thursday night for misleading the Cabinet on the early proclamation of Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.
Moore said she had previously appeared before Volney when he was a High Court judge but has not spoken to him as yet since her appointment as Justice Minister.
"My background in criminal law is firm and entrenched, I practised exclusively at the criminal bar for quite a number of years, in fact it is the criminal bar where most of my advocacy skills were honed. I had the honour in fact to practise before the honourable Mr Justice Volney, as he then was so," Moore said as she defended her experience in criminal matters.
Moore was also sworn in yesterday to replace Terance Baynes as a government senator.
Baynes was present at yesterday's ceremony.
Both Baynes and Moore are from Tobago.
"It is my intention to bring honour to this appointment by bringing honour to the office, to my community, my island Tobago, my village and my family," Moore said yesterday.