Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fair Dinkum

View from The Millennium Bridge, London                                
After taking a vacation for a couple of weeks, it is time to get back to the routine.  There is no such thing as easing into the work life. Reality hits when clients call up about the status of their files. Despite judgments and orders being obtained in their favour, they are still unable to get back their money or their land. It has become necessary to take further actions. I certainly wish I were somewhere in Nice struggling  to converse with my spatters of  French to the shop assistant, cafĂ© waiter or restaurant hostess or  walking down the streets in Leamington Spa or catching a tube to get from one place to another around London.

Those who resort to filing a suit or an action in court  believe that they have been wronged and they are hoping that justice will straighten things out. As lawyers, when we agree to take on a brief, we act upon instructions from our clients. Everyone interprets the facts from their own point of view. After a while you realize that there is no absolute right or wrong, it is just a matter of who may deserve it more and how some justice must be seen to be done whether by way of some monetary compensation or other form of remedies. As lawyers, it is our job in finding the law that supports our clients’ cases and put forth arguments within the legal limits since we are paid to argue to uphold our clients’ stance and position.

Court House in Nice
 We implore the law to help sort out our clients’ woes in their lives when trouble strikes. We also prepare the necessary documentation to safeguard our clients’ interests when they enter into transactions and partnerships with others. The law definitely  plays a large role in the commercial and financial world .In the banking world, when the banks or lenders  recover what is legally due to them, the amount may be inflated and compounded with interests so much so that  the borrowers now have to settle some amount much larger than what they had initially borrowed. Just like in all business transactions, someone must make a gain or earn their keep while another person must lose or  pay for that someone’s gain or reward. Perhaps if the bank had been prudent in lending, there would be less bad debts but this is economy and  the lending is necessary so that there is more buying and selling and it gives the economy a buzz.

If one person feels that he has been hurt or injured whether it is his name or reputation, he will sue for libel.  If one feels that his legal interests had been invaded or  his rights had been infringed, he will file a complaint. Nobody wants to be treated unfairly but trying to get even with somebody is indeed not a good premise to begin with. Life is fair in a strange way. If only everyone could look into the mirror and ask “Really? You honestly believe that you did not ask for this to happen to you?”

Whatever it is, nobody wants to be at the losing end or taken advantage of . The question is as soon as we feel it is our legal right, we will defend what we believe is our legal right. For some twist of fate or a moment of indiscretion, whether it is in the name of claiming his or her legal entitlement or simply being strictly uncompromising, a law suit is filed by or  against him or her rightly or wrongly. Often when a quarrel ends up in the court room, there is no turning point; it may feel like falling into  quicksand and you can no longer escape from the trappings following the unfinished business that hang over your head and drain your energy and spirit. As lawyers, we are paid to argue but success cannot be guaranteed. We certainly want to win the cases for our clients otherwise we should not have taken up the cases . Often it might be wise for a litigant to make a decision to walk away, count his or her bad luck and make peace with the world, if not the person may find himself or herself entangled in the web of legal battles and wonder “ Why me ?” If one sticks to the basic rule: What is meant to be yours will be yours and the other Karmic  rule : what comes round goes around and what goes round must come round, will there still be a need for legal services?

But then life is complicated, the complexity of a
modern society needs to be regulated to safeguard against malice and harm. We require laws and order to keep the environment safe for everyone and  minimize abuse or unfair treatments of certain groups of people and prevent flagrant flouting of the law. We need the laws to regularize things and make things lawful and proper for those who need the protection of the law. For example, the new born baby who had been borne out of wedlock and had to be put up for adoption, the housewife whose ignorance had ended her in some fraudulent scams, the worker who had been unfairly treated and many others who have not understood the gravity of their actions or omissions So we lawyers soldier on ….

 Tate Modern