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IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Legal fraternity letting image slip


IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Legal fraternity letting image slip

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TODAY, I HAVE TO STEP very carefully because I don’t want to offend any of my lawyer friends and then have to call on them to represent me when I get sued.

But, in my humble opinion, members of the legal fraternity have to really do something about their image. It is said that doctors bury their mistakes and in a sense get away with murder – metaphorically speaking, of course.

Lawyers don’t have that luxury so they become the butt of jokes at every gathering, from the rum shop to the cocktail party; from the beach to the polo clubhouse.

And the question I am asking is: Could it be that we just don’t understand, or is it that the lawyers just don’t get it?

I would never suggest that all lawyers – or even a majority – are dishonest or unprofessional because I know better. And it would be folly to give the impression that these features are exclusive to lawyers, but those who have the power to act or who stand in a position morally to call out those who are hurting the profession must stand up.

Just recently, I heard the story of an individual who was having an issue with a professional and decided to sue him. He hired one lawyer [paid him] and years passed and that lawyer was for some reason unable to advance the case. So, as so many others have done when they had a problem with one lawyer, he turned to another lawyer and paid him a few more thousand dollars to take the case.

Again, I am told, the client waited and waited and waited and nothing happened until recently when he got a letter from the second lawyer telling him he could no longer work for him because he had since become a friend and client of the professional he was hired to sue.

Guess what, I was told the only thing in the envelope was the letter – no cheque to cover the money that had been advanced.

I’m no lawyer and such matters may be above my pay grade, but even if this lawyer has the law on his side, I am sure that in the eyes of simple, ordinary men this just does not sit right.