Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You got a problem? Solve it yourself!!!

I had an argument with a counsel for the defendant once before when I was an SAR. Apparently he was quite “notorious” and loves to pick on fresh SAR. I was relatively new at that time (only a few months experience). It was only an interlocutory application. I asked him how many issues he had. He said four. I then asked him if he wanted to lay down the facts for me. He said no and that he wants to start with his first issue.

He then proceeded to submit the facts of the case.

I stopped him and asked him again, if he wanted to lay down the facts for me. He looked at me, took off his glasses and said:

“Don’t think just because you are sitting on that side of the chair, you get to tell me how to submit for my client!!”

I looked at him straight in his eyes and said:

“This is MY Chambers. You submit as and the way I tell you to”

I guess he was shocked that I’d answer him back because he then went on with his first issue straight away.

That was the only time he ever submitted before me. He is a good lawyer and I really like his structured way of presenting his case. However, sometimes, even the best lawyers can forget the simple basic rule of the legal fraternity. Counsels are officers of the Court. Their duty is to assist the Court to get to the most accurate and correct decision. Their client’s interest comes second when justice in question.

I once told another counsel that I am a biased judicial officer. I am biased towards justice…

At the end of the day, what the Court wants is the “facts right”, not the “right facts”…

Blog adjourned!

0 obiter dictum: