Caution – Client! 

As a lawyer, my job is to protect the rights and interests of my clients and to provide legal assistance to the best of my knowledge. Also, I must treat my colleagues from the bar, prosecution and court with respect. It is my duty not to tarnish the dignity of the legal profession. 

Is there anything controversial about this? Of course not. 

Is this sometimes difficult? Surely. 

My intention is to help my younger colleagues with this text, so that at the beginning of their career they know where “the strongest blows come from”. 

The opposing lawyer may be more eloquent than you, may know a certain branch of law better than you, or may be better informed (although lack of information is no excuse, if you haven’t heard it before, be sure to “engrave” it in your mind). 

The prosecutor can be unpleasant, rude, more prepared. 

The judge may act against you, I say act, because it is not the job of the judge to be against you. It may seem to you that somehow, always, as a rule, it is for the opposite side. 

It can all seem that way, but it doesn’t have to be true, and even if we take it as true – so what? It is up to you to prepare the best for each specific case. And here we come to what is most dangerous. It’s your client. Yes, you read that right. Your client is potentially someone who can harm you. For many reasons. The most general one reason is client will not share the whole truth with you, because you will learn most of the “inconvenient” things about the client from the opposite party, or the judge. It will sometimes come to you like a bolt from the blue. Did the client forget, or simply cover it up, or else, as is human nature, he remembered the other person’s mistakes well, and somehow minimized his own. It does not matter. The damage has already been done. As a general rule, even though you didn’t know, because the client didn’t tell you things, you will still be held responsible in the eyes of the now former client. It’s bad publicity, no doubt about it. It is not rare, what’s more, the rule is that a lawyer is measured by his clients, that the clients are, in a way, the image of the lawyer. That’s why you have double the work. You need to protect yourself and you need to protect the client who is ultimately doing himself the most harm. That’s what’s not easy because no matter how much experience you have, you always have to be on guard when it comes to this stuff because after all, it’s human nature. Every person tries to cover up some kind of “inadequacy”, while others are excellent detectors of the same. If you want to be good at your job, you have to protect your clients first from themselves, and then from other participants in the process. 

Zoran J. Minic, Attorney at Law 

Related Posts

Leave a Reply