January 29, 2009

The world according to lawyers

This title have been used to death as people use the title of the book 'The World According to Garp' as the premise to show how they think the world looks like in their view. I, myself, have never read the book and only managed halfway to watch the movie which starred Robin William. So, I only use the title with the intention on how to explain on how would a professional practising lawyer who practise all type of businesses would see the world. I have been accused of my wife as being heartless when I see something and start telling her how much that would get me in lawyer's fee and that, my friend, couldn't be nearer to the truth.

When I see a divorce on TV, either between internationally recognised celebrities or your run-of-the-mill local politicians or artistes, I would start telling my wife how the husband can get away with what he did, if he was the one who cheated (which is always the case) and how the wife can squeeze all the money that guy is worth. During this few weeks, a local celebrity is being accused of being in close proximity (which is a  crime for Muslims in Malaysia) with his co-star while his wife, who is also an actress, is left home alone to tend to her kids. So, I explained how he could get out of it or whether he just should plead guilty then pay the fine.

When I passed an accident on the road, I will look at it on the angle of who is involved in it. If it is a grown man, I will assess which part of his body is affected and then I would say how much his case is worth in court. The best civil litigation movie you can refer on how a lawyer assess a human's suffering due to accident is 'A Civil Action' starring John Travolta. My business partner was a runner lawyer (lawyer who specialise in claims due to road accident) and can quote the worth of each bone in a human's body. She can even quote the worth of each fingers and toes on your feet.

When I see a construction site, I will imagine how much the contract of building the property.

When I see a house, I will look at how much it is worth in legal fees.

When I see a criminal being apprehended, I will straight away calculated how long he will spend in jail or will he gets the capital punishment and what defence can be used to get him off.

When I see a drug raid by the police, I will see whether the police holding the packet of drugs use a glove to handle the evidence.

A judgement in a prominent court case will make my mind race on how much it will impact the cases I myself have in the court.

An economic recession? How many of the banks have problem getting people to pay their loans and what my firm can do to help them collect it.

The list goes on and on as we are trained to do that...

So, it is not fun anymore. Nowadays, I just look at it like any other people. Being a lawyer is a business. Unless I am at work, then I am just a fellow human being.

Unless you ask my opinion that is


Ratty said...

Thinking this way could actually be very useful to people who aren't lawyers. The things we would notice, that we never would otherwise, might be a very valuable tool.

Leon Basin said...

This was a great post! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is what I would call "work hazard". When I first started working as a translator, I tend to translate every material I read, including movies.

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