I have a department within my small legal firm in which part of its job description is to act as a collecting agency for banks. There are a few banks which have appointed us to help them collect any monies from the defaulters at their bank. I know I shouldn't proud of this fact but being a lawyer, this is one way for us to make money. If you watch an episode of CSI Miami, which was repeated a day before, there is another level of money collection which is far worse than having to meet a lawyer in court asking you to settle your loan with the bank.
Although people hate to deal with lawyers, they have to face the fact that lawyers do play a part in some way to keep the economy goes around. I know I am trying to make my profession sound noble but we do make the economy goes around in a way. If not for all the collected debt, nearly all business will immediately collapse. In Malaysia, lawyers do try to communicate with the person who they have to meet in court. When we have sent the letter of demand, followed by the summons, we will usually be receiving calls from exasperated loan defaulter who would try to explain to us why and how they are going to pay. That is where we have to explained to them, we are just an agent or better yet, the messenger. The people they have to talk to is the bank or whomever they owe the money to.
When we do arrive in court, they usually will try to convince the magistrate or the court interpreter of their innocence or how they were only the guarantor of the loan. They will explain how they did not know that they have to pay within certain time or what were expected of them. The problem is, this is when crudely put, the shit has hit the fan. I have always contend the business of lawyering is the business of 'shit hits the fan'. It is either you prepare agreement for it to never happen or if it did, it is too late for you to turn back. Even in criminal cases, you are in court as you are in deep trouble. If not, you will be just another good citizen trying to make an honest living.
Okay, I realised I am not painting a good picture of lawyers here. We seems to not care one iota of people feelings as we can be instructed to do anything for a client. But, when people get in trouble personally like having to evict a tenant who does not pay or having to get back a loan given to a once good friend or when you were hauled to court for beating a red light or worse still for killing someone, either intentionally or not, you cannot then deny the fact of our usefulness. If doctor are valued for their skill in saving life, we are the one who help you sleep at night knowing we are at your beck and call if you do get in trouble. We are also the one who do the dirty jobs nobody wants to do and even get blame for it.