Grappling with obstacles as a first generation lawyer – A simple mind mapping method with pen and paper.

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Grappling with obstacles as a first generation lawyer – A simple mind mapping method with pen and paper.

I remember to have used this mind mapping method for many days and months during 1982 to 1986 when I was practicing in District Court.

I would take a blank sheet of paper and would draw a small circle with pen. In the middle of circle, I would write H. That would represent me. Then around this circle, I would draw different circles and in each circle I would write one of the obstacles which I could see. For example lack of background, language problem, geographical disadvantage, financial difficulties, etc.

Then I would look at the paper and would wonder “What can I still do? What are my options?”

Then I would write down options which I could see. For example, “I can increase my knowledge”, “I can make more friends”, “I can try to earn respects of Seniors in Bar” ….. Etc.

This would start me on one of the options. I would throw away this paper and next day, I would repeat this exercise on another sheet of paper and so on.

Story of An Advocate on Record who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and how few letters made it easy for him to die peacefully in his village.

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I first saw him in about 1991, sitting in Library No. 2 in Supreme Court. He was now and then shaking up with spasms in whole body. On inquiry, I found that he was an Advocate on Record and he was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. His name was V.

I approached him and asked if he would sign my cases for Fee of Rs.500/-. At that time I was not AOR, so I needed some AOR to sign my cases. He agreed to sign my cases on condition that he will have to read my grounds before signing it.

I signed few cases through him. One day I asked him why he was not going away to his village since his disease was worsening day by day.

He said he had not enough money to go back to village. Secondly, medicines were costing him Rs.500/- per day. Twice circulars were circulated to members of Bar for help. Some help comes if he stays here. Further here he makes some money by signing in cases of other Advocates. This helps him to buy medicines.

After two days, I wrote a letter to Hon’ble Chief Justice M.N.Venkatchalliah and four other senior Judges of Supreme Court, describing plight of this Advocate on Record.

Then I forgot about letters. I did not tell that Advocate or to anyone about the letters which I had posted.

After one month, I did not see him in Lib.No.2. On inquiry I was told by his friends that he had gone back to his village. A senior advocate named A had donated a huge amount for his welfare. He was sent with six months medicines in advance. A fixed Deposit was created so that from its interest, every month costly medicines can be sent to him.

After about 3 years, I read a circular in Bar announcing that this Advocate on Record has passed away peacefully in his village.

It is now 25 years. Till today I have not told this story to anyone in Supreme Court Bar or to anyone else. Today that Advocate on Record is no more. The Senior Advocate who had donated huge amount has also passed away.

I think this story need to be told. Hence I have written today.
Haresh Raichura 17/10/16

PSO who recently shot wife and son of a Judge might have been suffering form “Neurosis” – A mental illness which Psychiatrists have stopped treating/recognising from 1980. …!

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PSO who recently shot wife and son of a Judge might have been suffering form “Neurosis” – A mental illness which Psychiatrists have stopped treating/recognising from 1980. …!

In 1980, American Psychiatrists Association decided that we will treat only those mental illnesses where outside symptoms are visible. Since then treatments became “Symptom Centric”.. instead of beaing “Cause Centric”..They removed word “Neurosis” from their treatment manual called DSM. This was a controversial move then, but now mental health treatments have become fully commercial were only symptoms are treated..

Probably Indian Psychiatrists too follow this. Thus a large number of mentally ill people go unidentified, undetected and untreated.

If you wish to know more about “Neurosis” you can search on Google.

In my view, the laws in this area needs reforms.

#lawreform
#law #judiciary #highcourt #supremecourt #legaleducation

What are chances of an introvert personality in legal profession?

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When there was Jury system in India, eloquence mattered. But after abolition of Jury system, it matters little whether a person is introvert or extrovert.

In most courts, arguments are by way of conversation. Judges put a question to you and you have to answer that question. Introvert people have no difficulty in answering questions.

Extrovert people are more outgoing and they have more contacts. This is their advantage.

On the other hand, introvert people prefer to stay in library and read cases and case laws. They may be therefore more prepared. This is their advantage.

I am myself an introvert person. I prefer to avoid social parties and instead I prefer to read books and caselaw digests.

When I joined a district court bar, one advocate said to another, “He can’t even speak. How will he succeed in advocacy?”.

After four years, when I had shifted to High Court, the President of District Court bar called a meeting in my honour and introduced me as Pride of Bar and then he suddenly asked me to give a speech. I was not prepared. I just said, “Thank You”, and sat down.

Being introvert has not come in my way in advocacy.

#legaleducation #law #inspiration #india #mentoring

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🤔 Is it possible to add Psychotherapy to present Court Mediation Centres dealing with disputes of married couples?

Recently Supreme Court underlined magic benefits of mediations in one case reported in 2018(7) SCALE 288 Meena versus Bhargav.

It noted that Egoist attitudes and acrimony between parties were dissolved during Mediation process.

Same thing has been stated few years back by great psychotherapist Irvin Yalom in his Award Winning novel “When Nietzsche Wept”.

It says that “Talking itself is a therapy and it heals emotional wounds”.

To my mind only difference between Mediation and Psychotherapy is number of sessions. Mediations are dropped if within few dates, reconciliation is not possible. On the other hand, aim of psychotherapy is to heal. So if wounds are deep, he may suggest 6 to 12 “Talk Sessions”. As per psychotherapists, more a person will talk, the more he will become healed”.

If numbers of Mediation Sessions are extended, then there may be costs. But the parties may have to talk more and they may get healed more.

2. In fact if Yalom’s Group Psychotherapy methods are applied, mediation can begin in groups and then costs can be reduced, results can come faster.

Here three to six people having same problems sits together and talks among them under supervision of a skilled psychotherapist.

Sky is the limit to human greed.

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Sky is the limit to the human greed. Perhaps till 1970, the purpose of business was to make “reasonable profit”. About 10% to 20% profit was considered reasonable. At that time legal profession was still viewed as noble profession.

Then the values changed in business world.

The concept of “Why Not” came. Why profits should not be 1000% instead of conventional profit of 10%?Why not 10000%?

The “Why Not” type arguments have no answers.

Then the greed or desire to earn money saw no limits. As the society changed, so changed the legal profession.

Why should there be any limits on fees of lawyers? Why not each one to charge according to his might?

The “Why Not” arguments had no answers. The human greed entered the legal profession and fees standards changed.

#business #litigation #fees #reason

Case of a Flying Elephant (Tips on arguing in SC)

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An elephant had escaped into jungle from a circus with some flaps tied on either side. Two villagers saw it moving here and there in jungle on one moonlit night.

One villager said that it was a flying elephant with wings on both sides. Another villager disputed him.

Their dispute continued even when they reached village. Other villagers came and began to take sides.

Dispute grew very hot and finally, one villager said, “If any Judge will say that it was a flying elephant, I will give you half of my farm.”

The other villager took up the challenge and insisted that agreement be written down. The agreement was written down and signed by these two debating villagers.

Then one of them filed suit in court on the ground that since it was a flying elephant, half of the farm of other villager be decreed to him.

After recording evidence, the Judge gave verdict that it was a flying elephant and decreed half of farm of defendant in favour of plaintiff.

Aggrieved villager who had lost half of farm, lost first appeal and second appeal in High Court.

So he filed appeal in Supreme Court. His appeal came up for admission hearing before two judge bench.

At hearing, his counsel tried to argue that as per Darwin theory, there cannot be any flying elephants and he pleaded that judgements of courts below be set aside.

Senior Judge pointed out to him, “You have admitted the case of plaintiff in your written statement. You did not cross examined evidence of plaintiff. How can you get over the findings which are against you? And above all, you are, for the first time here, telling us about Darwin Theory.. What prevented you to argue this theory in courts below?”

At this time, advocate of caveator- opposite side began to nod vehemently as if to support senior judge.

The counsel for peitioner had no answer to any of the questions asked by the Senior Judge.

Senior Judge then turned to brother judge to seek his view. They discussed something and then Brother judge took charge of hearing.

He put a question to counsel of caveator, “Mr. Counsel, how can we allow people to enter into these types of betting and wagering agreements? Till yesterday people were betting on cricket scores…and now they have started betting on which way a judge will decide ! Can we allow these types of agreements? Please read Sec.23 of the Contract Act.”

The counsel resisted by saying that this point is never taken in courts below but then began to read Sec.23 which prohibited these types agreement.

“Show us the agreement?” asked Brother Judge.

It turned out that agreement was not filed in paper book.

Senior Judge came to rescue of counsel, “You take your time and file agreement along with your counter affidavit. And next time you also come prepared on Sec.23 and whether we can allow appeal on this ground alone.”

The Judge then issued notice returnable in four weeks and stayed judgements of courts below in the meantime.

….

Tips from the above imaginary case:

A) There can be more than one law hidden in any given transaction.

B) Some law points could have been missed in courts below.

C) You have to 1) Either overcome findings of court below or 2) to show some vital questions of law which, if accepted, can upturn the judgements of courts below.