Law only protects those who KNOWS the Law.. not the poor or needy whatsoever. As justice should not take sides to the poor nor the rich.
“How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler
Claiming third-party insurance simply means you must be prepared to litgate, if necessary. Then it's LPPL.
or is it the case of I cover your backside, next time you cover mine.... a bit like doctors in singapore hard to prove negligence...
Last edited by wind30; 9th September 2007 at 02:32 PM.
separately, i agree that more should be done for those that cannot afford legal representation. but this is a problem that has not been solved yet. of cos, the current means test just seems too low. a plug gap solution may be the pro bono scheme that the law society is promoting or the free legal clinics.
My view is that you can't have your cake and eat it. Eg if you want human rights, you have to accept that terrorists will find it easier to operate within such a society compared to within a police state. Ditto for a society where litigation is easier. There may be more lawsuits, but it will also be easier for the ordinary man to take big corporations, even the govt, to court.
2. Free legal clinics are useless. You need someone to take up the case for you, all the way to the end, not just someone telling you what you can consider doing.
Probono depends on the good graces of the lawyers involved. They're more willing to help in cases such as divorce, but I don't see them helping the public at large to get redress from torts. And certainly they will not take up cases against the govt or even big corporations.
Last edited by waileong; 9th September 2007 at 06:05 PM.
it is very disheartening to hear the legal clinics labelled as useless. it is as good as telling those lawyers who have given much of their time that what they are doing is for nothing.
like i said, they are stop gap measures, and serve their limited purpose in society.
as for the cases against corporations, or cases against the governments, ask yourself - are you willing to devote yourself, for no pay for a matter that will possibly take up most of your working hours, to a case because you felt sorry for the aggrieved party? you will also probably sacrifice your paying job, for which you are answerable to your employers for. maybe you will, but that is still a big sacrifice to make, and not one that anyone can expect from you. like you said, it will depend on the good graces of the lawyer who agreed to take on the case.
that is why there is promotion of the pro bono scheme. maybe it will become more acceptable or easier (for people who are employed; those who own their own law firms probably have more say with their time) for lawyers to do such work.
and i agree with you on not being able to have your cake and eat it. i was just trying to point out one disadvantage of the contingency fee system. it may very well be the solution to the legal aid problem, but not one that appears to be accepted here yet.
i was asking you to consider this point in a more litigious society: imagine being sued for a frivolous claim, one that the claimant clearly cannot win. even if you had a watertight case, you would still be forced to spend time and money to fight that frivolous suit.
the advantage, however, is that you, having a watertight case, should have no worries finding a lawyer on a contingency fee basis.
Let me offer you my two cents on why the contingency fees situation is not likely to be accepted here. This is because Singapore is a pro-companies anti-consumer climate. Contingency fees enable the small man to better sue the big corporations. Singapore will have nothing of that since that would make it a negative factor to attracting foreign investors.
Yes I know that USA has that and we dont see a shortage of investors, but Singapore has to make itself look better than what they have at home.
Yes, the lawyer will advise you to settle out of court in a bad case, or to drop the case. However, when he writes on your behalf to the other side, he will talk as if your case is super good and as if your case is damn strong. That is what posturing is about.
For your second paragraph, even in a non-contingency fee situation, the same thing happens. Big corporations play a war of attrition against the small folks, running them out of money even in weak cases (see NKF vs the two folks for an example).
With contingency fees, the small folks are now able to do the same thing to the big corporations, therefore giving a balance. Right now, only corporatiosn can play the war of attrition.
The contingency fee is for claims which may not be so well founded, but have the potential of a big payout. Its not only for water tight cases and where the litigant can't pay. If it is so watertight, the lawyer can elect to choose to accept deferred payment since he knows its a sure win - this should not be too much of a problem.
Woah...didn't know a motor accident can incur 80k debts???!!
i agree with vince's likely reasons for non-acceptance of the contingency fee system. that is why the biggest headache is how to make the legal system more accessible to the people.
i think one reading my posts might assume i am not in favour of the contingency fee system but i am just assuming that it would not take root here, given the tradition and the above reasons. my discussions with lawyer friends about how to make the legal system more accessible to the poor always end in a sad muted end because there just doesn't seem to be a good way out, and the contingency fee system just appears to bring with it some problems and is not something the government will allow.
It looks like ancient China to me; The Law is on the side of the rich?
I have nothing more to say.
Last edited by johnlim; 10th September 2007 at 01:29 PM.
Whether it is level or not, it lies in the person's heart. Eventually, you get back what you gave . Nature's law is equal, just like the gravity of the earth, it makes no preference. One may think he can take advantage of the law(imperfect) for his own benefit, but there is always a price to pay for at the end of the day.
To this people, I say "Luck is not always by your side".