Oftentimes when clients instruct us in a matter they often exhort us to “fight for them”.
Of course we understand them to mean that we should do outmost in handling their matter but I take this opportunity to explain the fallacy and limitation of this instructions.
For a civil litigation this exhortation is more relevant. In such a situation our client would either be commencing a legal proceedings against another legal entity or individual. Alternatively we could assisting our client to defend such a proceedings by another party.
In such a case we will not doubt doggedly either pursue the case or defend the action whichever is the case.
However on the other hand if we are representing the client in criminal proceedings such instructions maybe difficult to carry out in certain scenarios. For example if the evidence adduced by the prosecution is stacked against our client. In such a case we have to make a realistic assessment.
And the appropriate advice is to ask the client to plead guilty. We would face an uphill if not an impossible task if we would insist a fight to the very end.
Another situation would be if we are to help our client write to certain government agencies or statutory boards to make an exception. Often these government bodies or statutory boards have very rigid rules and it is not easy to ask them to make exceptions for our clients. In such a case failure to persuade the department to change their stand to suit our client would often attract criticism that we are not fighting hard enough for our clients. Few people realise for such a case it’s take time and persistence in trying to get the departments to make an exception for our clients.
As lawyers once instructed we will do our utmost to assist our client. We will fearlessly pursue our clients’ objectives. However it takes strategy, planning and most importance patience to get these thing down. However these are not easily perceived by our client and sometimes they harboured suspicions of our effectiveness.