The primary duty of a lawyer to his client is to provide succor. Surely, when a client approaches a lawyer, the client takes such step with an understanding that he is going to the “messiah” who would solve all the problems he/she has. The responsibility of the client is to settle the Legal fees of the lawyer while the lawyer’s role is to discharge his responsibilities with utmost professionalism. The sight of some lawyer/client relationship, especially in court, leaves a lot to be expected.
It is either a cultural decay or a “black man’s” backward mentality. It may also be a case of a deflated ego or “butterfly thinking himself a birds. Whichever the case may be, there is something fundamentally wrong.
I want to explain this anger today with stories. For those who go to court very well, the following scenes would be familiar to you:
Scene 1 – Kogberegbe Esq. arrives court in company of his client (an elderly man) and the client’s wife (who is a lot younger than the client). Kogberegbe Esq. wants to read newspaper while waiting for the court to commence sitting. Kogberegbe Esq. calls out to client’s wife. “Go outside the gate, turn left, go straight, turn right, at the roundabout, you would see a newspaper stand. Buy Complete Sport for me, it’s N50”. The client’s wife responds trembling “Yes Sir”. She rushes out of the court room in search of “oga lawyer’s” pleasure. She does that with devotion and with an almost out of this world diligence.
Scene 2 – Mosafejo Esq. arrives court in company of a family of 6. The family is in court for redress over their property destroyed by a powerful politician. Approaching the courtroom, Mosafejo Esq. leads in front with his shoulder high and head straight. Father follows with Mosafejo’s gown, Mother follows with Mosafejo’s wig, four children follow with case files and law books evenly distributed amongst them in the proportion of their strengths. Upon arrival in court, the family members line up behind the bar looking at Mosafejo exchange pleasantries with his learned colleagues.
Scene 3 – Jagunmolu Esq. is representing a 70 year old man in his claim against government for his pensions. The case was called and concluded. Jagunmolu majestically leaves the bar leaving his file, diary, statutes, law reports and law book on the table. As Jagunmolu approaches the door, the 70 year old pensioner reaches for the bar to collect the stuffs left behind by “his lawyer” sorry “his messiah”.
What comes to mind immediately I see people like this is better not printed. Lawyers really need a rethink of how they relate with their clients. They are who they are, clients not slaves.
My Grouse – venting my frustrations!