Lawyers are there to provide assistance - to navigate the complex procedures and jargon of the legal world. But, too often people feel that even being able to get access to that legal assistance is difficult. Some feel intimidated while others have absolutely no idea where to start.
So, we thought we’d put together a simple guide for you. Following the time tested questions – Who, what, when, where, why and how
Who needs a lawyer?
If one is arrested by the police, then you will want the services of a lawyer to represent you for sure!
But aside from that, lawyers are also sought out for matters such as purchasing/selling property, drafting business contracts or maybe to adopt a child.
What are lawyers?
It’s often said that a lawyer is an officer of the court. They not only owe a duty to their client but they also owe a duty to the courts and the legal system. They are here not only to provide legal assistance but to also uphold justice.
"We are enjoined to do so by tradition, legislation, our social conscience, and a sense of responsibility that arises from the privilege we have of appearing before the Courts of Law." - Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
When do you need a lawyer?
When you are in doubt over any matter relating to the law, it is advisable to consult a lawyer. This is for your own protection.
Assistance in matters that involve the courts or other forms of legal matters. For some matters legal, representation is required by law and other instances they are not, but seeking out their professional advice is most prudent.
Court matters can be civil or criminal. One may need to commence a suit to recover a debt or perhaps defend a defamation action.
Where do you find a lawyer?
Well, there is always Google but lawyers are also listed in our Yellow Pages. (We haven’t seen a physical yellow book in a bit, but yes it’s still around. Also, with a pretty easy to use online page of yellow-ness. Fun fact - the yellow pages is our biggest business directory, capturing 60% market share)
However, the best place to locate a lawyer will always be at the Malaysian Bar Council’s website. You can locate a lawyer, a law firm or even search for a law firm according to their areas of practice.
How to handle the meeting?
Once you have located a lawyer, always remember that the lawyer is a stranger to your problem. Hence it is necessary to ensure that the lawyer is properly briefed.
Bring all documentary proof and speak in a detailed and clear manner. Your lawyer needs to have all the information so that he or she may advise you appropriately.
Do not withhold information or even skew a situation to your favour, as tempting as this may be, it’s of no help to you!
Instead, it may even end up being detrimental to your case.
When in doubt ask, ask, ASK!
It is the duty of your lawyer to clarify things for you. It’s never too much trouble. The process will be much smoother when you are in the know as to your legal position and how the legal process will be like.
Obtaining legal advice at an early stage will save you a lot of time, money and potential heartache.
And, no, we haven’t forgotten an all important W…
Why engage a lawyer?