Loyarberjurus

hanya untuk yang berjurus sahaja

Monday, February 22, 2010

BATTLE OF THE COURT




Salam,

A court battle is more like a tactical battle rather than a confrontational one. As an illustration or point of reference; it is more like a Championship Manager or Command & Conquer type of games, as compared to arcade style game such as Streetfighter and FIFA football series. It is more evident in a criminal trial where a mixture of skills are required. Compare and contrast it with a civil trial where almost all action are pre-documented and prepared before hand. As a result, a civillian (civil lawyer) may become a very meticulous, systematic and excellent in research; but on the other hand may curtail his progress in the advocacy part (let's face it I'm a criminalist, I'm definitely bias).

Having said that, actually we from the "crime world" can learn a thing or two from the "civillians". For instance, can we just simply prepare our case before we step into the battlefield like what civil lawyers do? Gone are the days where criminal law practitioners can go "melenggang" to court (except maybe Magistrate's or Penghulu's court). Even without thick documents involved, that doesn't mean we needn't at least read or find some references, authorities or maybe outline a skeleton submission before a trial begins (yes, I was taught by a learned DPP to prepare submission even before the trial starts).

Meaning to say, in a criminal trial, it demands a lawyer to know when to be offensive, when to opt for a defensive mode and when (pula) to simply apply counter attacking mode or even play safe mode (dok diam2 saja). You can't be confrontational all the time towards all witnesses, as there may come time when you will face a very stubborn and unshaken witness. Maybe you can try the persuasive or "kipas" approach to "bodek" the witness until he agrees with all your suggestions later.

The same goes to the approach that is applicable towards the bench. As we have already heard and being lectured thousand times before; we have to know the judge. Strategically speaking, when we appear in court with added knowledge of what are the likes and dislikes of the judge; we have an upper-hand already. The worst thing that could still happen will be most definitely beyond our control or experience, as we have diligently try to follow or comply with the likes and avoid or resist the dislikes.

It is when sometimes to be patient is better than to explode, and maybe being defensive (as is silent is golden rule) is far being a better option rather than to object everything under the sun (while actually exposing own weaknesses and giving enough clues for experienced opponents to rectify their problems). As in Malay saying; "ular menyusur akar takkan hilang bisanya" or "berundur tidak bererti mengalah" or you know lah what I mean.

I observe many criminal law practitioners are inclining toward quantity rather than quality. Maybe they are under misconception that the more they ask (or talk) in court, they are perceived as working extra hard (buat kerja) for their clients. Can't blame them totally though as some clients do ask why we talked less or didn't object in court. Be as it may, we should be conducting our own strategy in facing the court battle, and not just based on client's instruction per se. We are the general and not the gurkha OK. That's why more often than not, some lawyers are actually doing a examination in chief part 2 in their cross-examination, thus strengthening the prosecution's case.

In a nutshell, just like any other battle, court battle is something worth preparing for and certainly worth to be involved in it, provided that you have sufficiently prepared your arms and ammunition for the battle. Wassalam.




Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RAJA DRAMA




Salam,

Drama kehidupan berlaku di mana-mana. Di kaca tv, di kedai kopi, di hadapan pembesar@penguasa, di dalam mesyuarat dan di mana sahaja. Begitu juga di mahkamah keadilan (bukan mahkamah kanggaru ya) drama wujud tanpa kita sedari. Drama yang ada itulah yang menarik minat ke mahkamah, walau bagaimana menyampah pun kita sebagai seorang peguam dengan hakim, pihak lawan, saksi mahupun kurangnya tempat parking kereta.

Pada saya, drama inilah yang membezakan mahkamah dengan tanah perkuburan, bilik boss kita mahupun dewan peperiksaan. Dengan adanya drama dan calon-calon raja dramanya; mahkamah boleh bertukar menjadi satu lokasi yang menyedihkan, mencuit hati dan mungkin juga menaikkan darah seseorang. Itulah yang saya alami semalam semasa menyelusuri hari-hari sebagai seorang loyar di mana seorang saksi telah naik angin dengan soalan bertubi-tubi saya yang menggunakan jurus bersenjatakan Ru-78 Heavy Machine Gun (sila rujuk Mafia Wars untuk pedoman).

Saksi seorang ahli korporat berjaya telah menjadi hangin seraya berkata "I'm a businessman, don't try to teach me! Let me teach you!" (au kama Qaal). Lalu saya menjawab dengan cakar penolak awan saya "Im a lawyer, ini gelanggang saya, awak diam!". Beginilah, bukan sifat saya mencari perbalahan, jika pihak satu lagi itu berlembut dan akur; lembutlah saya. Sebaliknya, jika mereka cuba membuat lawak senario; maka keraslah terjahan saya. Nasib baik hakim yang biasanya menyinga menyokong saya dengan mengatakan; "Encik, awak janganlah jadi kurang ajar ya, ini kerja peguam dia kena tanya".

Drama di mahkamah sebenarnya ada spontan seperti yang berlaku kepada saya dan ada juga yang "stage-managed". Kenapa saya berkata begitu? Kerana itulah yang saya perhatikan saban hari di mahkamah. Ada peguam yang berdrama dengan bercakap dengan nada yang kuat untuk menunjukkan kepada audien yang mereka ini gedebe. Ada yang mundar-mandir di dalam mahkamah dan menegur semua orang penting untuk menunjukkan mereka loyar yang "somebody". Ada pula peguam yang berdrama dengan cuba bertekak dan membantah apa saja (object for the sake of objecting) untuk menunjukkan kepada anak guam yang mereka ada membuat kerja untuk menjustifikasi yuran guaman mereka yang berlebihan diminta.

Drama juga berlaku di pihak lain iaitu pendakwaan, hakim dan saksi. Ada pendakwa yang berdegar-degar bercakap mahu menjalankan kes di mahkamah terbuka, pada masa yang sama membisik dan meminta peguam meminta kes DNAA. Ada hakim yang beria-ria memarahi semua orang termasuklah jurubahasa tertidur pun dimarahi untuk menunjukkan beliau patuh sami'na waata'na dengan KPI, walhal mereka pun tahu kemengarutan KPI ini sudah mencapai tahap gaban. Ada saksi yang mengulangi skrip sama seperti "saya kurang pasti" atau "saya tak berapa ingat" atau "saya memilih untuk menjawab soalan ini", padahal perkara yang diajukan itu sudah terang lagi bersuluh kepastiannya.

Begitulah drama yang berlaku di mahkamah saban hari. Ia boleh membuatkan anda tergelak kesukaan atau mengetap bibir menahan sakit hati dan mungkin juga menggeleng kepala kehairanan dengan mutu drama yang begitu berkualiti yang dipamerkan. Drama atau tidak drama, aksi di mahkamah bukanlah perkara main-main kerana ia melibatkan kebebasan dan mungkin nyawa seseorang yang menjadi taruhannya. Jika hendak berdrama sekalipun, berpada-padalah dan berdramalah dengan berjurus dan penuh berhemah. Elakkan daripada menyakiti orang lain atau memijak kepala orang lain untuk mencapai tujuan drama kita. Wassalam.