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Never mess up with a smart lawyer

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  • Never mess up with a smart lawyer

    There is a misconception about court interpreting as many believe the most problematic area of the job is terminology. Jargon and terms specifically used by lawyers or practitioners of a given profession are important, but the bottom of the iceberg is still huge. Even simple words or phrases can be problematic, if they have specific legal intentions or effects.

    A judge told me that he when he was a lawyer, a client asked him to represent it before court. The plaintiff filed a case at court, but the defendant (the lawyer's client) insisted that their contract had a clause saying that any dispute can only be brought to an arbitration panel, rather than the court.

    At court, the defendant's lawyer said to the judge "My client wants arbitration and refuses to be part of the current trial."

    The judge asked the plaintiff's lawyer if he has anything to say. The cunning lawyer asked our friend:

    "Who was present at the meeting in which both parties set and agreed to the arbitration clause?"

    The defendant's lawyer answered the question by addressing the judge as follows:

    "I refuse to answer any question at this court and still uphold my client's right to arbitration."

    He told me, if he had answered the plaintiff's simple, seemingly innocent question, the judge would rule that since the defendant has answered a question at the hearing, then it is construed as its waiver of the right to arbitration and that it does accept trial.
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