Common Problems in Litigation – No Sure Win Case!

A client walks in and tells his lawyer that he was told he has a strong case or defence. To the client after being told by many people that his is a sure win case and there should not be any reason why he may not win. There are times we can hear in town of talks in town that certain lawyers told their clients that their clients’ case is a “guarantee win case!” Wow! This sounds great and the clients also felt happy! This is something like “money back guarantee” package offered by certain lawyers. What is certain here is that the lawyer who gives the guarantee is either inexperienced or rather is boastful of his trade. For experienced and seasoned lawyers in court or lawyers who are familiar with litigations, they may not wish to speculate the chances of winning at all. The most these lawyers will say is that, “I shall give my best, the rest I shall leave it to the court.” In litigations, clients may lose their case for many reasons. The more common reasons are: Failure of lawyer in preparing case adequately before trial; Client’s failure or inability to finance the suit or pay […] read more

Preparing for Divorce – What you should look out?

 Preparing for Divorce  No one wants a divorce and any ending of a happy marriage will sure leave a deep scar in a married couple. By preparing for a divorce, your life is about to change. It is about your future, your life. The bad thing about divorce is that it is a business transaction and is a costly affair in which you may need solid legal and financial information to navigate the process. Emotions should not play a role in your ability to make solid business decisions and when emotion creeps in, your lawyer will have difficult tasks to advise you. So it is important that you pay careful attention to the preparation of your case because distribution of marital property, custodial agreements for your children, child support, and maintenance will all be tabled to court. In a divorce case, there are three levels of preparation – emotional, financial and legal.  Before you initiate a divorce:  1. Get your documents in order. When you know divorce is inescapable, you need to start your preparation for the fight. You need to get all the ammunitions and supplies ready. How and Why? You may think it is absolutely unnecessary but you […] read more

How Bad Lawyering Can Result in wrongful Convictions

While the Constitution guarantees an accused person the right to be defended by a lawyer in a criminal case, there is no guarantee that the lawyer will be effective, thorough and competent. The majority of accused persons, especially those charged with very serious crimes, such as murder and drugs trafficking coming up with tens of thousands of ringgit necessary to hire a well known competent lawyer is simply out of reach. For those who are facing capital punishment, they will then be left with court appointed lawyers whose competency and workload varies widely. These appointed lawyers may not have the competency and experience to handle serious crime cases and accused persons can be left with an almost overburdened and poorly paid, often inexperienced and sometimes incompetent lawyers. Some experienced lawyers may be appointed but, may at times due to overload of work not be performing well because of the poor fee he may receive from the government. As a result, accused persons may run the risk of wrong convictions.  At times, an accused person may be persuaded by his incompetent lawyer to plead guilty in the hope of getting a lighter sentence. What will happen in such a case is […] read more

Kuching Residential Market Roars (Newsletter)

From the Desk of Head of Law Firm In recent years Kuching has experienced a sudden surge in property market and has shown no sign of stopping and according to many observers, the general residential property market sentiment in Kuching is that the current prices are at “an-all-time high”. According to a property consultant firm, it is observed that the first decade of the 21st century saw Sarawak’s home prices increasing rapidly and this had surpassed the overall average Malaysia house index. The National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) statistics show that 16,818 units of various residential home types were under construction in Sarawak in the first quarter of 2012. It is observed that some 10,548 or around 63 % of these were in Kuching and Kota Samarahan divisions. It has also been observed in the same period, Kuching and Samarahan divisions also housed 2,498 out of 4,418 units launched, which translates more than 55 %. A property market report by a property firm noted that in Kuching prices of residential properties had increased between 10% – 20% across the board in 2011. Samarahan area is a hot property area at this moment because it houses University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) as […] read more

When Can Police Officers Arrest Without a Warrant?

What would be your immediate reaction if a police officer approached you with intent to arrest you? Would you not think that officer should be armed with a warrant of arrest to arrest you? Sorry, not in all case a warrant is needed because police officers in certain circumstances can arrest without any warrant. It has to be observed that although there are provisions under the law giving powers to police officers to arrest without a warrant, an arrest without a warrant should not be made a rule and in each and every case, for the power given is only permissive and not obligatory. It is only when obtaining a warrant of arrest from a magistrate would involve unnecessary delay which might defeat the arrest or which would cause unnecessary delay in effecting the arrest that an arrest without warrant can be justified [ Bir Bhodra v. D.M. Azamgarh, 1959 Cr.LJ 685 (All). Thus when the incident took place long before the arrest was made and the person who was to be arrested was a fairly known person, the arrest in such a case without a warrant calls for some explanation and if no explanation is offered, it cannot be […] read more

Can Police Take You Back to Police Station Once Bail Been Granted?

Many times we could find our friends and family members after being charged in court and been released on court bail or been released unconditionally being re-arrested by the police or by law enforcement officers outside court for the same offence based on the same facts. This happened to Jones. Some weeks ago, Jones was arrested by the police, produced in court and was charged for wrongfully confining James with intent to extort some property from James before a magistrates’ court. Jones was released on court bail after a date for trial was fixed, but, instead of being allowed to go home, Jones was re-arrested without a warrant of arrest by the police for the same offence of which Jones was charged and was taken to the Criminal Investigation Department for photographing and fingerprinting. Jones spent a few hours in the police station before being allowed to go home. On the day the case was fixed for trial, Jones came before the Magistrate court again and was discharged by the court unconditionally after the prosecution offered no evidence against him on the ground that Jones never committed the offence alleged. Jones’ reputation was tarnished and after consulting his lawyers, Jones […] read more