• 2 minute read
  • July 12, 2019
Legally Stylish: Diana Hamadé AlGhurair On Winning The Lawttery

In her book Winning Legally, Constance E Bagley argues that staying out of trouble is only part of the picture when it comes to legality in business, but, as a lawyer with a right of audience, I beg to differ.

The UAE judicial system operates on a zero-tolerance basis for several different types of issues. So, to score a win legally, my experience has been that one needs to be aware of the various laws and their implications, and ensure to tread carefully.

Of course, many times, people have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. In these unfortunate situations, acting fast is of prime importance to ensure that you get out of trouble efficiently.

This kind of trouble comes in many forms and sizes. Certain gestures might be misinterpreted, leading to a criminal trial; marriage-related issues could lead to legal tangles; filing a case in the wrong jurisdiction, just like getting into business with the wrong partner, may cause grave problems.

As a practitioner of family law for many years, I’ve witnessed the continued struggles faced by victims of violence, both men and women, in family courts, mainly because these differ radically from criminal courts and many victims aren’t aware of this.

I’ve seen a fair share of family drama, from divorce disputes to custody battles spread over multiple jurisdictions, where everyone blames the courts and lawyers for delays and traumatic experiences, when it’s the litigating parents who play the odds against the best interest of their kids, just to score.

I’ve also witnessed families being torn apart due to an inheritance battle, and, when the dust settles, the ‘winner’, who may have won legally, loses a part of her/his family in the process. Disputes between family business shareholders over dividends going sour may also end up in criminal courts under allegations of fraud and misrepresentation.

‘Win at all costs’ is surely not the way clients should be advised to proceed, even when they insist, because the question isn’t how to win, but how much the win costs and how it feels in the end.

Winning legally means winning a court case, a settlement, or maybe an out-of-court arrangement. To win is to gain, earn or be the victor. To gain in the courtroom, get yourself a strong lawyer and make a good impression on the judge. To earn a settlement, don’t accept an outcome that’s worse than what you may have done.

The legislator is also urged to limit free access to the justice system by setting fees on criminal and family law claimants to approach courts when they’re seriously harmed and are seeking remedy. Free access has played its part in fostering a culture of fraudulent claims and worthless cases, costing the government money and time.

In conclusion, winning legally should be about competently getting out of trouble, not about being too afraid to get into any kind of trouble at all in the first place.

Photography by Efraim Evidor; Location: Coya Dubai

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