Comment by lawyer / Kommentar eines Anwalts

This comment (the first on April 24) is a bit impolite – should I delete it to protect the poster?

Ich frage mich, ob ich den ersten langen Kommentar vom 24. April hier löschen sollte – nicht so sehr wegen mir selber, sondern um den Anwalt, der ihn anscheinend geschrieben hat, vor sich selbst zu schützen – oder ist es nicht unhöflich?

10 thoughts on “Comment by lawyer / Kommentar eines Anwalts

  1. I woudn’t delete it. Everyone chooses his way of dealing with anonymity/non-anonymity on the internet. He chose to reveal his identity and the comment he posted pretty much reflects on his ability to read a posting and to understand the greater context. That speaks for itself.

  2. I wouldn’t delete it; it was an open posting after all. Somehow I have the feeling that somebody’s little nose is out of joint. All that long, hard study here in Germany, and then what happens? Those ill-trained Anglo-Saxon lawyers come along and have the cheek to claim to know the English legal system better than you do. Amateurs!

  3. Ditto. It isn’t your job to protect people from themselves. He knows who you are, who reads your blog and who will see his comment. Now if he were to write an e-mail, and beg on bended knee for you to remove the comment, well, you might want to give the guy a helping hand. If you felt like it. And if he sent you, say, a REALLY nice box of chocolates.

    Plus deleting the comment might trigger more of the same. Are you sure you want that?

  4. I had a reader recently who felt she had posted a harsh comment, so she posted another one apologising for the tone she had used. Nothing stops your reader from doing the same if he feels his comment was out of order. If he doesn’t, then it’s not your responsability.

  5. Das alte Problem: Wer sich in eine andere Sprache hineinwagt, wagt sich auch in einen anderen Stil hinein. Ein Schreibstil, der im einen Sprachkreis annehmbar klingt, wirkt im anderen peinlich, schroff oder ueberheblich.

    Kniefall mit Pralinen: Ich plaediere ebenfalls fuer diese loesung.

  6. Many thanks to all who supported me.

    He is of course only 38, but I did give him a chance to apologize by email.

    Clemens, that might be partly true. For example, he shouldn’t be addressing me as ‘Mrs.’, but he wouldn’t know that – Lufthansa doesn’t either. But what about the opening, ‘Yes Mrs. Marks’? I do think there’s a degree of insult in there. But perhaps because it’s not a language he knows well, it sounds less offensive to him.

    Robin, yes, I think the solicitors in big commercial firms are quite able to function in European courts. They sit in courts often enough, even if not as advocates. I haven’t investigated the arguments, but they might well say that the kind of advocacy experience that barristers have is not really required in Continental courts, where the judge plays a bigger role.I feel as I had got the crunchy frog.

  7. The learned poster appears to be labouring under a number of misapprehensions. The European Courts, although not defined, are, it is to be presumed, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the ECJ (European Court of Justice) in Luxembourg.

    All solicitors have rights of audience before these courts as they do not require representation by a barrister.

    A litigant may appeal directly to the European Court of Human Rights without representation by a lawyer once all national avenues have been exhausted. The litigant may also appeal through “another representative” or a lawyer.

    Secondly a litigant MAY be represented by “persons competent to plead before a court” in preliminary references to the ECJ.

    In other proceedings the applicant MUST be represented by persons who are “competent to practice”. This does not seem to rule out solicitors.

    The poster may well be advised to verify the functions and powers of these courts.

    Solicitors who wish to obtain rights of audience before higher courts are required to take courses in or provide proof of qualifications in evidence, ethics and advocacy. There are a number of “routes” available at present.

    According to my information there are currently some 2,000 solicitor-advocates out of a total of 80,000 solicitors in England and Wales. (I naturally cannot vouch for these numbers.)

    The title “lawyer” is not protected. This may include lawyer-linguists and academic lawyers, for instance.

    However the Bar Council is extremely strict in its rules about “holding out”, as a reference to the website will no doubt confirm. An appraisal of the current debate might help dispel further delusions.

  8. Anne: I didn’t have time to research this – I saw the term ‘European courts’ on the Law Society website, and it seems all solicitors may appear there, not just solicitor-advocates. I think the poster accepts that solicitors are allowed to appear there, but doesn’t like solicitors. This perhaps suggests unwillingness to welcome the idea of the EU.
    As for appearing in the higher courts – as you say, few solicitors have been given that right – I presume he doesn’t know or care about that.

    Of course, I’m not quite clear what the poster is most angry about.

  9. Well, if he doesn’t like solicitors, he might not like ordinary litigants either or perhaps not the idea of “access to justice”. Somebody who can afford to pay for advocacy skills shouldn’t really be in a better position than those who can’t and the European Court of Human Rights is precisely about human rights and not about the size of someone’s purse.

    The ECJ, although not a court of human rights, has also done a lot of work in advancing the cause of Treaty rights being afforded to the nationals of Member States.

    Yes, all solicitors can appear before the European Courts, not just solicitor-advocates and a solicitor will always know more about the law than the ordinary litigant, except in some exceptional cases of course.

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