Our associate, Tan Soon Meng he had recently penned his views and published on The Straits Times.
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“Although three weeks is a relatively short period of time, what I have gained has been extremely valuable and is something which cannot be simply learnt in school. …. Having experienced it myself, it is indeed every bit as enriching as they said, with a great insight into what goes on behind every single legal case that ends up in the law reports. Indeed, not everything ends up going to the courts … which illustrates the vast world of legal practice beyond law school.
I have had the opportunity to do research on a wide variety of areas of law, particularly the law of knowing receipt, unjust enrichment, the tort of conversion, breach of fiduciary duties and negligence.…. Other areas of law were new to me and it was indeed a learning experience researching these areas of law and being able to apply the law to the rather complicated factual scenarios. …I am grateful for the experience and opportunity and am glad to have been able to contribute. The amount of work and research to be done was challenging but at the same time, manageable.”
“I was quite nervous on the first day of my internship, especially since I had heard quite a number of horror stories from friends on how their partners or associates would shout or scold them for trivial mistakes. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded – … (the lawyers) were very friendly and approachable people.…
…In essence, I am truly thankful for this opportunity (albeit a short one) to make mistakes and be given the room to learn and grow from them. I look forward to being able to hone these skills in future internships, and hopefully, to becoming a better law student.”
Most people enter into a relationship believing it would work; that both sides will get more out of the relationship than the sum of its partners’ parts.
As was the case, presumably, when the United Kingdom joined its neighbours in the European Union to enjoy a system of no tariffs or legal impediments to the flow of goods, services and labour. Until the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016, a fair number of people thought that the negative aspects (some loss of sovereignty concerning immigration, intrusive directives or rulings from Brussels) were outweighed by the positives.
In short, few people considered: what if any relationship fails or breaks down? How should parties share the pool of benefits and burdens? It is our experience in resolving relationship conflicts that it often happens that there are no good options or outcomes. The clients must choose the least unpleasant among the unlikeable alternatives. Refusal to accept this situation may result in a vicious cycle where losses keep mounting.
With that, I should point out:
- Legal remedies do not cure hurt feelings, disappointment and loss of trust. They generally concern money, imprisonment (some infliction of caning and worse, death) or undertakings (promises) to NOT do something.
- Following from that, lawyers (including judges and mediators) will not readily understand why some clients will continue litigating to the point of incurring more in legal charges than what they expect to recover. From a personal perspective, recovering money from the defaulting party is either “too cheap” or “too little, too late”.
- Even worse, the financial penalties imposed on the losing party may not be recovered in full. For instance, the defaulting party goes bankrupts (for individuals) or becomes insolvent(for companies).
What, then, should we do or expect? To borrow from Shakespeare, do not demand the pound of flesh. Legal costs may extract some blood. Consider mediation or other methods of resolving the dispute. If all else fails, work it out with Ong Ying Ping Esq.