Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ram Jethmalani- manipulative liar

Mr.Ram Jethmalani- A man of unimpeachable credibility and character, devoted family man and possessing one of the finest legal minds.

He is undoubtedly a conniving, manipulative liar. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have been representing the family of goondas. "Lawyer" and "liar" aren't mere sound-alikes - lying's what we do. We just don't call it that. We offer platitudes like "there are three sides to any story - plaintiff's, defendant's, and the facts... by fighting, we ferret out the truth." That's true, but it also means one side is lying all the time. But our lies aren't direct. Nobody counsels his client to bald-faced bullshit. We lie by omission, hide facts or hijack the focus, making the other side's credibility the issue, obscuring the claims against our clients. We warp the language of an agreement into something its simple verbiage could never have intended. Most of us rationalize this by lying to ourselves - suspending disbelief and supporting our client's most obscene prevarications.

"The Judge will decide what's true. You aren't the Judge. You have a duty to your client. You're an advocate, and that is all."

Translation: "I know our client is lying. You know he's lying. But we want fame and our client’s money."

But these rationalizations are for the service partner shrubs. The big fish know that the trick to lying effectively is complete self-delusion. First, you have to make the facts your client gives you real in your mind, as though they actually happened exactly the way you're going to tell them to the jury. Give them a history, some context, a back story. This sounds easy, but as the WMD debacle in Iraq eloquently illustrates, it's actually hard as hell. The real facts have a pesky habit of surfacing at the worst times, and this causes serious problems. You might mix up your client's story with the true facts during a hearing or trial. If one real fact sneaks in, the rest have a tendency to flood in through that hole in the dike. If you start thinking about the truth, your conscience might kick in subconsciously, leaving you a less than zealous advocate.
But how do you bridge the holes in your client's fantastic story, and bury the guilt of abetting his lies? With the second half of the self-delusion - a victim complex. You're client's gotten screwed by his opponent before, so even if he's wrong on this claim, he deserves to hit the bastard for some money. Your client did something wrong, but something we all do from time to time - why should he lose a fortune due to some bad timing? You're not lying; you're righting a wrong... getting even for the aggrieved. There is no justice if you lose. Once you've made the quantum leap to this pedestal, the actual bullshitting's easy.

I can understand for a young lawyer wanting to impress the first client but not an 82 years old lawyer.