Solicitors and their reputation – are we that bad

Aug 24, 2011

On Monday last, the Irish Times had an opinion article on the legal profession, which left us Kilkenny solicitors speechless.

We had thought about responding but very often when wild allegations are made, it’s best to say nothing. One thing that does occur is that this Michael Casey is a board member of the IMF and he uses statistics and figures, without any substantiation. With his lack of professionalism, I am glad he no longer works for our Central Bank. God knows what he dreams up and tells the IMF !

Anyway, let us not get personal. A Dublin solicitor, whom we don’t know provided an eloquent response =
A chara, – Michael Casey (Opinion August 22nd) at best provides a relatively broad stroke view of the legal system and at worst a further damnation of a profession which suffers constant attack from the general public. In as much as there is nothing wrong with one expressing an opinion or outlining faults which they find within a profession I feel the tone of Mr Casey’s article and indeed his “typical civil case” somewhat lacking in understanding and realism.

In effect, Mr Casey has preferred to play to the gallery in touching on varied problems which may be encountered during the lifespan of any litigation matter, resulting in an unrealistic portrayal of the legal profession and the operation of the justice system. This portrayal leaves the impression that any matter which a plaintiff may seek to have heard before the court will immediately need to jump an “old boys’ club” or “elitist” hurdle before any progress is made.

This is simply not the case and there remains a lot to be said for those solicitors who still maintain a “no job is too small” outlook and service to clients. This rings particularly true in light of the somewhat obvious subject matter of Mr Casey’s “typical civil case”.

In short – there are problems with every profession. This is accepted and reform is always welcome. There are few occasions in the average person’s life when they require recourse through the courts. There is enough worry and anger in this country at present without further frightening the public or raising unnecessary concern based on such a broad analysis, which does not adequately reflect the true services provided by both solicitors and counsel at a time when we have all tightened our belts.

There is a greater “costs” issue at stake than that which Mr Casey refers to and that is one of reputation as a profession. Let no profession suffer on account of tongue-in-cheek analysis. – Is mise,
Solicitor’s name.

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