The struggle to reclaim public confidence in the Judiciary that in recent times has been at the center of injustice and corruption allegations, took a dramatic turn on Monday with a Supreme Court Justice openly describing lawyers as “liars” and being responsible for most of the public criticism and distrust.
“Often when an appeal against a lower court ruling is dismissed by the Supreme Court people normally say there is no justice for the poor man, which is not the case,” Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Youh contended, adding “It is because lawyers have eaten their clients’ money without applying effort to complete the processes associated with filing an appeal, so when the Supreme Court dismisses a case, the lawyer lies to the client that the Supreme Court is not interested in hearing their case.”
“Most of the lawyers are liars and they are in the constant habit of misrepresenting the court to their ignorant clients and the public after receiving huge sums of money from the clients to defend their interests, (but) refuse to do it,” Justice Youh bluntly revealed to a packed audience of judges, magistrates, lawyers, court staff and others attending the opening of the May Term of Criminal Courts, A, B, C and D, at the Temple of Justice.
In order to convince their clients to believe them, Justice Youh explained, lawyers would go to the Supreme Court and ask for the case to be assigned for hearing.
“When the notice of assignment is served for the case, the lawyer uses that communication to convince the client that their case would soon be heard and thereby collects money from the client. The lawyer withholds from the client the truth, that there is no paper before the justices at the Supreme Court to make a determination into the matter,” Justice Youh disclosed, further exposing the lawyers’ scam.
“And, if the case is not heard the lawyers make the clients to believe that the Supreme Court was responsible for the delay of their case by showing the notice of assignment from the court as proof,” she further explained, declaring, “This is not good for the court and we have resolved to set a requisite penalty for (those) lawyers.”
She added, “I am bringing this out to the public’s attention that we don’t just dismiss your case because we are not interested in hearing it. It is your lawyers and we are tied (bound) by the law to dismiss the case. Being ignorant of the law is no exception.”
Justice Youh admonished, “I am providing this education so that you can have the right to ask your lawyer to see the case file, whether or not the Supreme Court dismissed it for whatsoever reason they may have given you about the status of your case.
“You have the right to approach the clerk of the court that you want to see your case file to see how your lawyer handles the case even from the lower court to the Supreme Court. You have a remedy at law,” she emphasized.
“This is why we have set up a lot of committees that are responsible to hear ethical transgressions committed by lawyers against their clients,” she asserted. “Those committees have heard cases against lawyers some of whom are punished. We are not taking this lightly. We have suspended lawyers and judges for impropriety of the rule of court. We are going to punish them until we can ensure public trust about the court,” she vowed.
“We want to caution our lawyers that this is where you get your daily bread; this is where you come and defend your client. And also, this is where order should be the order of the day. Your exemplary work will be paid not just by your client but by the general public.” She urged lawyers to take their clients’ interests seriously.