One of Liberia’s legal experts, Cllr. George E. Henries, is calling on lawyers to demonstrate professionalism and ethical behavior as they go about their practice.
There is public fear about lawyers amidst the poor justice system in Liberia, which is riddled with accusations that they (lawyers) receive money and bribe judges to turn justice against the righteous and justify the evildoers, he lamented.
Cautioning lawyers working with the Henries Law Firm against unprofessional and unethical practices, Cllr. Henries said they (lawyers) need not to run after their clients for gratuity or make contacts for cases.
“By conducting yourself professionally and building trust in your clients, the clients will in turn seek after you instead of [you] lawyers running after clients. Therefore, you lawyers should defend your reputation by conducting yourself professionally and ethically,” Cllr. Henries stressed.
He recalled that in the past, lawyers were asked not to advertise their law firms but to be contacted on the basis of professionalism. But such is not the case today, where lawyers are all over the place running after clients.
Expressing his appreciation to the lawyers working with his firm for their valuable services, Cllr. Henries, a former Supreme Court Associate Justice, who is now retired from practicing in court, said though the lawyers have over the years worked hard to bring a good reputation to the firm, more has to be done, especially when it comes to relationship with clients.
The Henries proprietor, among other things, urged lawyers working with the firm to be acquainted with pending cases and converge every morning to discuss and argue same before proceeding to the court to meet their opponents.
“Professionalism among you will only be as good as the firm you are with; and by building a good reputation, you can become a judge or justice in the judicial system,” Cllr. Henries admonished the firm’s lawyers.
He further urged them to adequately represent their clients and build confidence in them, noting that by that clients will always seek such lawyers’ expertise.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Observer after the program, Cllr. Henries intoned that public fear for lawyers is predicated upon the unethical behavior some lawyers carry out.
He stressed, however, that any lawyers following ethical standard and behaving professionally will earn the requisite respect from the public.
The Henries Law Firm began active service in 1944 and was established by Richard A. Henries who, for nearly three decades served as Speaker of the House of Representatives. He became Speaker in 1951 after the then Speaker, Benjamin Greene Freeman, was selected as President W.V.S. Tubman’s running mate during the True Whig Party national convention that year. Unfortunately, the day had not ended before Mr. Freeman suddenly died, an event that shook Monrovia like a thunderbolt.
It was following this that Tubman chose William R. Tolbert, Jr., as his Vice President. Counselor Richard A. Henries served as Speaker until the 1980 coup d’état.
The Henries Law Firm has produced many justices and judges in the Liberian justice system.
Its current proprietor, Cllr. George E. Henries, a renowned international and corporate lawyer, a 1962 graduate of Cornell University Law School in the United States, one of America’s top ten universities.
Upon his return home, he first served as Assistant Attorney General of Liberia, Solicitor General and then Attorney General. He spent nine years serving in the Liberian Justice System.
He also taught Law for 25 years in Liberia and worked at the Liberia Corporate Registry in New York. He now serves as a consultant and legal opinion provider for Africa, Europe and United States, amongst others.
The year-end party showing appreciation to workers is one motivating factors that encourage people in the workplace.
The Henries Law Firm lauded its workers and certificated over five persons for their dedicated services; while commending all workers for their time and effort exerted to keep the firm moving for the past 70 years. The Henries Law Firm is Liberia’s oldest and probably longest surviving law firm.
Speaking earlier, Cllr. Cooper Kruah, one of the firm’s executives, said the lawyers are rendering services they are not paid for but only given allowances that are not even sustainable.
The year-end party, designed to recognize their services and certificate some of them, was not a mistake but a motivation to also enable them to realize their potentials and services to the firm.
Meanwhile, one of the certificated lawyers, Kuku Dorbor, speaking on behalf of the honorees, commended the management of the law firm and confessed that they are treated even better than most of the firms in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia.