Communicative foundations

It is not expected that we lawyers, as experts of law, are only able to master the legal foundations of human existence and then apply them to our corresponding professional ethics. It is also commonly accepted that we must also be better, faster and wiser that “the others” because our profession transcends purely financial affairs (a fact which is evident in our statutory tasks). We are created for competition and rivalry.

The main art of legal representation is to ensure that coping with conflict does not degenerate into cantankerousness and dogmatism at the expense of one’s own clients. Our associates often forget that self-glorification and the assertion of the lawyer’s personal interests should never be an issue. But the other extreme should not be taken too far either. The amiable, authoritative lawyer who is always striving for balance is just as wrong as the blusterer because telling your opponents what they want to hear and playing to them does not necessarily achieve more for your own side.

We believe that, one the one hand, the lawyer needs to be able to alternate between these two attitudes, and on the other hand, to correctly chose one or the other depending on the situation. We believe the prerequisite for this to be a questioning attitude (Heidegger called questioning the godliness of thought). People should never delude themselves into believing they know everything already – although it is often desired that lawyers think like this. From the very first conversation with our future clients a receptive attitude is necessary. This kind of attitude is aware that nothing can be legally attained if the relevant facts and data are not fastidiously surveyed. If restraint is practised, more will be gained from even the grimmest of opponents in conflict (for instance while hearing accounts of witnesses in court), rather than displaying arrogance, as we lawyers (not entirely without reason) are often reproached with.



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