By Khabir Dhillon | LoyarBurok
You guys are silly for saying that Edmund Bon sold out his principles by taking up the Khalid Ibrahim defamation brief against The Malaysian Insider, et al.
An essential ingredient of defamation is that the statement complained of must be false. If the statement complained of is true, there is no defamation.
Edmund as a lawyer does not know whether the statement complained of is true or false. Only his client, Khalid Ibrahim, knows.
If there is something in Khalid’s instructions that should put Edmund on alert that he is receiving false instructions (for example, if Khalid says to Edmund — “this statement is actually true but I want the world to think it is not by suing those buggers”) and Edmund goes on to issue a demand against The Malaysian Insider, et al, only then is he guilty of a disciplinary wrong, or even possibly a crime.
If there is no reason for Edmund to refuse his client’s instructions, the law says that Edmund MUST take the brief, if:
- there is no conflict of interest;
- he practices in the area of defamation; and
- Khalid agrees to pay a reasonable price for the job.
We cannot expect Edmund to simply dismiss his client’s instructions as false and refuse to take the brief. That would actually be a disciplinary wrong and Edmund would be subject to censure.
Can you imagine what would happen if we expect and allow lawyers to take cases at their own whims and fancies? It would be like living in a country where the taxi drivers can choose whether to take their customers or not! That’s so third-world-nation, dudes.
This rule is called the “cab-rank” rule by the way.
Lawyers are your taxis dudes. To get you from where you meet them to where you intend to go. As long as where you want to go doesn’t mean doing anything illegitimate which means the lawyer gets into trouble as well!
If you don’t support Edmund Bon Tai Soon, you’re not gonna go anywhere dudes. We’re not gonna go anywhere dudes. This whole freaking nation is just gonna be at a standstill, or even… go backwards.
Come on homies. Big up the Bon.
He’s just following the Common Law as it truly is and acting with common sense.