Tool #8 of 104 tools: you are your best lawyer
“So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human.”
God set only 10 commandments which He uses to manage the whole world. How come Uganda has so many laws and they are still not enough! If you want to live a good life, follow the 10 commandments. Human rules and laws are so nebulous, and their interpretation varies depending on the parties involved.
Great lawyers are not only defined by how many ‘tough’ cases they have won. They are defined by how many ‘good’ cases they analyzed with high probability to lose and avoided going into court battles in the first place. A good lawyer selects their wars to fight carefully and saves their clients time and money.
A one Alex Kafumbe Jnr, placed a classified advert to buy a piece of land in specified place. Several sellers offered their land. He liked one of the land plots on offer for which further discussions were made. To be sure, he hired a city lawyer to conduct the validity of the seller’s title deed as well as background checks on the seller. The lawyer’s report had no objections. Alex even visited the village and the seller to introduce him to the LC I chairman of the area. Thereafter, the sell agreement was signed with the lawyer as witness in the banking hall, where money was withdrawn and paid in cash! Over Ugx. 45m money withdrawn from the bank account and paid in cash. In the presence of the lawyers. Transaction closed. Two months later, Alex went to the land to commence construction. He cleared the boundaries and put men to commence construction of a temporary structure. The following day, he found armed security men guarding the place with instructions from the ‘real’ owner. Being a professional man, he decided to vacate the land and take matters to the courts of law.
He was surprised to learn that the land title that had been given upon cash payment, was not valid. There was another holder of a genuine title. So, why did the lawyer fail to notice that? How can the LC I Chairman confirmed knowledge of the seller as the genuine land owner? All these were set up. After a court process that lasted over 10 ten years, Alex lost the case. He just gave up!
Lesson: before you engage the lawyer, take time and do your own homework. Visit the village in which the land is located and ask the neighbors. Don’t go there with the seller. Find out who the genuine LC I is and visit them alone. Go to the lands and conduct the title search. Do the leg work yourself and only after thorough work, call in the lawyers. Remember, you are your best lawyer. Most important, if God’s seventh law, “Thou shalt not steal”, had been complied with by the parties Alex would be a happy man!
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit www.summitcl.com/boardtools to become a better Board member TODAY.