DE ADVOCAAT (III)

Een advocaat met lef

Voordat wij in 1995 bij het toenmalige Loeff Claeys Verbeke kantoorgenoten werden (hij was daar partner en ik werd daar medewerker), was ik advocaat Allard Voûte al enkele keren in grote zaken tegengekomen. Een tegenstander van formaat. Maar ook een advocaat met sterk ‘eigen-zinnige’ trekken. Zo begonnen schikkingsonderhandelingen een keer met het door Allard afscheuren van de eerste bladzijde van een door mij zorgvuldig in concept opgestelde overeenkomst, omdat hij verkouden was en geen zakdoek bij zich had. Ik hoef niet uit te leggen wat er met dat voorblad gebeurde, behalve dan dat er op enig …
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26
Jun 2013
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DE ADVOCAAT (II)

De advocaat als ambachtsman

Deze uitspraken zou je zomaar ergens kunnen horen: “De rechtenstudie is een stoffige studie. Je moet veel boeken lezen en vooral veel uit je hoofd leren. Maar gelukkig is het geen moeilijke studie. Het is zo’n beetje de makkelijkste studie om een academische graad te halen.” Is dit alles nu waar? Dat hangt er vanaf, en het hangt vooral van jezelf af. Voor ‘marginalisten’ en notoire ‘oppervlaktedenkers’ zal dit alles in meer of mindere mate wel opgeld doen. Maar betwijfeld mag worden of dit nu degenen zijn die over de juiste kwaliteiten beschikken om het ambachtelijke …
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19
Jun 2013
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DE ADVOCAAT (I)

De advocaat als redenaar

Zou je niet af en toe iets over advocaten en hun beroep op je weblog moeten zetten, vroeg laatst iemand aan mij. Een goed en vooral leuk idee! In de Engelstalige bijdragen aan mijn weblog zijn advocaten en hun beroep al ruimhartig aan bod gekomen. Daarom ga ik de komende weken, steeds op woensdag, een stukje in het Nederlands plaatsen. Deels zijn deze stukken al eerder gepubliceerd in ‘Twee Curacaose Meesters’ (2011) dat ik samen met Mirto Murray schreef, of zijn de onderwerpen in lezingen van mij aan orde gekomen. Vandaag iets over de advocaat als …
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12
Jun 2013
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LAWYERS IN THE DUTCH CARIBBEAN

What is a lawyer?

For people dealing with lawyers it is of importance to understand lawyers as a profession and what they may be after in a particular case. I will therefore briefly discuss the nature of this centuries old profession.

Well, what is a lawyer? The answer depends on the context in which this question is posed. In the Dutch Caribbean Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saint Maarten, Saint Eustatius and Saba) for instance it is a regulated and protected profession like in most other countries.

The Advocatenlandsverordening 1959 [Lawyers National Ordinance 1959] talks about persons who practice a profession …
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29
Jun 2012
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THE UTOPIAN LAWYER

Dare to dream!

A high degree of civilisation must be expected from the ideal advocate (attorney; lawyer) as well as a high degree of learning and expertise. A practical attitude, language skill and rhetorical ability form part of the standard baggage of the utopian advocate. He is not only feared for his razor-sharp analyses, for breaking through reasoning utterly lacking any logic and for turning the attackers of the rule of law to stone, but both friend as well as foe respect his disposition as well as his expertise.

Quite often the utopian advocate will get the feeling that in …
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13
Apr 2011
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THE LAWYER AS A VIRTUOSO OF LANGUAGE (PART II)

The use of technical concepts has a useful function

Another example is the Directive of the European Commission of 18 February 1985 (85/205/EEC) adapting to technical progress Council Directive 71/127/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the rear-view mirrors of motor vehicles. The term “rear-view mirror” in itself means a device excluding complex optical systems such as periscopes, intended to give a clear view to the rear and side of the vehicle within the fields of vision defined in item 5 of Annex III.

There was at some time a Directive proposal to define …
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06
Apr 2011
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THE LAWYER AS A VIRTUOSO OF LANGUAGE (PART I)

The use of technical concepts has a useful function

Language is the instrument par excellence of the advocate (attorney; lawyer). He uses language to lay down agreements, to provide legal advices, to formulate Court documents, to send demand letters, to make his plea or to conduct talks with clients or counterparties, to send invoices, in short: to practice his profession. For many people what advocates write down is difficult to fathom. One of the reasons for this is because legislation and regulations are formulated rather formally and in an indirect form while using a lot of abstract concepts. Here are only …
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30
Mar 2011
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THE LAWYER AS ORATOR

A sensitive subject

The advocate (attorney; lawyer) as orator is a sensitive subject. Many clients will have listened with curled toes or alternatively with a deep feeling of embarrassment to their own advocate or (if they are lucky) to that of their counterparty at the moment suprême when the so-carefully prepared written summary of the argument is read out dryly and stumbling over the words or at least in a scarcely inspiring manner. And the one who has bad luck will be faced with a ‘read-out advocate‘ who sometimes does even thirty or more pages. And all this whereas the first Roman …
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23
Mar 2011
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ON THE IMAGE OF LAWYERS

Bloodsuckers and hypocrites?

Lawyers (attorneys) are often exposed to strong criticism, both here and elsewhere. The late famous Dutch professor A. Pitlo (Evolutie in het privaatrecht, [Evolution in private law] Groningen: H.D. Tjeenk Willink 1972, p. 102) speaks with regard to certain advocates (lawyers) about the ‘half-intellect’ that by intellectualism must succeed in being kept up towards the masses.

Publications that are extremely critical of advocates can date from any time and the first ones already from before ancient Rome. In this connection François Rabelais (1494-1553) should also be mentioned and (more or less in his footsteps) Honoré Daumier (1808-1879). …
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16
Mar 2011
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THE LAWYER AS CRAFTSMAN

Tradition and resourcefulness

You could hear these statements just about anywhere: “The study of law is a dull study. You have to read a lot of books and especially learn a lot by heart. But luckily it is not a difficult study. It is more or less the easiest study to graduate in.” Is all this true? It depends and it depends particularly on yourself. For ‘marginalists’ and notorious ‘superficial thinkers’ all this is more or less at a premium. But it is questionable whether these are the people who have the right qualities to practice the craftsmanlike profession of …
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09
Mar 2011
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WHY WOULD SOMEONE BECOME A LAWYER?

The story of Saint Yvo (1253-1303)

Without being sworn in to the Bar it is not possible to call yourself an advocate (lawyer; advocaat) in the Dutch Caribbean. Being sworn in as an lawyer is for any beginner a high point, a clear start. The lawyer undertakes responsibility and does this under oath.

Art. 3 par. 2 of the Dutch Caribbean ‘Advocatenlandsverordening 1959‘ [Lawyers National Ordinance 1959] prescribes the following oath or affirmation:

“I swear (affirm) loyalty to the King, compliance with the Charter and the National Regulations, respect for the judicial authorities and that I shall not recommend or defend …
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04
Mar 2011
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