Litigation Lawyer Wish List

The Malaysian Bar’s 65th Annual General Meeting is on Saturday, 12th March 2011 at the Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur at 10.00 a.m. As part of the lead up to the AGM, LoyarBurok presents “LoyarBurokking for the Bar” – a random set of articles on the Bar Council, our system of justice, life as a lawyer generally and so on. Most involve practising lawyers taking pot shots at the Bar Council. Hey – they stood for election so they asked for it!

In this instalment of LoyarBurokking for the Bar, some modest requests are made which ought not be too difficult to fulfil. If sorted out, practising law as a litigation lawyer may be a little bit more comfortable.


There are many things we expect the Bar Council to do. Most are beyond their abilities, but we expect them to do it anyway. Here are just a few things which they can do (with a little negotiation with the Courts and other powers that be). Some don’t even need negotiation – they just have to do it.

And no, before any of my friends in the Bar Council ask: I’m not joining any taskforce or committee to implement this. I didn’t stand for election – you did. Just go ahead and do the things you were elected for, and stop moaning about how “members don’t want to step forward“.

Wi-fi networks in Courts

Action by: Bar Council/State Bars

Instal a wi-fi network at the canteens & waiting areas for case management at all Courts. Ideally, the Courts or the Government would do it. They won’t, of course. So negotiate directly with WirelessKL or instal the system ourselves. Treat it as a gift to the Court staff and members of the public. At least, let lawyers have this basic necessity nowadays for legal practice. (How else to check LoyarBurok?)

Schedule cases or install workstations

A Productive Loyar at Workstation

A Productive and Dashing Loyar at Workstation

Action by: Bar Council/State Bars

Get the Courts to schedule cases at hourly intervals at least if more precise scheduling is not yet possible.

But I know you won’t be able to do this. I don’t understand why, but the Courts just won’t stagger hearings.

So, at least get their permission to install some workstations in Court so we can work whilst waiting those many hours for our matter to be called. Ideally, set up facilities for the notification of cases that are called up by the Courts to be channelled to the Bar Room, Canteen and other common areas with the SMS notification service.

Let us drink water

What Loyars May Have to Resort to: Let Us Drink Water! | Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/Herr_Bert

A Thirsty Loyar | Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/Herr_Bert

Action by: Bar Council

Courts should allow counsel, witnesses and public to drink water or suck on a sweet whilst Court is in session. Even the consumption of food should be allowed, as it may be necessary by some for medical reasons. It should only be prohibited if it causes a disruption to court proceedings. (Note that in Australia, and the UK, proper jugs of water & glasses are made available by the Court itself for use of counsel and witnesses.) This should be embodied in a Practice Direction, so no individual judicial officer can wriggle out of this.

Bundles of Authorities

Action by: Bar Council

The Attorney General’s Chambers has started preparing bundles of authorities which are printed double sided. Can lawyers also be allowed to do this? This would save some precious trees.

Transport woes at the Kuala Lumpur Courts

KL Duta Courts - Pathetic Taxi Stand | Photo: Shanmuga K.

KL Duta Courts - Pathetic Taxi Stand | Credit: Shanmuga K.

Action by: Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee

Whilst a multistorey car park building is in the pipeline, ensure a proper covered bus stop and taxi stand is put in place as part of Court complex so people do not have to wait exposed to the elements for a taxi.

Currently, we must walk outside to wait for a taxi. Most times, that is where taxis drop passengers off. The large covered porch is used only by big elegant cars with their drivers. There seems no sensible reason for this distinction between the rich and the poor.

BC Boxes at KL Courts

Action by: Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee

Currently, whenever the Courts return documents after processing to lawyers, they do so by placing the documents in a “BC Box” rented by lawyers from the State Bar Committee and placed in the Courts. In KL, as a legacy from the various locations the different divisions of the Courts were, there are 4 different sets of BC Boxes even now although all Courts are now in one location. Thus, lawyers pay 4 sets of rental and filing clerks have to make 4 stops to pick up Court documents.

I would suggest those 4 sets of BC Boxes at the Kuala Lumpur courts be consolidated. Ideally, they should be replaced with newer boxes, perhaps even different sized boxes to cater for differing needs of various firms.

Shanmuga K doesn’t know why he keeps writing for LoyarBurok. A purple banana emerges in his consciousness, and articles seem to be magically written. Follow his rants on Twitter via @shanmuga_k. He hopes to see all you lawyers with practicing certificate at the Bar AGM this Saturday at Legend Hotel at 10.00 a.m. (or thereabouts).


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Posts by Shanmuga K

Shanmuga K sometimes sees a purple banana emerging in his sub-conscious. An article seems to then be magically written. He is @shanmuga_k on Twitter. When he does not see those purple bananas, he practices as a lawyer at www.kanesalingam.com

Posted on 10 March 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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4 Responses to Litigation Lawyer Wish List

  1. Dominic Gan

    I am new to the Court and now only I realise how much inconvenience it is. Perhaps the lift should be upgraded, is slow and many lawyers are running up and down by staircase which is not properly made, very short step.

  2. Pingback: Litigation Lawyer Wish #1: Trial by Battle | LoyarBurok

  3. siewchinteo

    great pleadings – simple. precise. do-able.

    and may you also be granted such further and other relief as the horrible courts deem fit.