For Laypeople Reading this Blog
September 11, 2014 § 4 Comments
I get comments and even emails from non-lawyers asking legal advice and even questioning the actions of lawyers and judges in cases. Lately there have been plenty. There are several reasons why I don’t respond.
First, and most importantly, MCA 9-1-25 specifically prohibits judges from practicing law. Giving legal advice is the practice of law. Ergo, I can’t do it.
Second, even if I could give legal advice, I would not do it via this vehicle. No lawyer who is competent would give legal advice based on a person’s recitation of facts without asking questions to fill in the gaps, to rule out alternative scenarios, and to test the accuracy of the scenario.
Third, the law is a nuanced thing, with many subtleties. Often there are multiple approaches to take, each with its own risks and advantages. Those variations should be teased out in a thoughtful conversation between attorney and client where the exchange of information and feedback results in a concensus on how to proceed. You can’t do that on a blog.
This blog is designed for lawyers and judges in the hope that it will improve the practice of law in Mississippi’s chancery courts. Lawyers and judges who read this blog know that the information is a mere starting point for research in a given case. It points a direction and suggests an approach.
There is no legitimate substitute for competent legal advice when one is confronted with a legal problem. And, quite often, what appears to be a simple matter can be fraught with unapparent implications that only a lawyer can spell out.
Laypersons are always welcome to read this blog, for what it is worth, but it is not a substitute for the services of a lawyer.