Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lawyers Are Driven More By Emotion Than Reason

Let's be honest with ourselves, shall we?

When making hard decisions, do we rely more on reason or emotion?

I said 'be honest'. And I mean it. Search your feelings. Way down. Yes, dig deep into the truth is there, underneath all those layers of bullshit.

More often than not, we make choices based on emotion, not reason.

Not just for small things like what to eat for lunch. But also for big, big decisions. What car to buy. Where to work. Who to date.

In fact, big decisions are more so driven by emotion. After all, big decisions comes from complex problems. And what does our brain does in the face of complexity? It scrambles to unravel it, fails miserably, panics, and ultimately go "F**k this shit, I give up. eeny, meeny, miny, moe...".

"Heads, defendant goes free..."

Lawyers Are Liars

Are certain people more rational than others? Lawyers would like to think so.

But they're not. Lawyers are no better than the average person.

The only difference is that lawyers delude themselves (and others) into believing they're perfectly reasonable beings capable of making rational judgements.

But they're not. They're humans too, and humans are emotional beings.

The only difference is that they try very hard - too hard - to justify their decision by giving 'reasons'.

In other words, lawyers lie a lot - to others, and themselves.

When they say things are 'open to interpretation', what they're really doing is twisting words to fit their own world view of things.

When they draw out their 100-page 'grounds of decision', what they're really doing is coming up with excuses to justify a decision they had made even before they started penning the first page.

When they say they're applying the law to the set of facts, what they're really doing is covering up the real fact that they're making up the law to fit the facts.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

There is absolutely nothing wrong with making decisions based on emotions. Everyone does it. As much as we would like to be rational, our powers of reasoning have limits. And there may be lots of complex problems in the world that cannot be reasoned with.

The difference between a normal person and a lawyer is that a lawyer will never admit that he is swayed by emotion.

Deep inside, they're thinking:

"Witness P1 just seems like a shady jerk. Maybe it's the way he seems so polished in answering questions, as if he's been prepped by lawyers and rehearsing his lines dozens times over. I don't trust him, and what he says about the contract."

"This clause in the letter makes no absolute sense. Look at the font difference. They must've simply copy-pasted from some template. And look at the sambal stains by the side. Ew! Their lawyers must be morons. Let's just ignore this silly clause."

But instead of saying all that, lawyers and judges feel the need to come up with legalistic mumbo-jumbo like 'parol evidence rule' and 'factual matrix construction'. It's unnecessary. It's painful. It's like a parent explaining to a kid that they shouldn't swallow fruit seeds, otherwise a tree will grow on top of their head. Although their intentions are noble, their reasons - to put it plainly - suck.

Is it okay to protect the truth in layers of lies? No, it never is.

Because lies are often used to hide ugly truths.

Batman doesn't waste time with words - for justice should be swift and silent

Fake Reasons

The truth is, lawyers make decisions primarily based on emotions (just like any other human being). Thereafter, they come up with 'reasons' to justify their decision. Such reasons make sense, of course. But they're not the true reasons why they decide the way they did. They're just excuses. They're fake reasons.

It's not just lawyers, of course. Judges are also just as emotional. Don't be misled by their 100-page judgments. They probably got a lowly registrar or lawyer friend to write chunks of it. Even before the case has started, his mind is already made up. The trial from then on is just for show. So that it appears 'legit'.

Deep inside, he's thinking:

"I can't stand his political ideals. Rot in jail, sucker!"

"I know the chap on the right. We go a long way back. I owe him a lot. I better let him win this case then."

Yes, the truth hurts. Justice hurts even more.

Justice rocks!

Human After All

And that's why people distrust lawyers. Try as they might, people can still see through their bullshit.

If only lawyers could stop pretending they're rational beings. If only lawyers could be honest and humble about their own flaws.

But they won't.

Because humans lie. Because humans have ego.

And lawyers are human, after all.

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