A Court Case
"If laws are not to serve for justice, why do we have them in the first place?"
Zeynep Gülin De Vincentiis
Subject: The solicitation to change the name of Ministery of Justice to “Ministry of Feeding Lawyers and the Law System” and going back to the qadi system.
Summary of the incident is simple: A newspaper got my article, cropped it and published, did not give any money either.
What happened? I went to a lawyer. If it were left to me, with the mind of an ordinary citizen, I'd only have sued the owner and editor of the newspaper. After all, the one who didn't pay me is the owner, the one cropping and pardon the expression but raping my piece is the editor. The lawyer said “Everybody above the editor on the newspaper tag is responsible.” She gave me wrong information.
I more or less have an idea about the material value of the work. I know the market. Who can put a value on the moral damage the slaying of my writing caused me? To be honest, only me. But let's say this can be used in bad faith, can be abused. So the judge puts the value.
The lawyer had told me “You can ask for more in moral compensation; even if denied, you don't need to pay extra.” Again she told me wrong.
Hereupon, things develop. 400 TL material and 3.000 moral compensation is asked for. Two years later the verdict comes out. 400 TL material and 400 TL moral compensation is won. Two and a half years after that comes back the appeal result and the final verdict.
Let's look at the general balance sheet in the case including the lawyer fees and court expenditures. What money came out of whose pocket and what money went into whose pocket?
Did money come out of the pocket of the newspaper who needed to pay me? It did.
Did that money get into my pocket? It did not.
With this verdict, 5.800 came out of the newspaper's pocket and went into their lawyer's pocket. That is, the newspaper paid its lawyer.
You wonder why? Because there is a tragicomic justice involved: Had I lost this case to everybody I would have only paid 2.700 TL lawyer fee. Two out of five people were responsible. I won the material compensation in full, the moral partial. Thus, I paid an extra 1.350 TL for the moral part on top of the 2.700. Of course with interest!
How can this logic be justified? I win and it costs me more than had I lost!
Apparently I should have been grateful, had the three people who had been sued wrongly had three different lawyers, I would have had to pay separately to all of them.
Well... What else? 3-4 years ago 2.500 TL came out of my pocket including the 1.200 TL for expert reports and went into various court offices. My lawyer didn't get her lawyer fee as a recompense for the fee I needed to pay the other side for her mistake. She only asked for mine and the opposite side's execution claim fees. Thus, 1.600 TL more came out of my pocket and got into the pocket of the lawyer.
In this case, who is the only one producing something and not getting any money? In fact, ends up losing money? Only me.
Ok, I accept. I need to pay for the wrong of my lawyer. After all, it is my case.
Or if you say “Put a complaint against the lawyer”, filing in a complaint letter to the bar is with money fellow countrymen! Plus, what do you think you'll be getting? Apart from years of more waiting and annoyance?
Besides... let's say the lawyer made no mistake. We filed the case for 400 TL material and 400 TL moral compensation and won fully. What is the general balance sheet in this case?
Okay, I'd be getting back the expenditures I had made. But think a second, I need to pay 2.500 TL upfront for the 400 TL the newspaper didn't pay me! What kind of a crooked logic is this, I don't know. It is obvious from the price of my work that I am someone trying to make a living with small means. And four and a half years, four and a half years for God's sake! I waited four and a half years to get a result.
If you look at the laws, you'd see there are deadlines for opening up cases, for appealing, for objecting to the execution. Why? Of course there needs to be; justice cannot wait for you forever. But you need to wait for it forever. Just as we, wronged citizens, have deadlines for applications and are considered to lose our rights if we miss those, doesn't the law need to have a deadline to finalize my case? After all, I need to pay for all that interest during that time, i.e. paying for their tardiness.
Anyway, going back to the calculations... We said I'm right and won the case in full. 7.000 would have come out of the pocket of the newspaper; only, this time it wouldn't have gone into the pocket of their lawyer but 4.500 to my lawyer and 2.500 to court offices.
And what would have been my balance?
What did I win? 800 TL. What is the fee I need to pay my lawyer legally? 2.700 TL, plus 1.100 TL execution fee. Of course with interest. What are the figures seen deserved by lawyers and those for poor me?! Again no money would have gone into my pocket and instead 4.000 got out to go into my lawyer's pocket.
Is there such a logic?? Can there be??!
Let's think what this means. You did a job and the employer didn't pay you, just forget about it. At most curse and move on. Don't even think about going to court to get your right. You'll be fucked more. What is the worth of the job you did anyway? Lawyer fees are 8-10 times of yours.
This is it!... Giving the power to whoever wants to exploit people. These laws, this law system. With the classic question, “Where is the government?” If it doesn't serve to get my simple basic right that has been violated what good is the government's justice system? In this order, as long as the numbers for lawyer fees are like this, of course it has gone up by now, what these laws officially say is “Instituions can rob you up to 5.000 TL.”
If so, why do we have a Ministry of Justice? We change the name to “Ministry of Feeding Lawyers and those in the Law System”; whenever we have a problem we go and tell them, they tell us how much they want, we take the money out of our pocket and give them and get done with.
It's much easier for them and for us.
Of course, it can be argued that the bar provides free lawyers for people with no sufficient income. Thank you, I'm not that poor to satisfy their criterion. Does that mean I can be robbed by lawyers? Or need not be paid for my work?
Again it can be said, don't use a lawyer do it yourself. Actually had I done that I was much better off. But they have put so tiny details, times to watch out for, correct places to appeal, easy in fact but if you do not know them they give you so much trouble in government buildings or there is a risk of losing for a simple stupid thing. Consequently, they have obliged you to a lawyer and the wheel of the system.
What's more, I am educated, can do research and understand. What is an ordinary citizen to do? Does he have a chance except the lawyer?
I am not the only one to be the victim of this stupid complex law system, lawyer mistakes, tons of paperwork. I'm not the first, nor the last. Neither the one to get the most damage. On the contrary, I'm probably one of those that got the least damage. There are hundreds of thousands- if not millions!- of people losing assets, properties, work place they have toiled for years. I'm not even mentioning those that have lost their freedom, honor, life.
Well, doesn't anybody benefit from this? Of course they do... The gears of the law wheel.
I suggest going back to the qadi system.
Wouldn't there be unjust decisions there too? In the end, it's man. Of course there will be.
But it's for certain that it won't be more unjust than the current system. It goes without arguing that it'll be much more practical and efficient.
For example, if I went to the qadi and said “Sir, this newspaper got my article, cut it and published, didn't give me my money.” What will the qadi do? He'll call the owner and editor of the newspaper. He'll ask “Is that true?” They'll say “Yes”, they are not denying it anyway; on the contrary, they proudly say that they have not paid a single one of their 104 writers until now. The original of the piece and what is published is there out in the open. Qadi will say something of this sort: “The owner, take this money and give it to this woman. Editor, you either publish the original of the piece or pay a certain amount as a penalty for what you've done.” Gone and finished.
There's no “You've sued the wrong people, pay for it”, no time loss, no waste of so much paper, no payment of so much fees and stamps and no inclusion of so many people. And justice is served.
Of course, the qadi could have said to me “What nonsense are you talking my daughter? The newspaper doesn't need to pay you and the editor does whatever he pleases.” Be it; I'd still be upset yes, but at least I wouldn't have lost tons of money and gone through the stress of this process for four and a half years.
Seriously, let's go back to the qadi system! It's much much wiser.
Note: The numbers given are approximate after the overall net calculation.