The First Dock Brief

As I am jotting this down, I am halfway through my pupillage journey. Another one half to be admitted as an advocate/ solicitor InshaaAllah! Having reached the milestone, all I can say is the more ‘senior’ I get in the pupillage time-zone, the wider my horizon gets. Real life practice is very different from what law school taught you and day by day you realized there’s so much more to learn. If you threw the mortar board on graduation, gurlll you need to gather it back and eat as much humble pies as you can! In practice, attitude is numero uno. Nuff said.

By the way as a celebration to my four months, here’s a story of my first dock-brief session. Dock-brief in easy word is where selected pupils get to represent the unrepresented (duhh) OKTs in Court, mostly for mitigation and bail application purposes.

Being an eager-learner I am, I carefully outlined my weekend readings for the dock brief to familiarize myself with criminal procedures and precedents on the common crimes. CPC revision on Saturday, Penal Code on Sunday and DDA on Monday sounds like a good plan, no? Yes should be but it didn’t happen LOL! But I was told not to worry since my first day should be a mere observing day rather than getting into action day. I arrived at the majestic Duta Court and they told me to straight away go ask polis mahkamah if there are any cases on which I can represent today. Wait wait what do you mean any cases I CAN REPRESENT TODAY? I refreshed the coordinator’s memory reminding him I am new and not anyone from the previous batch who came to ganti their skipped session, you know, just in case.

“Yes I know. Now go lah late already”

Ooooookay… I walked away to the Magistrate’s court while chanting silent prayers hoping there’ll be no unrepresented cases. I wasn’t afraid of doing the talking tbh but I was damn scared to recall criminal precedents at the furthest block of my memory. Entah ingat entah tak kan.

Long story cut short I got two OKTs for my first ever court appearance. Prepared for five minutes and that’s it, now or never time. I gained as much courage as possible, reminding which alma mater I belong to and I’ve debated for years so this should not be a task I melted on the floor to.

How do I feel? More like debating on the final stage of Royal Debate, only this time someone else’s life is at stake (trying not to make it sounds so serious). To date I am showered with pride and joy for not only I succeeded in mitigating sentences on my first try, but the fact that I’d never done criminal matter makes me even prouder. And speaking to a real judge is LIT you guys! *Jakun pupil detected*

Many years ago…okay fine that sounds so much like exaggerating so allow me to paraphrase. Many months ago, I fell in love with advocacy that all I had in mind was to commence pupillage doing nothing but litigation. I felt lit at my peak when I was able to answer His Lordship Magesan Ayavoo’s queries in Court of Malaya. Second lit when I palm-twitchingly dug witnesses in cross-ex till they technically contradicted their prior answers and my obsession was further supported with Bar Council’s ex-officio who drop me this advice; never, ever commence pupillage doing nothing but litigation.

Today litigation is not even one in my plate. I am juggling corporate matters and surprisingly totally okay with it. Some people will go “Wait what? Corporate? Weren’t you a debater?” Yeahh I was and still am but I won’t judge anyone who put that remarks on me because I once planted such mentality in me as well. Corporate is fine by me yet the dock brief experience is providing me an avenue to at least ‘lepas gian’ to make it in court.

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Killing two birds with one stone, why not?


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