Room students playing the role of touts

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PETALING JAYA: Unscrupulous law firms are now using chamber students to solicit clients in district courts, say several criminal lawyers.

Senior attorneys, who declined to be named, also revealed that bragging tactics have evolved in recent years, with chambers students now assigned to courthouses to spot potential clients.

“The last time you could find touts who weren’t lawyers. But now they have changed the modus operandi and a lot of soliciting is done using roomed students.

“These dorm students will be based in a single court, and when we see them we can’t really charge them with soliciting because then they will say they are dorm students,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based criminal lawyer. who only wanted to be known as “Anne”.

She said bragging was rampant, particularly at the Petaling Jaya Magistrates’ Court, where such chamber students would target vulnerable people who have come into conflict with the law.

“When someone’s family member is charged in court, they feel confused or depressed.

“So these people are their target because they know that if they say scary things to them, they will listen to them and quickly appoint a lawyer,” said Anne, who added that these touts would typically charge these vulnerable members of the police RM 500. family for each case mentioned.

“This means that if he has 10 cases in one day, he has already earned 5,000 RM,” she loved.

Anne’s allegations match the accounts of several senior criminal lawyers to whom The Star has spoken.

A criminal lawyer known as Tam has revealed that touts are easily found in Petaling Jaya Court in the morning.

“If you show up at the PJ court at 8:30 am, you will be approached by a few individuals, including a couple of lawyers.

“It’s pretty common in Petaling Jaya, Ampang and Klang,” she said.

According to Tam, these touts identify even the most affluent customers during their surveillance.

“They can even charge these people between RM 10,000 and 20,000, eventually persuading them to sell their properties and plead guilty, even if it is not in their best interests,” said Tam, who also claimed that some touts even offer cash. – loan services for surety.

“One way or another, when poor people go to court, even if they haven’t committed any crime, they can end up poorer (if they borrow money to post a bond)”, Tam said, adding that boastful lawyers don’t have the best of their clients. interests in mind as they were only focused on closing cases as quickly as possible, even if that involved advising clients to admit guilt no matter what.

“They will try not to prolong the case, and they will try to persuade their client to plead guilty so that they can get the money quickly,” said Tam, who claimed that these law firms also cut out their respective “territories”.

“Normally they’re going to ‘conquer’ a particular court, whether it’s PJ, Shah Alam, Ampang or Klang. It really is an open secret.

Tam and Anne said it was very difficult for others to file reports against these shady law firms because they would have good “connections”.

Nurul, another lawyer familiar with soliciting, said victims would often find their complaints to the Bar Council futile, since no receipt was provided when paying.

“The public needs to know that every time they pay a lawyer, they need to get a receipt,” Nurul said.

She added that the Malaysian bar also needs to do more to tackle touting and unethical lawyers.

She proposed that authorities such as the police or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission infiltrate to stop such practices.

“It must be a year-long effort. They must also have different undercover agents, as these touts will recognize them. “

The Malaysian Bar on Tuesday relaunched a mobile app that will contain a digital membership card for bar members in an effort to tackle solicitation or cases where individuals claim to be attorneys or attorneys.

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