Lecture on Art of Advocacy by Rajya Sabha MP and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal (SOL, Manipal University Jaipur and Excellence, April 28, 2020)
Rajya Sabha MP and Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal delivered a lecture, titled the ‘Art of Advocacy’ on April 28th 2020. This was organized by School of Law, Manipal University Jaipur. He started his lecture on the note that there is no perfect formula for becoming a good lawyer and different things work for different people. Having said that, he explained some important practices for success in the court, which are as follows:
- Be knowledgeable: It is crucial to invest time in learning about not just the law, but all aspects of human life, such as history, economics, literature, etc. This knowledge will be helpful in the process of persuasion. This is one profession where the people who stand in the court have equality of opportunity. Both you and the opposingcounsel have the same briefing. You have the same raw material, it’s what you do with the material makes the difference. The knowledge of these fields can be used in various cases to make compelling arguments.
- Be Industrious: Work hard and give time to preparation of the case. Know your brief better than your opponent and your judge. Try to determine what arguments may be presented by the opponent and possible counter-arguments.Contemplate on the possible questions which may be asked by the judge and prepare answers for them.
- Be pleasant in the court: Always be pleasant and never get angry in the courtroom because you cannot win an argument by being angry.
- Be respectful towards the judge and your opponent: Always be respectful towards the judge and your opponent. It is important to have an open mind and try to understand the matter. Try to appreciate what your opponent says, understand what the judge says and understand what your client says. This will put things in perspective for you, help you understand the case better and argue in a better manner. Never make the judge feel that the judge does not know. Even if you disagree with something that the judge says, politely present your explanation.
- Be Courageous: It is important to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in. If you think that the court is wrong, have the courage to disagree, but be polite while explaining your point. Foolish courage is not appreciated, but courage with conviction and conscience paves path for success.
- Seize the opportunity that you get, don’t worry about the money: Seize the opportunities that are presented to you, even if you are not paid much. Opportunities are far more important than the money because the opportunities will make or break you.
- Read the statute well: When you read a statue, don’t limit your reading to the wording of the statute. Ask yourself questions about the statute. Why was this law made? For whom it was made? For what purpose was it made? This will help you get a better understanding of the law. Statute and the judgements are the cold print of the law, the facts of your case and the tribulations of your client are the heart and soul of the matter. Get into the soul of the matter. Law will emerge from understanding of his problem, which is a human issue. You can distinguish the case on the basis of the facts of the case.
At the end of the lecture, Mr. Sibal implored the audience to do pro-bono work, take up the issues of the people who cannot afford to pay for the services and always give back to the society.
Editorial Note: Summary of the lecture is prepared by Ms. Snehal Kanzarkar, [BA LLB (Hons.), Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai] for the benefit of Young lawyers, Chartered Accountants and law students who desire to develop tax litigation practice.
Source: We acknowledge the SOL, Manipal University Jaipur and Excellence for organizing a lecture on the subject of “Art of Advocacy” by an eminent speaker Sr Advocate Shri Kapil Sibal.