What is the meaning of legal opinion from a lawyer?

People take legal opinion very lightly. In fact some lawyers also hand out opinions as if they are predicting about the formation of Government of India in 2014. That is without any understanding of the facts and clarity on the law on subject. This is most unprofessional. Even more unprofessional is people or clients seeking half-cooked and half baked opinions by compelling a professional lawyer with some misleading reason. So far I have avoided such temptation except when I had just joined the profession. I had been on a visit to another city and after the day in court I was very tired. In the evening I took an early dinner with few beers. After finishing the dinner I had almost retired in bed when I received a knock on the door. It was some client for some quick advice. Tired/delirious as I was, I tried to dismiss them but was too young and inexperienced to handle them. Ultimately they took some opinion and prepared some draft letter and left. It was after six months I came to know that I had missed some important fact and had given an opinion on the basis of law which did not apply on them. The position was some how resolved due to some other intervening events.

Today I have received an email which is in the nature of circular/ email requesting “Dear Sir/Madam” to help the sender with a case as the sender has no resources left to pay fee. Now I would personally liked to help this person, but here are my constraints imposed upon me by law:

  1. I can not act on the basis of an anonymous circular/emails without clearly knowing who are the parties to the matter and to whom I am giving the opinion.
  2. I can not act on the basis of incomplete facts and it is me, who decides, what facts are relevant to the case.
  3. There is no such thing as opinion on law because law is always intermingled with facts.
  4. When any professional gives his/her opinion he/she has to be completely sure that there is no other possibility and to inform the client about other possibilities.

However in regard to this email, I would have liked to look into following aspect of law depending upon the facts of the case:

There is a change in definition of workman  long time back. The word ‘operational’ has been added and therefore any person engaged in any operation in the industry is a workman under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 even if that person is not discharging duties of clerical nature.

Unfortunately  I can not take any responsibility, in such dubious circumstances hence I am leaving this email in safe hands of trash without giving any advice.

Few facts about life:

  • Never act on the opinion of a lawyer because it comes cheap or free.
  • Never hesitate to pay a professional if we know that he/she can give the correct opinion.
  • If circumstances have compelled us to beg, why be shy. After all everyone is begging from votes to support to views/hits/likes or what not?

Please share your views.

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