…And the truth shall set you free.

Looking back to the years that passed, what I can see clearly now is that it was utterly beyond the slightest of my expectations, much less the subject of the totality of my intents, that this oft spoken biblical passage could become the cornerstone in the manner by which I practice my profession.  After all, back in law school, the fundamental teaching revolved around the practice of “Law with a conscience”.  After graduation and the bar exams, at the law firm where I had my “baptism” and the valuable subsequent training in the legal profession, every partner and associate was expected to deliver “excellence in service” at the very least. 

Thus, as one might expect, in my formative years in the practice I was guided, or perhaps simply influenced, by the values of practicing my profession with conscience, and doing it in as close a manner to excellence as humanly possible.  To my mentor, I am always and forever grateful for what I consider as a debt that I cannot repay.  For with all those years of training and instructions, I was able to define my own path through life in general, and through the legal profession in particular, in a way that is formed out of the peculiarities of my own experiences, beliefs, and values.  And so, gradually and through time, I was able to appreciate, and see, and grasp, the reality that in each case or litigation where I am called to serve is the challenge and opportunity experience the true liberating consequence of standing for the truth.

A lawyer is a liar, some say. Others also say that a good lawyer is one who can make a lie so easy to believe that even the judge can take it as the truth.  However, a lie, no matter how popular, will always remain a lie.  On the other hand, the truth, no matter how obscure, and no matter how deeply hidden, will eventually come to light.. to put everything and everyone in their proper places. The truth liberates no matter which side you’re on.

Making up a lie is easy, and it’s even easier for some to believe it; whereas, ferreting the truth out from the heap of perjuries is not a task for the weak and faint-hearted. The search for truth, while not necessarily the most profitable course, is always the most challenging, and spiritually rewarding undertaking.  At least, that’s how experience had shown it to me, and provided me with the answer for those who question the manner in which I practice my profession.

Such questions, of course, are to be expected, and I don’t take it as an offense or as an insult to hear of it every now and then from anyone who’s willing to take a swing. The thing is, those very questions can come from my own self at times:  Why am I doing this? What am I doing this for? Does this serve any greater purpose? Am I still on the right track? And sometimes the answers I get are not quite to my liking, to say the least.

Partly by choice, and partly by the circumstances, my practice had morphed into one of criminal defense, which accounts for the 95% of my case load being criminal defense cases, or where I handle the defense of a person accused of committing a crime; and about 95% of which involve illegal drugs.  Given the menace that the problem on illegal drugs has dealt the country with, and how it destroyed countless of lives, the figures above can easily raise questions, doubts, and suspicions in the minds of any ordinary observer, and as I earlier said, even in my own mind. But it gets even more perturbing than that. How I managed to go on with it with such passion and dedication, and keep a clear conscience along the way, is the source of my own bewilderment, in at least a couple of instances. And to my own questions, I needed to find the answers = answers, which, after a fashion [one might say, reflection, meditation, introspection, or prayer], I was lucky [or blessed] enough to see.  An understanding, an appreciation, a realization.  That is, in the manner that I treated or am treating all those cases = that every single one of them shall be won [or had been won] or shall be lost [or had been lost] with truth as the barometer; that a man accused of the most serious offense can get out of prison, not because I cheated, or lied, or employed a trick, but because I succeeded in bringing the truth into the open. There, I see my reason for being.

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