My Thoughts on Hiring Lawyers to Defend Practitioners
(Minghui.org) A practitioner hired a lawyer to appeal for another practitioner who was illegally sentenced. The lawyer, however, didn't complete the required forms on time, and the original sentence was upheld.
The hiring practitioner wanted to find out why the lawyer – who had represented many Falun Gong practitioners and was said to be trustworthy – didn't follow through, so he visited the lawyer's office and talked to people who had worked with the lawyer before.
It turned out that the lawyer was very supportive of Falun Gong, but he was overloaded with Falun Gong cases. He was so busy that it was necessary to keep pushing him in order to get anything done.
The hiring practitioner also found out that there was another lawyer who significantly increased his fees after many practitioners went to him. Although this lawyer's defense was very well written and he was well known among practitioners, he once expressed to the court staff the idea that he didn't expect his defense would make any difference to the outcome.
This wasn't an isolated example. Many human rights lawyers are overwhelmed with our cases. After a practitioner is arrested, those who are trying rescue him tend to get recommendations of lawyers who have represented and defended Falun Gong practitioners before. As a result, many practitioners hire the same lawyer, who then has to travel from city to city. As a result, they are unable to spend much time on any single case or do things thoroughly.
For example, a lawyer scheduled several meetings with different practitioners in one morning. Although the practitioners were in the same city, they were detained at different places. Even after running around the city the entire morning, the lawyer still wasn't able to make all of the meetings.
When some lawyers submitted legal documents to the court, they just modified the name from the case documents they had prepared for other practitioners, which was often a mixture of facts from different cases.
Looking at the Issue from the Fa's Perspective
Master talked about the principle of “the appearance stems from the mind,”
“If you can have sufficient righteous thoughts, you can then be towering and massive within your expanse and suppress any bad things that might exist there.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
Some practitioners mistakenly thought that they would win the case and the arrested practitioners would be rescued as long as they hired a lawyer. They depended on the lawyers heavily. As it turned out, things usually didn’t turn out as they expected, even though the lawyer worked hard on it. Sometimes the lawyer’s own attachments to fame and personal gain interfered.
When we become too attached to something, that thing often goes wrong. For example, after the April 25 demonstration in 1999, many practitioners placed high hopes on the then prime minister and thought that he would keep Falun Gong from being persecuted. But in the end he didn’t have the ability to stop the persecution. We are seeing the same thing happening with defense lawyers.
Looking at the issue from the Fa's perspective, the process of rescuing fellow practitioners is one for us to improve in cultivation and counter the persecution. It’s an opportunity for us to clarify the facts to government officials and other people involved.
In fact, many things can be done to rescue a practitioner, and hiring a lawyer is only one of them. It is a way for us to conform to ordinary society to counteract the persecution. But if we become attached to the lawyers, the loophole will be taken advantage of and the result might just be opposite.
I hope that practitioners who are working on rescue efforts will be vigilant on this issue and avoid any unnecessary damage because of their attachments.
If certain lawyers demand high fees, are they are in it to serve justice or are they just after the money? Will their defense help us save more people? If the practitioners weren’t rescued after spending so much money, isn’t that wasting Dafa resources and just another form of financial persecution? Should we accept that?
The process of finding a lawyer is also an opportunity to clarify the facts to them. We have to really clarify the truth well and thoroughly for a lawyer to become supportive and be willing to defend us in court.
The lawyers we are working with right now are sympathetic as a result of other practitioners’ truth-clarification efforts. We all need to blaze our own paths and find righteous lawyers ourselves. If more lawyers can understand the facts and step up to represent a Falun Gong practitioner, that would be really helpful.
Don’t overuse the lawyers who are supportive, let our own attachments drive them into pursuing fame and profit, or push them to the opposite side.
Practicing law is a special profession at this critical period of time. While clarifying the facts to them and working with them, we are saving them and also helping them to fulfill their own historic missions.