The rebuffs encountered by Mr. Rudolph Giuliani in his search to obtain a well-regarded legal advocate reveals much about values and standards in other places, much that is about self-respect of some and their insistence on charting a different course for themselves.
It speaks powerfully of the way things should be, and how some refuse to be swayed by whatever is dangled in front of them.
This is said because Mr. Giuliani is no ordinary citizen. As numerous Guyanese should know, he was a United States Associate Attorney General, a hard-charging US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, with many spectacular legal victories, the law and order Mayor of New York City, and currently in no less a capacity than counsel to the United States president.
He should be someone that, given his political pedigree and track record in criminal persecution, makes him an ideal client.
Yet Mr. Giuliani’s experience in his quest to obtain impressive legal counsel, met with one rejection after another. According to a New York Times story dated November 7 and titled, “Facing investigation, Giuliani needed a lawyer, but firms stayed away” four well-placed legal eagles in prestigious law firms turned him down.
The ostensible rationales for refusing to represent him in the Congressional investigation into the Ukrainian caper may have been over busy workload, or personal and political misgivings, or any other. But the bottom line remains incontestable: he was turned down by different advocates at different times, and made to go looking elsewhere, when his first choices turned him down.
Strong men, principled men, and wise men wanted no part of what is increasingly appearing to be a thoroughly messy affair and a more than scandalous one. Many legal practitioners would cut their eye-teeth to be part of such action, which is sure to bring unending media and public spotlight, a bevy of future clients and rich business pickings, and still more professional and personal accolades.
Yet men saw it fit to bow out, to take a pass, to leave the man and his troubles alone.
It could be that principled men, men of high reputable standing before the bar of peers, and the court of public opinion were uncomfortable with the implications of such representation. To turn down brethren from within the fold is never easy. To say no to any potential client is not contributory to building one’s professional portfolio still further.
But there are other things, other metrics that triumph over what may make lesser mortals drool and lead to personal handicaps, as they seek to defend the indefensible, through associating with the untouchable.
The values and virtues that prevail to pervasive extent within some men are about the dictates of conscience, which is the only constitution that matters when the day is over, and when the record compiled is examined in the severest of scrutiny.
It would indeed be inspiring to behold Guyanese professional stalwarts challenging themselves to distance from the scums that clog the arteries of this land, and which are in perpetual search for authoritative legal and accounting camouflage, and the assorted deceptions that have found formidable home in this country.
The right to the best defence allowed constitutionally is recognised but, so, too is reserving the right to say not this one, not this person, and not for that kind of case. That is the supreme right that may make a little lighter in the pocketbook, but it is one which enables authentic standing for those things clamoured for, but so direly missing in this society.
The professionals being invited to examine self and public postures are not of the ambulance chasing variety, or of the drug following fraternity, compelled by circumstances to settle for any relationship that pays the bills and gives traction on the ladder of prosperity. Those challenged are the ones who say they are about what could be positive and progressive for the peoples of this society. They must deliver, and they only do so by separating from the practices that degrade both them and the rest of us.
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