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Never Ask In a Law Firm As An Associate

As I am now "showing" let me share some good or bad ways of asking or noting that a woman is pregnant.

1 - A colleague/friend (knowing I'm pregnant and teasing me) - "Whoa, are you pregnant or just fat?" I laughed. It was especially funny given the mortified expressions of the attorneys around us. N.B. most women won't like this question.

2 - "Whoa! Are you having twins?" Less funny, as it was stated in all seriousness by someone in church.

3 - "Are you having twins?" Uttered a few minutes after #2, by someone I know even less well, again in church.


China Attorney - Client Privilege Rules and Regulations

As an experienced China private lawyer, I constantly have to consider the attorney client privilege problem.

I have a situation where a client has asked for several patent-related legal opinions.  The client has hired an outside consultant to assist them in the matter related to the opinions.  It's not a direct relation, but there is a tie between the work the outside consultant is doing and my legal opinions.

My questions are, if he sees the opinions, would this communication be protected and, would him seeing the opinions be deemed as a waiver of the A-C privilege?  I am familiar with the "functional employee" rule, but don't know if, or how, it would be applied here.  (I am also familiar with the "translator" rule, but I don't think it would apply here.)  Jurisdiction is China.


Long Hours We Work As Litigation Lawyer in China

I have had trial last until midnight in three separate trials.  The court had a compressed schedule and the trial could not run into the next week.  As a litigation lawyer, I had to get the case to the judge by the time we left in both cases.  Closing arguments started the next morning at 9.  They were not all-nighters, but very little sleep.  It is amazing the adrenaline flowing during a full day trial.  You can survive without much sleep.

As a trial attorneys I just concluded their day at 10 p.m. tonight , having started at 8:30 a.m. this morning.  A 13 and a half hour day .  And they have to be in court tomorrow at 8 a.m. 

Just wondering if any of my colleagues in other Chinese cities put in long hours in the courtroom like they did , and whether those guys go without sleep in order to prepare for court the next day. As a trial attorney you have to choice -  litigate the case in court again and again.


The Time When I Am An Young Lawyer Doing An Interview

Now I am an experienced China lawyer practicing with confidence, but I still remember the days I was a young attorney.

At that time I met a young reporter at the newspaper here in Shenzhen. She was interested in doing a profile on me and my journey as a blind lawyer opening my own practice. I was a little hesitant at first, not wanting to become known as "that blind lawyer," but I eventually decided to do it, not feeling as though I could pass up on the free chance to promote my business.

Fast-forward to today. The article came out this morning and was pretty well done. So well that, much to my terror, I've now been invited to do a live radio interview later this afternoon. So now I'm sitting here, very nervously. There's a huge difference between talking to a print reporter for an hour and potentially doing 30 minutes of a live broadcast.

I don't really have any questions, I just felt the need to type something about it, I guess to help get out this nervous energy.

Life is so good to be a lawyer here in China.


China Legal Pratice and Pro Bono

I don't think that every type of matter a Chinese lawyer might take on would or should qualify as pro bono based solely on the fact that the client was poor.

Of course we don't even know what "poor" means in this context.

I see the point in so far as if a client was being evicted wrongly or wanted to adopt a child, e.g., and couldn't pay a legal fee because they were poor, then the lawyer who took on the case I think yes this is probably valid pro bono work, and yes I may have gone to far in my statement regarding that an "organization" needs to be involved.

On the other hand, suppose the "poor" client needed legal help with the merger of his corporation, and the lawyer performed that work at no cost. Is this pro bono? I don't think so. And I think there are a lot of examples of matters a lawyer might handle which obviously benefit only that particular client. I don't think that every single case should count as 'pro bono' based only on the criteria that the client could not pay. Maybe the phrase 'for the public good' has an ill defined definition, and I don't know who decides what's pro bono and what isn't. I'm okay with allowing the individual attorney to decide, as you've suggested, so long as there's some aspect of the matter which is in the public interest, as that phrase is defined by the China attorney.

What a pity! Very few China law firms are offering pro bono legal service to the public!

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I am a licensed China lawyer. Most clients are foreign nationals and companies. China Lawyer Blog have associates in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Hainan, Hefei, Wuhan, Xian, Changsha, Xiamen and Hangzhou. Learn More

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China Lawyer BLog AuthorPeter Zhu, an experienced China attorney licensed to practice law for more than ten years, the author of this China Lawyer blog, welcomes any enquiry or consultation related to Chinese law.