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kotmj

The suiting thread

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On 1/31/2020 at 12:28 AM, kotmj said:

rBVaSVpQMEGAZ1ZdAAF6I8VwdAs556.jpg

So cool

It's a fresh breath of air (and elegance) when we're so used to seeing the regular shorter jacket variants

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The past few weeks, I've been busy with lawyers. Some of you may be reminded of Syed Sadid. I'm in the process of suing him for defamation.

A letter of demand has been sent; a reminder letter too, with a dateline. The standard letter of demand in such cases will ask him to take down his statements, apologise publicly, write me what is known an an undertaking letter declaring he will cease and desist, and offer me cash compensation. I told my lawyer it is impractical to apologise publicly, so he should do it in the undertaking letter. Also, I told my lawyer I do not need any financial compensation from him.

Unbelievably, he and his mother ignored the letter. The reminder letter set a dateline---which has passed.

I then scouted around for a lawyer who has done a lot of defamation work. I settled on a guy literally aross the road (Neo Damansara) who has been practising for 20 years in commercial litigation, with stations at Skrine and Soo Thien Ming, which Gopal Sri Ram worked at before setting up on his own.

He tells me I have a "cause for action"---which means he thinks I have the makings of a court case.

Monday, I sign the papers to "retain" him to act on my behalf. I've come to realise you should never ask a lawyer if you should litigate. It's like asking a car salesman if you need a new car.

All this is very interesting because it is the first time I have needed legal representation. It is also the first time I have read court cases in any detail. I have read quite a number now, all relating to defamation. My case is quite similar to Synergistic Duo vs Lai Mei Juan, where the judicial commissioner opined that, prima facie, the defendent is unlikely to win. She ordered an injunction. My lawyer represented Synergistic Duo.

But, I can also see weaknesses in my case. I can see a judge opining that the statements are closer to fair comments than malicious ones. Suing somebody is dangerous. In the event you lose, you end up losing a lot of money, mostly to the lawyers.

But I think I have better chances of winning than not. If Syed Sadid decides to settle after notice has been served on him (i.e. the next step), he would have to pay my legal fees of about rm8k, pay his own lawyer, and pay me damages.

The sums involved escalate sharply once it goes to trial. Then the loser would owe something like rm100k. 

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I hope this lunacy will stop once his father finds out about it. I think he has not been told. This entire thing is his and his mother's doing. His father works in the UAE. 

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A 23-year old guy comes in with mother and sister wanting a suit for his convocation. Mother picks the cloth. 

First muslin fitting: Suit is too tight. Sister takes pictures for mother. 

Second muslin fitting: Suit is no longer too tight, but he claims it is tight. Takes pictures for mother. 

Third baste fitting: Customer seems quite pleased. Kept nodding his head in approval. Asked me to take pics for his mother. 

A day later, tells me his mother doesn't like the suit and he wants a refund. Deposits are not refundable (otherwise there is no point to it) but I said, OK, but only possible if the mother comes collect the cash herself. 

Mother refuses to come. Insists deposit be given to son. Son kept calling me, trying every which way to get the money. 

(Note that there was no completed suit. He wanted a refund at the fitting stage---based on his mother's opinion of pictures of a baste suit WhatsApped to her.) 

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BTW, now that I have read the judgements of so many court cases, I have come to realise one thing. It is this: You do not want to run a JMB, the sort that manages a condo. You have no idea how much conflict there is in joint management bodies. So many court cases revolve around JMBs. 

Also, now that I've clearer insights into the psyche of a customer, I realise that there is such a thing as a nightmare job. A job so bad, no matter how much thought and energy you put into it, you cannot win. You know what that job is? 

The headmaster of an international school in Malaysia. That's a nightmare job. Not dealing with the kids, no! That's the easy part. It's dealing with the parents that's the nightmare, specifically with the mothers.

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23 hours ago, kotmj said:

A 23-year old guy comes in with mother and sister wanting a suit for his convocation. Mother picks the cloth. 

First muslin fitting: Suit is too tight. Sister takes pictures for mother. 

Second muslin fitting: Suit is no longer too tight, but he claims it is tight. Takes pictures for mother. 

Third baste fitting: Customer seems quite pleased. Kept nodding his head in approval. Asked me to take pics for his mother. 

A day later, tells me his mother doesn't like the suit and he wants a refund. Deposits are not refundable (otherwise there is no point to it) but I said, OK, but only possible if the mother comes collect the cash herself. 

Mother refuses to come. Insists deposit be given to son. Son kept calling me, trying every which way to get the money. 

(Note that there was no completed suit. He wanted a refund at the fitting stage---based on his mother's opinion of pictures of a baste suit WhatsApped to her.) 

And why would you wanna sue them?

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Because Syed left a highly defamatory review on my Google page depicting JT as a sham. 

It will cost him a great deal of money in damages. 

Both JT and a pretty smart lawyer are working very intensely to nail him. 

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By and large, the party who sues in a defamation case has a higher chance of winning than the defendent. Actually, much higher.

This is because it is the defendent who has to prove the veracity of his statements. If he says the plaintiff cheats customers' money, then he has to produce evidence for it. He might say the plaintiff curses and disrespects customers over the phone. He now has to produce evidence for it. The burden of proof is on the defendent.

The plaintiff (the party who is suing) only has to show that the statements are defamatory, and if possible show that malice was involved. After he has done that, the defendent now has to prove his statements are either true, or they were honestly held opinions based on the facts available to him and were expressed without malice. He then has to show that he had gone to some trouble to verify the facts are true before making the statements.

The plaintiff can counter his defence of fair comment/honest opinion by showing that the defendent never actually believed what he said was true. This is called malice.

So you see, a defendent has to do a lot of convincing and his chances are not good. His chances are close to nil if he makes various statements attacking multiple aspects of a plaintiff's character. Because now, he has to bring evidence for them all.

I wonder what I shall do with the settlement/damages. Should be at least rm50k.

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So I met with my lawyer today. He started by attacking my position. There are definitely weaknesses in my case, and he kept prodding the weak spots. He did not sound like the guy I'm paying thousands of ringgit to. He questioned me like Syed's lawyer (when he eventually gets one) would. 

After a long discussion, he tried to map out a narrative that would give us the best advantage. He tells me nobody tells the truth in court. You tell the version of the truth that is most advantageous. 

He tried to anticipate the narrative Syed will bring to court. What is the most damaging story he can bring and back up with evidence?

I began to realise this is war. 

He then wondered whether to file this at the Sessions Court or High Court. The judges at the High Court are more predictable because they've worked as judges 20 years or more.

The whole time, my lawyer behaved as though we are about to lose this case. We need a stronger case! We need more evidence! I guess he thinks that if you are paranoid about not losing, then you will win. 

He assigned my case to a young, fair and cute little early-twenties lawyer. 

 

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The cute lawyer with flawless baby skin is there just for the paperwork. The uncle with 20 years experience still leads the charge. 

Reflecting on my conversation with him today, I've come to realise the perspective /mindset I should bring to the case. You simply assume the defendent has a compelling narrative that would cause a judge to completely side with him and who moreover has evidence to back his every defence. And worse, he is represented by Gopal Sri Ram. 

Assuming all those, what can we do on our side to nonetheless win? 

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Dont worry. Gopal Sri Ram will ask his legal assistant to do the paperwork too. Even better  the legal assistant will lead the charge. He is occupied with 1mdb cases. That is his priority for now. 

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I wonder how much gopal charges per hour. If someone had told me how much lawyers make per hour when I was 17, I'd have studied law instead of engineering. 

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IMG_20200212_180639.jpg?raw=1

Every year, there is a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week KL. Employee #2 was invited to compete. He is currently making the clothes he sketched above, working on them after working hours and on his off days. 

IMG_20200212_181429.jpg?raw=1

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A guy came in with his fiancé for a wedding suit. I can tell the fiancé is already preparing the ground for an antagonistic relationship with me, the tailor. She was unimpressed with pretty much anything. She wasn't warm in dealing with me. She was trying to be subtly disagreeable. The guy has heard about me since donkey number of years ago and reads this forum and is eager to go ahead with the suit, and so is she, but she will make life difficult for me. He doesn't perceive this. I perceive this because I've been doing this 8 years. 

How do I recuse myself from making him his suit? I don't want his business. I feel privileged to have met him, but I don't like to deal with such a fiancé. 

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