Our expert says:
Eeeeh, your employer sounds awfully like the sort of person most people think of, when they think of a lawyer !
It's a shame that the Law Societies seem to have no real interest in the curious business practices of so many lawyers, who have much of the work done by underpaid and over-worked secretaries, and yet charge to client for their own time, which wasn't spent on the matter at all. Surely that should be seen as highly unprofessional conduct.
I remember, for instance, that the SABC used to have ( I hope the problem is in the past tense ) a highly faulty system dealing with license payments, and for 10 years after my father died, kept sending him threatening letters, from the secretary of a lawyer, for not paying his license fee ( though they had been repeatedly informed that he was dead, and that recent research shows conclusively that the dead do not watch TV ). They were unconcerned, presumably collecting a standard fe from the SABS for every threatening letter they sent out, and reluctant to remove anyone from that mailing list. After mentioning it previously in this Forum, I heard from numerous other people with the same problem.
I'm not sure whether such a paralegal status is recognized in SA law. If your employer acted severely against you, it would be worth thinking of making a formal complaint to the Law Society about using someone without legal qualifications to do work supposedly restricted to qualified lawyers. In the mean time, I'm not sure what you could do, apart from looking for another job. What do other readers think ?
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