In Conversation with
Adv JAYANT BHATT
on "LIFE OF AN INDEPENDENT LITIGATOR"
About Adv Jayant Bhatt:
Mr. Jayant Bhatt is a first-generation independent litigator based in New Delhi. He has completed his masters in American and Asian Business and Trade Laws from New York University and is also an alumnus of the National University of Singapore. He has worked with Clyde & Co.’s Dubai office for more than 2 years before returning to India. Mr Bhatt besides being a practicing Advocate is also a prolific speaker at various platforms, his social media presence and guidance is something every law student will be glad to learn about and he is an individual with firm belief in greater societal good.
He has a keen interest in teaching and mentoring young minds and is an advisory board member to various organisations.
- Shourya Mehra & Sahana Arya
Question 1: The degree of LLM (master of laws) have been pursued by many students who want to utilize it in the teaching field, is that true?
Yes, that's true but teaching is a two-way process. In this, you can teach and learn also. When Advocate Jayant Bhatt came back to India and started his office then after few years, sir started taking interns and he got to know their problems that they were facing in their colleges with faculties, then in the last two to four years, he started mentoring students and conducted many virtual programs also used to interact with all his interns. He thinks you are comfortable in giving an answer or teaching someone only if you have researched well and have enough knowledge of that and the same thing happens when going in the courtroom also, before going we have to do the practice of it and he thinks the life journey has taught us many things and this is what we can share with anyone with confidence.
Question 2: What is the most interesting thing about your (Law) field?
The most interesting thing is interacting with the people daily, and getting some personal knowledge, reading and learning about developments in-laws, facing new challenges, and then finally finding the solutions and putting them in the benchmark. If you are considering a career in the legal field, whether as an attorney, intake specialist, or contract administrator then you should have a general idea of what it is like to work around attorneys. The practice of law is generally quite serious.
Question 3: Is proper Justice granted in all the cases (Majority) of the Indian Judiciary? How can Judiciary enhance the administration of justice?
The judicial branch is in charge of deciding the meaning of laws, how to apply them to real situations, and whether a law breaks the rules of the Constitution. The Constitution is the highest law of our Nation.
The Judiciary is a system of courts that interpret and apply the law. The role of the courts is to decide cases by determining the relevant facts and the relevant law and applying the relevant facts to the relevant law.
Laws should not be rigid or fixed. Instead, they should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances, times, and places." Laws are a system of rules that are formulated to bring order to society. For this purpose, while formulating laws the government must look into the needs of the society.
To enhance the administration of justice, judicial institutions need to apply innovative quality management principles, assess business processes and improve operations' efficiency, especially regarding the courts' case management system, data processing, budget formulation.
Question 4: Many people used to often say that instead of doing an internship, just sit in the courtroom and heard all the cases, and a lawyer will call you in their chamber and offer for an internship. Does it happen?
Yes, it happens, it's his personal experience! Sir also used to go to the courtroom and listen to all the cases daily and reach there on time. When you are in the courtroom, you are sitting at a height and the court is in the domain. And there he got his first internship, without any connection, it was just because he always used to go to the courtroom.
Question 5: How does a law student or any fresh law graduate student should choose the right mentor for them or is there a little bit of opportunity for them?
We can't decide about their career. As Fresher's, young students don't know what's the right path or what's the wrong path for them. There is a lack of facilities in many areas for students. When he felt how he could mentor students he thinks the best platform is online mode. Through this, we can deliver a lot of information to thousands of students. As he is on YouTube, he is on LinkedIn too. As in Corona time digitally he interacted with so many interns and also conducted many webinars which were fruitful for the law students. he gave many interviews in Corona time. You can find my videos on YouTube and also can find other lawyers' videos. Different people have different opinions regarding one rule so don't be confused. Sir believes that digitally, students can learn a lot of things. The journey of a student in a law school depends on how the student perceives and embraces it.
Question 6: Being in this profession for so many years, do you support the culture of moot courts in college?
Sir supports the culture of moot courts in college and he has 2 reasons firstly it is a learning experience for life and secondly, that moment when he heard about law school there were so many things he didn't know but after that he learned a lot of things like how to deliver arguments, build up relations and also he improved my researching skills. When he was in law school he participated in a moot court competition in Mohali and the law school was Army Institute of Law and it was a great experience because he won prizes of cash 10,000 and a trophy too. It was appreciated. In law school, he bunked many lectures! It was such a great time. Mooting helps in the overall development of an individual as a good and proficient lawyer and participating in moot court competition regularly makes a student familiar with the proceedings that take place in real courtrooms.
Question 7: How do you encapsulate your overall experience as a litigator?
Litigation experience is usually gained through work experience and education. Obtaining even an entry-level position in a litigation firm can help you get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience. Litigators represent a party in a dispute, working to achieve the best possible outcome for their client. Litigators fight for their clients, both in and out of the courtroom. Having litigation experience typically means that you have participated significantly in all or part of the court process. As court processes vary based on the type of litigation, so does the litigation experience gained from these different processes
Question 8: We all know that the Indian Judiciary is quite lenient when it comes to providing justice, therefore do you think we should adopt the three-strike law?
To redress the situation, we need to have a bottom-up approach. The principal problem is with the district courts where lakhs of litigants come into contact with the justice delivery system. Unless the problems of these courts are addressed, other temporary changes and ad hoc reforms at the Supreme Court and high courts will have no bearing on the system, and the average litigant will continue to suffer.
Second, identify the number of pending cases and the status of each case. My experience has been that judges know the number of pending cases, but not their status.
Thirdly, case and court management must be encouraged and embedded in the justice delivery system. It is time to stop discussing hackneyed issues such as filling up vacancies (how many judges do we need?), tackling the huge number of pending cases (how do you define pendency?), and establishing special courts or fast-track courts and get on with reforms.
First, improve the district courts. A high-level team must visit each district court to ascertain what is lacking in terms of infrastructure and facilities. The time has come,” the walrus said, “to talk of many things”. One of them is the necessity of reforms in India’s justice delivery system.
Sir believes that what we do today will define tomorrow. It would boost our economic growth and employment opportunities too.
Question 9: Do you feel that the COVID-19 pandemic has made law practitioners realize the need to shift towards digitalization?
There is a push for digitization and as lawyers, we must constantly evolve along with the technology of the day which makes our working lives easier and more efficient so that the process of thinking is not hampered by the worldly. In this regard, COVID-19 has been both a boon and a bane to the world.
A shift to virtual conferences, complete e-filing, and mobile phone applications which consolidate and apprise practitioners as to the routine legal work, which earlier was taxing upon lawyers, is a welcome step in the right direction. He looks forward to better innovations in the field.
At the end of the interview, the Interviewer played a game called "Agree or Disagree" with Adv. Jayant Bhatt (Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi)
In 2019, in an interview with Bar and Bench Adv. Fail Nariman Sir said if you don't address them as "Your Lordship". You will not be elevated; this sort of inflated ego exists. Is it true?
Sir said I don’t know there should be no comment at this point.
2. If a lawyer doesn't stand up for an unpopular cause, he isn't doing his job, this is what Adv. Sanjay Hegde said, Is it true?
Sir replied: In his interview, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde talks about the relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary, "unpopular" cases he has appeared in, and the art of advocacy.
Yes, every case is of utmost importance. Establish a Professional and Personal Network. It is important to cultivate relationships both professional and personal relationships. Create a diverse network of professional colleagues and mentors who can give you advice and guidance (and whom you can advise as well.
Develop Good Communication Skills. Lawyers need excellent verbal and written skills. You not only need to communicate concisely but to actively listen during conversations, and avoid multitasking.
Maintain Your Integrity at all times. Integrity is the foundation of your character.
Be Innovative. Put your ego aside and remain open to creative and reasonable solutions. The legal industry is changing; be willing to create and adopt effective and cost-efficient processes in servicing your clients.
Accept Failure. Accepting failure is a part of success. As Winston Churchill said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
This brings us to the end of the interview
We "Legality Viability" would like to thank Mr Jayant Bhatt who took out his valuable time. Thank you very much for joining us!
Summary By -
Kritika Jain & Sanaya Sonkar