Corridors of Power: Legal eagles

Some friendly advice: The next time you receive a notice from the municipality to pay a parking fine, make sure that it is not only your name but also your car.

Some people think that lawyers are people who spend four years of their life learning how to complicate simple things in order to earn a living. Once they master the system, their life becomes nice and easy - and much more expensive for those who request their services. Nevertheless, no self-respecting organization would dare to operate without an attorney, including those who will not necessarily do as they are told. The Jerusalem Municipality is no exception. In addition to its attorney, Yossi Havilio, it has a large number of other attorneys for various purposes, including a lawyer for each municipal committee, without whose agreement many decisions could not be signed and implemented. Thus the Jerusalem Planning and Construction Committee has an attorney - Dorit Yarhi. But for the past month, the committee, headed by Deputy Mayor Kobi Kahlon, has enjoyed the rare privilege of being advised by three attorneys. For a number of reasons - including a rumored disagreement with Havilio - Yarhi went on an extended unpaid leave of absence. The rule in such a case is to hire a substitute for the maximum period the employee is allowed to be on leave. There is also a rule stating that the substitute should be professionally suitable. But it seems that, at least in this particular case, someone at Kikar Safra didn't read the rule book to the end: otherwise, how else could we explain the fact that the substitute attorney hired for that important committee was found to be incapable of doing the job? The naïve among us would probably at that point propose getting rid of the unfit attorney and hiring a more appropriate one. Naïve, did we say? Kikar Safra had a better idea: They hired an additional attorney, from the private sector, whose task was to help the substitute do her job properly. In case some of the more naïve among us might imagine that the private attorney was donating his time, let's clarify immediately: He was paid. Well. Things could have continued in this manner, but Yarhi, the attorney on leave, decided to come back. One would assume that on her return, things would get back to normal. Alas, they did not. "Corridors" is convinced that there might be something in the claim that attorneys' main interest is to complicate things to make themselves indispensable. Fact: All three attorneys did not agree on even one issue during the time they shared the position. No wonder that at Kikar Safra, there is a strong sense of longing for former chairman Yehoshua Pollack. On another matter, here is some friendly advice (the kind for which no attorney is required): The next time you receive a notice from the municipality to pay a parking fine, make sure that it is not only your name but also your car. A resident who hurried to pay such a fine recently, discovered too late that it had been addressed to him by mistake. Nevertheless, the municipality ordered him to pay it, arguing that since he implicitly admitted his responsibility, it wasn't the administration's task to check the details. Our resident decided to appeal to the Local Affairs Court. The result? The court ordered the municipality to reimburse the resident - and to add a compensation of NIS 4,000 for the pain and suffering caused. Before closing, "Corridors" would like to to welcome an imminent new resident: Russian mogul Roman Abramovitch is apparently purchasing the most expensive apartment in the city: $19 million in the prestigious King David's Residence. If he does acquire the luxurious penthouse (lobby, 24-hour guard, wine cellar, spa, synagogue), at least Jerusalem will not be short an oligarch after the departure of Arkadi Gaydamak.