Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love and Litigation

I'm in the process of a property dispute in which the seller is threatening litigation. I've read the prescription for settling disputes written in Matthew 18:15-17 "If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." This passage begs the questions of who are our brothers and who are our church?

Lawyers were involved from the beginning of the relationship, as no contract on property can be written or enforced without them. I don't know anything about the lawyers involved with the writing of the original contract; neither do I have knowledge of the values of the closing attorney. I certainly have no idea as to whether the litigator has any sense of justice.

As soon as the subject of litigation came up, I consulted a lawyer to explain to me what the original legal documents meant. I was very careful in my choice of legal counsel to hire someone who is known to me to be a Jewish woman who embraces justice and peace.

Until proven otherwise, I choose to believe that the seller is a just person who has hired an equally moral attorney. I hope this is the case because my attorney doesn't do litigation. If this goes to court, who will be "the church"? Does it mean anything to swear on a Bible when you have no knowledge or belief in what the Bible says?

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