Per aspera ad astra. This Latin phrase expresses the commitment of our law firm. We do not follow unnecessarily rough and long paths to achieve our goals, but we do not give up when the path becomes rough and long. We pursue our goal despite all the adversities that we can find on our way. Out of the metaphor, there are two ways of dealing with legal matters. Interests and disputes can be defended and managed in a correctly formal way, or more deeply, looking beneath the forms and contents of the existing rules. Our goal is to focus on the grounds of the law and the applications thereof. We look at what actually happens, instead of discussing about what should happen. Taking into account the realm of facts in addition to the law, and considering effectiveness in addition to normative validity is an additional but necessary effort in the actual development of the legal profession. The old say, narra mihi factum, dabo tibi jus has become a maxim that summarizes both the legislative requirements and the social consequences thereof.
At the very beginning of our legal culture, the Roman law dispensed justice based on the possibility of seeking legal redress, instituting legal proceedings. In later times, especially in continental Europe, different types of laws prevailed over the Roman legal system. Laws were conceived as abstract legal concepts that are applied to individuals and situations through more or less rigid and typical categories of cases. Today, Western legal systems can be basically classified in two models: the Anglo-Saxon common law and the continental civil law. These two systems are now becoming similar. However, to understand the existing legal and sociological processes it is necessary to bring to light what lies beneath them.
Historical evolution, reflected by daily life and practices, characterizes the different legal systems and triggers similar needs. In the British and North-American culture, the area of sociology of law has been considered as crucially important for a long time, due to the legal systems of such countries. However, as a result of the current evolution of the European law, this discipline is acquiring growing importance also in continental Europe. New out-of-court scenarios and atypical contracts are being developed. Judges are becoming creative interpreters of the law, and not simple passive executers. The gap between valid law and effective law is widening.
In these times of change, sociology of law represents a basic theoretical and methodological instrument for analyzing legal facts, which becomes relevant not only for academic purposes, but also for forensic and professional goals.
Our law firm is addressing these evolving legal scenarios in strict collaboration with universities. On the one hand, the contributions from the field of sociology have led to improving constantly our legal and forensic work. On the other hand, our law firm has always tried to contribute – within the limits of a professional activity – to developing, analyzing, and controlling the sociological and legal changes, refusing to accept them passively. The law needs to adapt to the changes in social reality. Legal practitioners, and especially lawyers, need to face this challenge, if they want to meet adequately their clients’ needs and requests.
It is not easy to leave the rigid conventions that characterize the old and comfortable world of the formalistic law firms (Quod non est in actis non est in mundo). However, society is waiting for new professional skills and answers. Transformations and social dynamism are knocking on our doors and we cannot pretend not to hear, if we want to follow our Italian legal tradition and be considered as attentive and thorough professionals.
Our eyes need to look to the future using the wisdom and the experience of the past and the knowledge of the most advanced legal studies. The incredibly high number of achievements of our law firm clearly indicate that we are following the right path. However, we have not reached our goal, as every legal issue, opinion, or case is new and peculiar. Our experience can help us, but every time we have to defend the interests of our clients or solve some problem, we need to act with the same commitment as it were our first challenge. Attentive jurists and scrupulous lawyers have always tried to reach out-of-court settlements to avoid litigations. Individuals and companies pursue this strategy even more today than in the past, because legal proceedings are expensive, uncertain, and extremely long.
Thanks to its solid sociological and legal grounds, our law firm can propose new scenarios and procedures for protecting the rights and the interests of our clients. The scales of law and justice must promote the equality of all citizens. Unfortunately, the night often prevails over the daylight. In this case, the lawyer must act honestly and cleverly as a plumb line, supportively as a trowel, and fairly as a level.
Prof. Morris Ghezzi, Attorney-at-law († 2017)