Law Book Review: Land Laws Under Single Shadow

Book’s Title: Lectures on Land Law
Author: Dr. Mohammad Towhidul Islam
Publisher: Northern University Bangladesh (NUB)
First Published: June 2013
Price shown: 500 Taka
Pages: 546

There exists a common perception in our country that laws relating to land are complex and it is expert job to understand and apply the law. Indeed, it is true that the method of land measurement system requires expert knowledge. Moreover, units to measure land are quite peculiar and not universal across the country. On the contrary, because of high growth of population and scarcity of land, land related disputes are increased day by day, which possessed about 80% of our total civil litigation.

However, apart from these scenarios, there is also real scarcity of a single academic book, which contains all aspects of current land laws. Because the area of our land law is gigantic and these subject matters are discuss individually in numerous books. When I started my carrier at an university, I was assigned to conduct classes on land laws. I can remember those days when I felt unaided because of my failure to discover an useful sole book on land laws. Consequently, I suggested a lot of books to my students, which ultimately fall them in a worthless deep ocean, where they just found mostly repealed, scattered, intricate and to some extent valueless laws. I want to give thanks to Dr. M Towhidul Islam, who takes initiative to rescue the students from that bottomless marine by his new book titled “Lectures on Land Law”.

Our customary scholastic land law books typically contain history; the State Acquisition & Tenancy Act, 1950; the Non-Agricultural & Tenancy Act, 1949; provisions of pre-emption; alluvion-diluvion, acquisition-requisition and some other portion of land law individually while this book covers creation, transfer and extermination of land rights in single cover. This discussed book introduces immutable facets of land law under a single shadow, which includes provisions relating to registration, easement, public demand recovery, trust, lease, mortgage, transfer of immoveable property and other inalienable materials concerning real property; though precisely. Normally we studied these topics separately whereas global students follow this pattern to study real estate law all over the earth.

This distinct book also discusses on almost all indissoluble parts of land law i.e. land administration, settlement of Khas land, Khatiyan, mutation, land taxes etc. Author mainly formulates this book by his class lectures, which also reflects in the name of his book. Consequently, the book will be more accessible for the teachers and students to realize multifaceted issues of land law in easy and class friendly way. More importantly, Dr. Islam release them form buying topic wise books. Another reason behind intricacy of land law is use of obscure words and foggy languages even in Bangla books whereas Towhidul Islam constructs every sentence intelligibly. Now students will obtain dual benefit from this single book; one is purely academic knowledge and rest on is practical aspects like dispute, which is more important for a to-be lawyer.

Lectures on Land Law is inimitable because it creates scopes for further discussion and I believe that the author will be able to arise question in readers’ mind and it will help them to increase their curiosity to unveil the untouched corner of land management instead of reluctance and complexity to land matters. In addition, this Asso. Prof. of law also writes his book in such a lucid manner where his prospective readers can find a scope to think from practitioners’ perspective.

First chapter of the mentioned book deals with importance of studying land laws and introductory issues. In next chapters (2-4) the writer enumerates historical development, ownership and land administration in Bangladesh. Chapter five of this book handles with acquisition of Zamindary system and its impact. The next following chapters (6-9) elucidate tenancy rights, record of rights, transfer, consolidation, amalgamation & sub-division of land. Then in chapter ten & eleven, Dr. Islam narrates about registration and procedure of mutation. Subsequently, he inscribes about pre-emption, sub-letting, alluvion-diluvion, easement and prescription in chapter 12-15 respectively. After that, in chapter 16-18 the book illustrates provisions regarding acquisition & requisition of land, abandoned and vested properties. Later, Towhidul explains land taxes, certificate cases and management & settlement of Khas lands in chapter 19-21. At last, in chapter 22 this faculty member of DU articulates process of land reforms that can aid the community to ensure economic and social justice by providing painless and equal access to land and land administration in Bangladesh.

The book is not comprehensive one rather a beginning for further thinking. However, the piece could be a good instrument for the students to cope with current land laws. I trust, it will also be able enough to inspire them to explore untouched corners of land matters and land related injustice of the country. I hope author will insert more illustrations, maps, images, charts, forms & case laws in its upcoming version to make the book more easy for the lay man also. The book is mainly aimed for law students; nevertheless, I expect it will also be a supportive material for academicians, lawyers, judges, researchers, NOGs and interested readers to diminish their inquisitiveness.

Legal Assistant’s Corner: Please Respect Our Time

The average legal assistant works for two or three attorneys. Among other things, our job description includes drafting/editing/formatting/reviewing documents, obtaining records from various sources, disseminating documentation to all required parties, electronically filing documents with the court, knowing local/state/federal court rules, maintaining/organizing client files, scheduling appointments/hearings/depositions and interfacing with clients. In smaller firms, it’s common that legal assistants wear additional hats such as receptionist, bookkeeper, office manager, marketing manager and countless more. Our days are spent constantly evaluating where in our priority list each new task ought to fall and accomplishing those tasks accordingly. To say we are crazy busy is a huge understatement.

Despite all of our duties, clients tend to take our time for granted in a variety of ways without realizing how disrespectful such an attitude can be. Following are my personal top five (in no particular order):

  1. Unnecessary Chatting

Clients enjoy chatting about matters unrelated to their case via email, on the phone and in person; however, we are not your friend or counselor. While some level of chatting is acceptable, even necessary, to maintain a friendly working relationship, there are many circumstances where it interferes with our job performance. Idle chatter lasting longer than a couple of minutes is a waste of our time, which we never have enough of. Asking for our advice/opinions on your personal issues and/or utilizing us as your sounding board is inappropriate. Save all that for your BFF or therapist.

  1. Being Unresponsive

When we ask you for additional information or documentation, it’s because we need it to move your case forward. Forcing us to repeatedly chase you down to obtain information or documentation is frustrating and a waste of our time. The sooner you get us what we need, the sooner we can get your matter resolved.

  1. Being Unprepared and/or Disorganized

Complete any necessary forms before arriving at your appointment with us. Don’t bring us boxes of paperwork that is coffee stained and disorganized. Review any documents you’re coming in to sign before you arrive so you can get any revisions made or questions answered ahead of time. If a notary is needed, they will need your identification – make sure to bring it with you. Help us be more efficient – your wallet will thank you.

  1. Complaining and/or Being Rude

Don’t gripe at us about your attorney, case or hearing disposition. Watch your language and tone. Don’t call us and/or your attorney names. DO NOT YELL. Need I say more?

  1. Unreasonable Expectations

Yours is not the only case we are working on. We do take lunch. Calling us multiple times per day for the same reason will only infuriate us. We will call/email you back as soon as we are able to. Don’t call us just before our office closes and expect us to drop everything to handle something for you – particularly if it means we will have to forego our personal plans and stay late to accomplish it.

Keep in mind that we don’t like losing either – we will do our best for you. You have placed your trust in our law firm for a reason. Let us, and help us, do our job. Respect is a two-way street and a little common courtesy goes a long way. Some gratitude wouldn’t hurt either.

© 3/6/2018 Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.

Motorcycle Safety While Maneuvering Corners

One of the most dangerous maneuvers while riding a motorcycle is negotiating the curves, but it can be one of the most exciting and gratifying acts on a bike, if done properly! What is the correct method to negotiate a curve when you are on two wheels? It would seem that the answer might make matters worse the first time you hear it; although nothing could be further from the truth. It can mean the difference between life and death so practice motorcycle safety while maneuvering corners.

Most experienced riders already know the answer that they learned from a motorcycle safety course, or possibly from one of their biker buddies. For the beginning biker or motorcyclist that hasn’t learned the correct maneuver it can be a life changing moment. If you put many miles on a motorcycle you will encounter that life ending, white knuckle, terror as you are getting ready to fly straight off the corner. Then you will be glad you took the time to read this article and you can put its message to the test, but hopefully this won’t be the first time you have executed this strategy.

This is the action that can save your life, when navigating a left hand corner apply forward pressure to the left handlebar grip and you will ride through the corner like you’re in a groove. When you are maneuvering corners experiment with how much pressure you need to hold your line around the curve. It’s a gentle pressure, with too little you can add more, with too much you can lay it down. It will become second nature to you when you need it in a panic situation if you have done your due diligence. Experience comes with practice and every time you throw a leg over your seat and head out on the highway use this information as many times as possible.

Pushing the proper handlebar grip forward can be a life saver when a vehicle pulls out in front of you while you are riding your bike, and this does happen fairly frequently. That is provided you have a clear opening to your immediate left or right, and hopefully the vehicle stays in the lane they stole from you. Motorcycles are hard to see and sometimes vehicle drivers don’t look too hard for them; subconsciously or unconsciously, they know that they probably won’t be injured if they’re in a collision with a motorcycle.

Basically it comes down to this; if you want to go left or right then you must apply forward pressure to that handlebar grip in which you want your motorcycle to go. Too much pressure will lay you and your bike down, and you will know when it’s too much by practice, practice and more practice. Get comfortable using this tactic and file it in your memory bank as another survival tool for the motorcyclist.

Just remember right curve – right grip and a gentle push forward, and vice versa. You can practice dodging pot holes or any item on the highway, but if you are practicing with imaginary objects or zigzagging in-between the white lines, you will need the gift of gab if you are pulled over by the law. Now you have yet another reason to ride, and you can tell your significant other that you need to go practice motorcycle safety while maneuvering corners.

Legal Assistant’s Corner: We Don’t Know It All

I work in a small general practice law firm. Despite that description, I am not familiar with every area of law. There are dozens of areas of law, some broad in scope and others very specific. Some law firms opt to practice in limited areas of law while others, like the one I work in, practice in several areas of law. There are benefits and drawbacks to each law firm model; however, I prefer working in general practice firms because they provide diversity each day. Forrest Gump famously said, “… life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The same is true with general practice law firms.

Unfortunately, “general practice” commonly confuses, well, just about everyone. Friends and family members ask me questions concerning all kinds of law which is all well, fine and good except when I tell them I don’t have the faintest idea because I’ve never worked in that area of law before. They are almost always dumbfounded when I don’t know anything of substance about copyrights, patents, bankruptcy or the dozens of other legal areas I’ve failed to work in (yet). Folks apparently assume and/or believe that once someone starts working in the legal field, they are automatically bestowed with knowledge of all things legal, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

In addition to failing to know everything about law, I also don’t know everything about the following legal things:

  1. All legal procedures;
  2. All Latin terms;
  3. All laws/statutes/rules/codes;
  4. All lawyers/judges;
  5. All current events concerning the legal arena; and,
  6. On and on, ad nauseam (<— see what I did there?).

While it pains me to admit it, I don’t actually know it all. Google is my bestie, yo!

© 4/24/2018 Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.