A cancer patient lawyer denounces that he requested the suspension of a trial for feeling very ill due to chemotherapy and the LAJ denied it

A Barcelona lawyer, M. R. A., 60 years old, lived last Monday, November 21, a terrible situation. He is sick with cancer. The last chemotherapy session, which he had the previous Friday, affected him “very much”, leaving him “crushed”, bedridden all last weekend, “as if he had a very bad flu.”

On Tuesday, at 10:30 in the morning, he had a civil trial, an ordinary procedure. Therefore, on Monday morning, given the persistence of great discomfort, which he had never suffered in this way until then, he contacted the court requesting the suspension of the hearing due to the impossibility of being able to get up. He had a sick leave.

He requested it verbally, but the lawyer from the Administration of Justice (LAJ, formerly known as judicial secretaries) denied it. Then he requested it in writing, presenting “documents about his condition, explaining that his illness had significantly worsened”, that he was on sick leave, that he could not hold the trial, and that he had not had time to look for another partner either, because it had happened to him. during the weekend. And it was a complex case, she reports.

However, the LAJ denied it again.

This has happened in a Court of First Instance in Barcelona.

That day he suffered despair and impotence in the face of this situation, but luckily, the problem was solved thanks to the humanity of several people and the Barcelona College of Lawyers (ICAB), from whom he had never asked for help in 35 years of collegiate. And he gave him his protection immediately.

This is how the lawyer explained it to Confilegal, who prefers to remain publicly anonymous due to his illness, since it is part of his privacy, although this newspaper knows about it.

This lawyer wants to denounce his case to warn of situations of “abuse” that are taking place towards the legal profession, so that they do not happen again, because “nobody deserves this.”

“We lawyers are in a situation of helplessness,” denounces this lawyer, and stresses that “the judicial world not only includes the established legal world of the court.”

«The lawyers are part of all this, because we exercise a right of defense, which is recognized in the Constitution. And you cannot allow lawyers to be mistreated », he sentenced.

In addition, he points out that this is not an isolated case, but that others of the same or similar nature are becoming known, and he also criticizes the treatment that they sometimes receive from other legal operators.

And he appeals against this “mistreatment of the lawyer”, stressing that the legal profession is “a fundamental piece”.

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He denounces that “respect for the figure of the lawyer is being lost lately” and calls on his colleagues to publicly denounce these situations, “because that is the only way to put an end to them.”


This lawyer has an office in Barcelona along with three other colleagues, a general firm, and he also practiced for 25 years in the office shift.

«I am currently sick with cancer, I had a colon tumor in 2018, which was sudden, they operated on me and everything went very well. Since the cancer was stage three – there are stages 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4, which is the worst – you could fight it, I started a cycle protocol, which is 12, and I was cured. A renowned surgeon operated on me and it was a very clean operation, “he explains to this newspaper.

It was “relatively” cured. In 2019 he underwent several CT scans and one of them, at the end of that year, revealed that the cancer had metastasized to the lungs.

“I got some small nodules and I had the misfortune that the malignant cell escaped from one of the nodes, ran and reached the lung,” says the lawyer, noting that metastases generally develop in colon tumors in lungs, liver and brain.

Since then, he has spent his life with a “continuous treatment” of chemotherapy. He first did about 20 cycles and a second with the same amount, then he did another treatment and now he is in the second cycle of the same, which is the one that is really “harming him the most, because it has some very beastly side effects.”

“And that’s where the problem arose”, because until now “he had coped with it” and carried out his profession normally. He had only had to request the suspension of some hearing in a timely manner because it coincided with the intravenous session.

And until now he had not had “any mishap with a court” for these issues.

Last week I thought I could hold the trial, Friday was fine, that’s not why he didn’t say anything until Monday. If she had felt bad, she would have looked for a fellow litigator to assist his client, because his other colleagues in the office have other areas.

«On Saturday I had terrible pain in my stomach, effects produced by chemo, sometimes it is tingling in the fingers and you cannot touch anything. It was fatal and on Monday three quarters of the same. This had never happened to me before, it was because of the new treatment,” he says.

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So, on Monday he called the court, he had to do it because his attorney was in Court at a trial, and he requested the suspension because he was “sick and could not celebrate, despite his intention to do so”, and reported that he was on leave .

According to reports, the lawyer from the Administration of Justice told him that they were not going to suspend him, “just like that.” Next, the lawyer had to write a letter with the petition to present it in the Court, which was also resolved by the LAJ.

When the requests for the suspensions of the trials in writing are made the same day of the hearing, then they are resolved by the judge.

The response he received from the lawyer of the Administration of Justice, in the ordering procedure, which he was notified about five in the afternoon on Monday through the attorney, was, as he explained, “that There is no room for the suspension of the hearing because the lawyer has the power to find another lawyer to replace him.

“And the law does not say that,” says the lawyer.

MRA felt “horrible anguish” at that situation.

He insisted that he was in bed, that he was feeling unwell and that he could not refer the case to another lawyer, not only because he had no one to pass it on to, but also because it was “a complex hearing, with interrogation of parties, six witnesses, two experts…”.


What did he do then? He went to the ICAB deputy on duty, who treated him “very well”. He was Ramon Casanova Bourgeoiswho “threw his hands to his head at what was happening”, and immediately brought the case to the attention of the Governing Board of the College “because this mistreatment cannot be”, according to what he told him.

So it was around six in the evening. The lawyer had written his letter to the Court late because he was “in the last stages.”

«I spent a horrible day and having to solve all this because my body did not respond, with calls, doing the writing in my own bed with the laptop and calling the College. I had to do something to stop it, I was very distressed », he recounts.

So, he went to the other party’s lawyer. «I thought: the only one who can really help me in this case is my partner, no one else, and that’s how it was. And this because in civil proceedings the dispositive principle of the parties governs », she explains.

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«After speaking with the ICAB deputy I contacted her. She told me that she had been notified of the same thing as me, that she had seen what was happening and that she wanted to support me, so she was going to communicate it to her clients. And in the end they said ‘yes’, “she recounts.

It was already around seven in the evening. They made a joint writing indicating that they entered into negotiations and that they suspended the procedure, as allowed by article 19.4 of the Civil Procedure Law, which they presented digitally, and signed by both and their attorneys.

And so the problem was solved. “Comradeship above all else”, highlights the proud, satisfied lawyer.

The trial has already been suspended, for a period of 60 days, although they don’t want it to take that long either. Tuesday was bad too, and yesterday was the first day she was able to get out of bed.

«The weight that this compañera took off me was so great that I am infinitely grateful to her. She is a beautiful person », highlights the lawyer.

«That afternoon he also called me Paz Vallesdeputy of the Governing Board of the ICAB and the president of the Lawyers’ Commission of the relations we have with the Administration of Justice and told me that these situations could not be, that recently, among other cases, she had also had a problem a colleague with a risk pregnancy who had been forced to go to trial, and who wanted to help me and take action,” says this lawyer, who is “very grateful for the work that the College is doing.”

Paz Vallès has also denounced this case publicly. “A lot of anger and sorrow to see this lack of humanity with the legal profession,” she said on Twitter.

This lawyer does not understand how in a situation like this, and showing the documentation, the answer “find another lawyer.”

«Article 188 of the Civil Procedure Law allows the lawyer who is unable at a certain time, to suspend the trial. The law allows it. Who are they to say that the case should be passed on to another colleague? », he manifested indignantly.

And he points out that the lawyers also find themselves with another series of situations, such as going to court and being informed that the hearing has been suspended or the delays in the trials.

This lawyer hopes that his case will serve “to help other colleagues who may be going through the same thing and put an end to these unfair situations.”

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