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New Lawyer Delaying Celebration To Bury Cousins In Crash

New Lawyer Delaying Celebration To Bury Cousins In Crash
Joeli Nasa with his parents at the Grand Pacific Hotel after he was admitted to the bar at the on August 9, 2018. Photo: Isireli Nuku
August 10
11:00 2018

While his fellow lawyers cel­ebrated being admitted to the Bar yesterday, 23-year-old Jo­eli Nasa was in mourning.

Mr Nasa, of Yavusania Village, Nadi, lost two cousins in the horrific car crash at Nabou last Saturday.

He was among 38 new lawyers from the University of the South Pacific who were admitted to the Bar yesterday.

He lost his paternal cousins, Sanaila Ruitoka and Atilai Ruitoka in the acci­dent last Saturday morning.

The two were on their way to Suva to watch Ratu Navula College play in the Powerade Super Deans semifinals.

Mr Nasa’s parents decided to hold back celebrations for his admission this weekend until funeral rites for his cousins have concluded.

Growing up in the village, Mr Nasa said he was close to his Ruitoka cous­ins because they were all from the same household.

He said the major motivation for him to join law was the unexpected turn that happened within the family when he was in Year 11.

“Growing up I never thought I would pursue law because I always wanted to do something different in the field of science,” he said.

However, when his brother was in­volved in legal proceedings in 2011, Mr Nasa’s father asked him to reconsider his career path and pursue legal stud­ies to assist the family.

“When you are caught in the wrong hands of the law, especially when the charges are very serious, you feel that everything is against you,” he said.

“I was affected psychologically. At first I did not want to study law, but when I thought about the benefits it would have on my family in future I decided to pursue it to save legal costs.

Mr Nasa acknowledged USP for the invaluable teachings imparted to him during his five years of study and his family and friends Jovilisi Liganivai and Frances Disiga for their endless support and encouragement.

“I never regretted changing my mind to do law and it is worth the journey,” he said.

Chief Justice Anthony Gates said: “Coming to court late, improperly dressed, or having left the brief in the office, being intoxicated or obviously under the influence of yaqona, wearing your wig on a slant like a paratrooper’s beret, or with smudged lipstick – these are not the signs of professionalism, nor do they tell the client that you are fully in command of his or her case,” Justice Gates said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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