Advocate Clement Lobo: Amazing journey from simple beginning to a successful legal profession


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By Dr Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Mumbai, 25 April 2012: Since my association with Bellevision few years back, it has been my endeavour to  find out those persons who have made a mark in their chosen career or profession in spite  of all odds and could be considered as role models for the young generation.  I was fortunate that I could interact and write profiles in Bellevision of a number of persons who have excelled in different  fields including education, religious vocations, business and entrepreneurship, legal profession and social service.

 

It was sometimes back that I wanted to write profile of a very successful  and upright advocate in Mumbai High Court, Clement Lobo from Kattingeri, Moodubelle who incidentally was my classmate while in Church Aided Higher Primary School.  However, I had no means of approaching him as I did not have contact with him. However, my task was made easier when I met Peter Paul Martis, a close friend of Clement Lobo  during one of his recent visits to Moodubelle. When I expressed my desire to meet Clement Lobo for an interview, Peter Paul  readily agreed to fix an appointment with Clement Lobo  and even came along with me when I next visited  Mumbai.

 


Clement Lobo

 

When I had gone to Mumbai  on  a short visit recently, I contacted Peter Paul who sought an appointment with Advocate Clement Lobo and both of us landed at his office near the Sacred Heart Church, Santacruz, Mumbai in the evening at about 4.30 pm. As we entered his office, I was stunned to see the heaps of legal books all around and high profile clients with files in their hands  patiently waiting to Clement  who was in his cabin. Rather than sending a word to him that we have arrived, we preferred to sit outside for sometime till he could deal with his clients.

 

Clement, who had come out of his cabin happened to see Peter Paul and myself seated and called us inside his cabin. After exchanging few pleasantries, Clement  called his clients singularly as well as in groups. Though it was not new for Peter Paul as he used to visit Clement’s  office now and then, the one and a half hour that I spent observing the way Clement dealt with his clients was like a classroom, where I learnt so many things not only about the legal issues that he was dealing in but the personality of Clement and his handling of complicated cases, especially dealing with property issues.

 

Even at the age of 66, I found  Clement  to be agile and enthusiastic  in his profession. He listens to his clients patiently and gives them appropriate advice. He thoroughly explains  the law and legal niceties pertaining the cases put forward him by the clients. While speaking with authority on the cases of  his clients based on his legal  knowledge and experience, Clement  has a sense of humour that lightens the tense atmosphere within the cabin  and brings a sense of hope and smile on the faces  of his clients.

 

Sipping the hot cup of tea that Clement’s staff had offered,  I glanced around the cabin which had files and books in all available space.  Clement has four  junior lawyers to assist him, two secretaries  and a court clerk who handle the office work.

 

 

After the last of the clients left the cabin, Clement heaved a sigh of relief and turned towards Peter Paul and myself with a broad smile. Briefly I explained to him the purpose of my visit. For the next one hour or so we had a lively interaction with  old memories and  anecdotes.

 

Clement was born on February 8, 1946 as the third among six children, five sons and one daughter of late Angeline and late Ligory Lobo of Kattingeri. He had his primary and high school education in the Church Aided Higher Primary and St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle completing SSLC in 1965.

 

Coming from an agricultural family, Clement had to help his parents and elder bothers in various activities associated with cultivation and domestic work before going and after coming back from school.

 

Having completed SSLC, Clement, like many of the village boys at that time made his way to Mumbai and stayed at St. Lawrence Association at Byculla where his elder brother was a member.

 

Before entering the challenging legal profession, Clement worked in different offices such as Qwality Ice-cream and  Burma Shell less than one year each, Mumbai Municipal Corporation for two and a half years and Franco-Indian Pharmaceuticals for the longest period of thirteen years.

 

Realizing the importance of further education and training to improve his career prospects, Clement completed the Diploma in Personal Management and acquired BA degree from Pune University as an external student.  Clement’s quest for knowledge and education did not stop with being a graduate. Being attracted to legal profession, Clement  got admission  in Jeetendra Chauhan Law College (Mithibai College) at Vile Parle and successfully completed the legal studies and acquired the LL. B. degree.

 

Armed with the legal degree, Clement began practicing law in different courts in and around Mumbai. Clement said that  in the initial years of his practice he associated himself with some of the leading  senior lawyers of Mumbai including some retired judges practicing as lawyers after their retirement. The aim of assisting these senior lawyers was not for money but to gain experience , knowledge and to learn what he termed as the ‘tricks of the trade’.

 

Clement said that he practiced law in various courts depending  on the nature of litigation that he had to handle.  Thus, he had to represent his clients in Labour Courts, Cooperative Courts, City Civil Court, Small Causes Court, Charity Commissioner, Customs and Gold Control Tribunal and eventually Mumbai High Court. Meanwhile, Clement completed LL.M. Degree from the Mumbai University with specialization in laws related to property.

 

On probing further, Clement said that the property issues cover a wide range of issues such as succession, inheritance, cooperative law, possession, family disputes, tenancy, etc.

 

 

 

The outer office and inner cabin of Clement is stocked with thick volumes of law books and  legal documents. Pointing out towards the  racks full of books, Clement said that to be successful in any profession, more so in the legal profession, it is not enough to have knowledge about the law. It is quite important that one has to be abreast with the latest laws and judicial decisions right from the Supreme Court  to the High  Courts of different states.  Updating the legal knowledge on daily basis is quite essential  for any successful lawyer.

 

Further, Clement said that a lawyer is like a swimmer. As a good swimmer can float in any kind of water body so also a lawyer having sound legal knowledge can practice in any court of law. While practicing law in the court, it is very important to remember that  one can never underestimate the opponent. Hence, one has to  have inside out knowledge of the law and precedents dealing  with the case in hand. Each case is a new challenge. As things go on changing, amendments being inserted in the law and government policies being changed now and then, the lawyer has to be in touch with all these developments and as such an advocate is  a student throughout his profession as he has to gain additional and new knowledge related to his cases.

 

While travelling together to Cement’s office, Peter Paul Martis narrated to me the type of complicated cases that Clement has been handling. Peter Paul said that once a client visits his  office, after patiently hearing his case, Clement frankly and honestly says  whether the case can go for litigation or not. If the case has any legal basis, he advices the client to go to the court.  His honesty and straightforwardness has earned a good deal of reputation for Clement and he is being greatly respected by his peers in the court as a ‘no nonsense’  advocate.

 

 

Peter Paul Martis narrated an incident  when an old lady, being deserted by her sons approached Clement for drawing up a will. She had brought whatever money she had at home in small changes and coins.  Hearing the pathetic story of the old lady, Clement  drafted the will for the lady and as a token just took one rupee coin from the money that the old lady had brought.  This shows the helpful nature of Clement who is has a soft corner in his heart to the needy and helpless. Peter Paul further said that Clement does a lot of charity work about which he prefers to remain silent. Whenever poor and needy persons approach him with their legal problems, Clement does not charge them his professional fee which manifests his kindness and consideration to those who are in need of legal help.

 

Clement said  that the community has contributed much towards his success as a lawyer  and he wanted to give back some kind of service to the community. Hence, he took up the initiative to  start  free legal aid centers in churches in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai in 1987. Clement has been one of the trustees of the Catholic Bible Institution (CBI) in Mumbai whose chairman is the Archbishop of Mumbai, Rev. Dr. Oswald Cardinal Gracias.

 

Founded in Mumbai in 1979, CBI now functions as an independent Public Trust in the Archdiocese of Mumbai. Every year it offers in English, one and two month residential courses in teaching the Catholic interpretation of every book of the Old and New Testaments, a ten months non-residential certificate course on biblical  theology, and some week-end Bible Seminars and Retreats which are also conducted in Konkani and Hindi. Many students, mostly laity form Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Holland, Gibraltar, England and the USA, and from every corner of India including Jammu and Kashmir, have benefited from these classes.

 

Recalling his childhood and school days in Belle, Clement said that  like most of his contemporaries he also  grew up under  difficult conditions.  While recalling his childhood days in the village, Clement quoted  Nelson Mandela  who had stated, “I am the master of my destiny. I am the captain of my soul.”

 

Clement  had to participate in  agricultural activities along with other family members, walk all the way from home to school and back.  He did not have  such comforts  as later generations would get.  However, he said that  at that time we had a contented life. He still remembers the teachers in the higher primary and high school who were dedicated and taught him everything, especially,  how to pray and behave in the church.  These things that he  had learnt  as a student in Belle has enabled him to maintain his roots and rise in his profession.

 

 

Clement married Rita from Mumbai whose family originally hailed from Kinnigoli. After working for many years in the Accountant General’s office, Rita has taken voluntary retirement. Clement and Rita are blessed with two children. Dr. Allan Lobo who did his higher studies in the University of Pennsylvania and is presently working  in New York and  daughter Audrey who after completing MCom in Mumbai University has done MS from the Cornell University in the United States and presently works for a  corporate company.

 

 

At the end of the interview, as I asked Clement as to what keeps him going with such a heavy load of work, he pointed out to the top of the entrance door where the Crucifix was hanging and told that it is He who gives me guidance, strength and courage to carry on my work. No doubt, with strong roots in community and staunch faith in Jesus Christ that Clement could build his career as a successful advocate with impeccable reputation.

 

 

Comments on this Article
Suresh C Verma, Mumbai Thu, August-13-2020, 6:29
I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Lobo through a Muslim gentleman who wanted to clarify a point of law. As he made us wait in his cabin, he dealt with a few clients whose matters did not take long. There we saw him refusing to file a case as his client s grievance was unjustified. That simply proved that he was a not out to make money at the cost of his clients. Not only that, he was not charging for advice he would give in many personal matters, in spite of being asked about his fee. He was most concerned with the deteriorating conditions of courts and the judiciary and the way corruption has invaded in most of the fields in our nation and how the common man is suffering. Truly secular by nature, he was fond of Hindi film music with special love for singer Hemant Kumar. His untimely death was quite shocking. He shall never be forgotten by people he met even once. Having dealt with many advocate of varying caliber in my 40 years in Mumbai, three gentlemen advocates have stood out, the late Mr. Nadir S Mulla, the doyen among advocates, Mr. K Narayanan and Mr. Lobo. They have been the most knowledgeable, honest and sincere advocates one can ever meet. May His Soul Rest In Peace !
Christine, Mumbai Wed, January-1-2014, 10:28
Hi Clement, Amazing article and I vouch for every word written, I too cannot forget your assistance and honest advice on several issues. May God continue to bless and guide you always. Will call on you one of these days. Wishing you a blessed 2014. Christine
Cyril moras, Belthangady Sat, December-22-2012, 2:58
It is very nice to me know about Mr.Clement Lobo..I am exited to meet him personaly or by phone I am happy If any body can help me inthis...
Theresa Lobo, Kattingeri / Mumbai Wed, August-15-2012, 11:22
Great article! Its a joy to have known Mr. Clement. To have reached where he has with humility and courage is something that deserves respect. We are proud of you and congratulate you Mr. Clement!
Gregory Fernandes, Pernankila/Bangalore Thu, August-9-2012, 5:04
Hats off to you dear Clement Lobo (uncle).You are a person to imitate on many counts. Your inspirational story I had heard from my aunt Carmine. Thanks to Dr. Eugine, whos efforts have made the present generation of belle to know about you. Wishing you all the best.
Andrew, Kattingere/Mumbai Thu, July-19-2012, 11:08
A very intelligent and dedicated lawyer who has been a source of great strength and support to us. Always willing to give a lending ear to all our queries. Mr. Lobo you are the best!!!!!
Thomas, Pernankila/Mumbai Sun, July-8-2012, 7:43
Hi Clement Rita, Congratulations. You are a great family. It was wonderful meeting you in the US. Thanks to Audrey and Alan for the hospitality. We can never forget the lovely time we had.
Deog Aranha, Moodubelle/Mangalore Mon, June-25-2012, 11:31

Hi Clement, I stumbled across the Article written about you by Dr. Eugine. I have known about some of my classmates/schoolmates after many years of leaving the school. I am thrilled to read about your achievements in life. Thanks to Dr. Eugine who has introduced many talented personalities who have risen to the greater heights from the lowest strata of the society. Wish you all the best.

Anjali R, US Sun, May-27-2012, 10:56
Thank you for the wonderful article on Mr. Lobo. It was very reassuring to read such good things about my parents current lawyer. I am yet to experience Mr. Lobo’s finesse. I will be waiting for him to come back from US and see him work first hand when he files my parents’ case. I hope he pleasantly surprises us and I get to come back here and reaffirm what’s written in this article. I have very high hopes from him especially after reading about his difficult past. I am sure he will seek justice for my frail and naive parents who are up against a politician and a corrupt housing society. "Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." - Voltaire
Clement Lobo, Mumbai Mon, April-30-2012, 7:31
Thank you everybody for your kind words and support. I really feel honored and humbled. God Bless and long live Moodubelle!
Joseph Vaz, Udupi/Now in Dombivli Sun, April-29-2012, 9:00
It is very good thing to put the article like such people. Congradulation.
Audrey, US Sun, April-29-2012, 8:58
This is a great insightful article
MARIAN L. DSOUZA, PERNAL/BANGALORE Sun, April-29-2012, 6:32
"Nothing succeeds like success". Adv. Clement is a shining example of this dictum. He is sheer hard work, dedication and commitment - all blended into one.Having known him during his formative days as a young lawyer in Bombay,it is the fruits of his labour that he is enjoying now - name, fame, money and respect in society.May he be a source of inspiration to all those who are determined to succeed in life - in any walk of life. Thanks to Dr. Eugene D souza for presenting Adv. Clement Lobo through the columns of Bellevision.com.
Boniface DSouza, Mangalore Sat, April-28-2012, 3:14
Congratulations Adv.Clement Lobo. We are proud of your achievements. Let your hard-work and dedication inspire our younger generation. God bless you and your family: Jacintha Boniface.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Thu, April-26-2012, 11:05
How nice to read yet another success story from Belle village- ST Llawrence High school Belle! It makes the saying that Lotus born in dirty lakes. Belle - kattingere is / was a very backward underdeveloped village of Udupi district, developed into an enviale state. Great personalities are blossomed therein and My frine dclemnt one such. Thank the Lord for all the Blessings dear clemnet. I pray that Lord will bless and keep you strong, and long.
L Andrade, Belle/ USA Thu, April-26-2012, 2:16

Hi Clementbab, Nice to see you as the "shining star" of moodubelle.I am so proud of you dear Killibab. As I read about your childhood that reminded me of your hard work around the farm house, your perfection,zest and helping nature must have played a role in what you are today beside the guidance and blessing from your parents and siblings.I can recollect playing Cricket in the rice field, and eating palponos, mangoes, binda, champara....All in all my dear cousin brother I read your palm right of course you are successful! just kidding about palm reading. Thank you for being a great cousin,and a supporter to the extended family too. May god bless you, Rita voni and children with choicest blessing, good health and happiness. Please visit us on your next trip. Best regards and love to you and your family. Lucy, Olyn and Orwell

Philip Mudartha, Qatar Thu, April-26-2012, 1:05
The bottom-line is: personal discipline, integrity, commitment and perseverance. True to self, family and fellow human beings. This story and many more you may bring out, underscore that there are no shortcuts.
Lawrence Dsouza, Miyar,Karkala, Sharjah Thu, April-26-2012, 11:49
Nice inspiring article, May God bless Mr.Clement Lobo and his family former all his charity work.
Alphonse Mendonsa, Pangla/Abu Dhabi Thu, April-26-2012, 10:38
\"lawyer is like a swimmer. As a good swimmer can float in any kind of water body so also a lawyer having sound legal knowledge can practice in any court of law \" Well said Mr. Lobo. It is indeed an amazing and very successful story. Dr. Eugene once again you have shown mastery in narrating true life stories. simply wonderful and thanks and I am sure many will be inspired by this story to be successful in life. Thanks Bellevison.Com for sharing with us.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Wed, April-25-2012, 6:07
Ispiring success story of a person from our native. Dr. Eugene has done a wonderful job by publishing this article.
Francis Lobo, Kattingary/ Dubai Wed, April-25-2012, 3:58
Mr.Clement Lobo,yes indeed a man of honor,courage and self respect. Honesty and God fear was his strength from our family. we r all proud of him and wish him more power.May God fullfill all his dreams if any!!Thanks Dr.Eugene for covering such a great personality.
norbert, Mangalore/ Kattingere Wed, April-25-2012, 12:21
Thank you Dr Eugene for beautifully portraying the life and journey of success of Mr Clement Lobo. I am sure these feature stories will certainly motivate many youngsters of our native place. Congratulations to Mr Clement Lobo
Steven lobo, Kattingeri,Dubai Tue, April-24-2012, 9:42
Mogal Clementbab,i wish you good Health,Wealth,Happy and long Life- Steven Fly.
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