Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ILN-terviews: Lorna Patajo-Kapunan, Kapunan Lotilla Garcia & Castillo Law Offices

Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network.

For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Lorna Patajo-Kapunan of Kapunan Lotilla Garcia & Castillo Law Offices in Manila, the Philippines.

In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
Our firm is a medium-sized law firm with 17 lawyers and support staff totaling 20, all committed to our vision of "quality legal service with competence, integrity and courage."

Who would be your typical client?
Our typical client would be the good guys -- good corporate citizens who aspire for a level playing field, aggrieved individuals who still have faith in the justice system.

What would you like clients and potential clients to know about you?
I want my clients/potential clients to know that I eat my enemies for breakfast, that I will fight even against overwhelming odds, that I can and do walk the extra mile.

What has been your most challenging case? Why?
As an advocate for women's rights, my most challenging and high profile case was defending a male against a female for allegedly taping a sex video of the sex act and purportedly distributing it to the public. My legal position (to the horror of the women NGOs) was that the male was the victim.

What has been your proudest moment as a lawyer?
My proudest moment as a lawyer was when our firm was judged by the Bishop/Businessmen's Council of the Philippines as the only law firm in the country deserving of the ISQ (Institutional Spirituality Quotient) award - this is equivalent to a "good housekeeping seal" at the workplace.

What do you do when you're not practicing law?
I have many "hats" -- dedicated father/mother (I was widowed 9 years ago) to my 5 boys, 2 grandsons, 9 dogs; volunteer Trustee on the Boards of several foundations/socio/civic groups, such as the Philippine National Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Rotary International, Zonta Foundation, UNIFEM, National Heritage Society; devoted daughter to my father (94-year-old retired justice of the Supreme Court) and mother (87-year-old retired dean of one of the biggest nursing schools in the country); confessed shopaholic -- my "cure-all" remedy for my stress is shopping.

What would surprise people most about you?
People are surprised that I can be a softie -- that despite the Dracula fangs, I have a heart that beats/bleeds.

What has been your most memorable ILN experience?
My most memorable ILN experience was when our former Firm hosted the ILN Regional Conference in Cebu in a distant past.  It gave us the opportunity to showcase the typical Filipino hospitality.  Looking forward to hosting another soon.

What career would you have chosen if you weren't a lawyer?
If I weren't a lawyer, I'd like to be a CNN/BBC Anchorperson -- reporting news when and where it happens, or a professional tennis player, earning some 6-7 digit figures while having FUN.

If a movie were made out of your life, who would you want to play you?
My favorite movie is Casablanca -- but I identified more with Humphrey Bogart rather than Ingrid Bergman. I need to sort out my fantasies first.

How would you like to be remembered?
I'd like my epitaph to read "She lived, laughed and loved!"

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