Chapter 748: Just who is the professional lawyer here!?
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
Outside the court.
The surrounding onlookers clamored unceasingly!
"Zhang Ye won?"
"Holy shit! Central TV Department 1 actually lost? They really lost?"
"The compensation is twice the amount of the owed salary? That should already be the maximum compensation allowed! Since the salary was only late by a day or two!"
"What the hell! Zhang Ye could even emerge as the victor after suing Central TV Department 1!? How awesome! It's too awesome! This has to be yet another first in the entertainment circle!"
"Teacher Zhang's lawsuit has an absolutely historical meaning to it! It should at least be written into the history books of China's entertainment industry. This is the first time in which an artist has brought a television station to court and even went on to win the case!"
"It really sets your blood on fire!"
"Teacher Zhang is extremely powerful!"
Everyone was marveling at this news!
The reporters outside also reacted shortly and surrounded Jiang Yuan and the Central TV Department 1's attorney, dropping questions on them one after another!
"Can you tell us why you lost the case?"
"Does Central TV Department 1 have any plans to file an appeal?"
"Deputy Director Jiang, what is your view of the court's decision?"
"Mr. Huo, where exactly did you all lose?"
Jiang Yuan had a dark expression on his face. "Make way!"
The attorney, Mr. Huo, also had an unnatural expression on his face. "No comment, no comment!"
Right now, Mr. Huo did not wish to say anything at all. He felt that today was his darkest day in his entire career. In all fairness, from Mr. Huo's point of view, Zhang Ye definitely had the advantage in this lawsuit as he was the plaintiff; the court was more likely to stand on his side. However, this was not absolute either. The court debate mattered the most in the lawsuit. If they could take the absolute initiative in this area, Mr. Huo believed that their chances of winning this case would be greater. Besides, it couldn't be forgotten that Zhang Ye did not have a prosecuting attorney as he chose to represent himself. Mr. Huo was a card-carrying member of the bar association, so when faced with a layman who knew nothing about the law, he felt absolutely confident and believed that there was a 70-80% likelihood of him winning!
But that was exactly where they lost!
Mr. Huo would never be able to forget that scene in court. It was only at the end of the court debate that he realized that Zhang Ye was even more f**king familiar with the law than he was!!
Three hours ago.
In the courtroom.
The court clerk said, "The court is in session now for the hearing of the case. Please remain quiet! Would the involved parties and legal representatives please enter the courtroom."
Zhang Ye walked in and stood at the plaintiff's desk.
Jiang Yuan and Lawyer Huo both entered the court together and took their place in the dock.
The court clerk said in a serious tone, "I hereby announce the rules of the court. 1. The gallery is to adhere to the instructions by the judge. All communication devices must be switched off and order must be followed in the court. Smoking is prohibited. 2. Silence must be observed at all times during the hearing. Visitors are not to shout, clap, interrupt, or leave the courtroom at any time during the hearing. They are not to cross the bar..." About four or five rules were read. At the end, he turned around and said, "All rise. The court is now in session. The honorable judge presiding."
Then the court case began its opening procedures.
The plaintiff was introduced, and the defendant as well as the legal representative were introduced.
Following that, the proceedings started. It first began with the plaintiff stating his claim as well as the facts and reasons.
Zhang Ye said, "Five days ago, while I was working in Central TV Department 1..."
At the start, it was just the standard proceedings. Zhang Ye spoke with proper bearing as did Mr. Huo. This was not the court debate segment yet, just the opening statements presented by both sides to the presiding judge and other court personnel to have an understanding and overview of the matter. It was a very slow process and took 30 minutes to complete.
The presiding judge raised questions.
Zhang Ye answered.
The presiding judge raised questions.
Mr. Huo answered.
After the presentation was done, it was finally time for the plaintiff and defendant to submit their evidence!
Mr. Huo was the faster one and made his move first. "I would like to question the plaintiff's lack of communication with my client immediately when he found out that his salary had not been disbursed yet? It is well known that you're a veteran of the television industry and you have worked under several television stations and other employers. According to common sense, you should know how these processes work, so if the Finance Department has a problem, it would be very difficult for them to check the problem immediately. If it was because of a system error that caused the delay in your salary payment by one day, leading you to seek a compensation of two months worth of salary, then my client finds it absolutely unacceptable! We even reserve the right to serve a counterclaim on the plaintiff for suspected fraud!"
At this moment, Zhang Ye who had just sleepily repeated his words by rote earlier suddenly looked like a different person. His eyes lit up and his back also straightened. It was as though a sword had just been pulled from its sheath. He looked very high-spirited. "Oh, please do go on."
What do you mean by "go on"!?
A male judge on the panel leered at him.
Mr. Huo was also not too used to this. He had fought many lawsuits before, but those were all against other professional lawyers. Which of them had ever spoken in an odd manner to him like this before? Didn't their replies always press back very hard on him? "Go on" was a response that he didn't know how to react to.
Forget it, this is just what you'd expect from a layman anyway!
Hai, it would surely be very tiring to fight a lawsuit against a layman. It was too unprofessional to handle it like he always did!
Lawyer Huo was even more certain now that he would have an 80-90% chance at victory, so he added, "I have here several testimonies from the employees of Central TV's Finance Department. They can prove that on the day of the incident, the plaintiff did not engage in proper communication with my client. Other than resorting to scolding, he had also used interrogative techniques on my client's Finance employees and greatly insulted them with personal attacks. This led the matter of the system error which resulted in the salary not being issued to not be immediately resolved that day. As such, the plaintiff has an undeniable responsibility to this outcome!"
The evidence was submitted to the panel.
The presiding judge and assistant judges had a look at it.
The presiding judge asked, "Plaintiff, how do you explain yourself?"
Zhang Ye had a look at the evidence as well. He smiled while looking at Mr. Huo and stated, "Your mother is your mother, your grandpa is your grandpa. Is this an invective? Why can't I tell?"
Lawyer Huo immediately countered, "Objection! The plaintiff is engaging in malicious slander."
The judge said, "Sustained."
Zhang Ye said, "Your Honor, the evidence the defendant has just submitted was only one side of the story and given out of context. I also have a testimony here which will explain the entire account of the incident. When I realized that my salary was not credited into my bank account, I immediately approached and inquired the defendant's Finance employees. The other party had first used the excuse that it was already time for her to knock off from work, so she refused to help me with my salary situation. Then, she gave the excuse of having no authority to check the system for details and rejected my request. Finally, she wanted me to go to the relevant departments to get proof that I did not receive my salary, and also further requested that I prove that my bank account was my bank account. In such a situation, I also requested that she produce proof of why she had the right to ask me to produce proof to her. This followed with me requesting that she demonstrate proof that her mother was her mother, and her grandpa was her grandpa. During this time, our exchange of communication was very smooth and harmonious, so in what way did I insult anyone?"
You call this a harmonious communication?
Harmonious your sister!
The people in the gallery: "..."
Mr. Huo immediately said, "The plaintiff is speaking in an insulting manner again. I object!"
After looking through the submitted evidence, the presiding judge kept silent for a second. "Overruled!"
In other words, the court supported the evidence that Zhang Ye submitted to be relevant and agreed that his words were non-invective so denied Mr. Huo's objection.
"Thank you, Your Honor." Zhang Ye continued, "The defendant keeps stressing that the affair started because of me, and that makes me wonder what their motive and purpose is. I have reason to believe now that the defendant had a premeditated intent to withhold my salary, not because of a system error."
Mr. Huo frowned. "Is the plaintiff able produce evidence of that!?"
"Absolutely. I request to submit the supporting evidence." Zhang Ye took a copy a document out. "This is the payroll system data of Central TV Department 1 and the disbursement data. I won't mention the origin of this evidence for now, but I guarantee the authenticity of it. It will stand up to verification. The evidence shows that only I, among all the employees of Central TV Department 1, did not receive my salary that day. This was not due to a system error, but because someone had altered my records on the payroll system at 2:05:17 PM on that particular day. Then, at 2:09 PM, the records were altered again. That was the reason for my salary not being disbursed on time!" Central TV Department 1 had been busy shaping public opinion and carrying out their crisis management in the past few days, but Zhang Ye had not idled about either.
Jiang Yuan's expression changed. When he heard that, he knew for sure that the evidence was genuine!
Mr. Huo did not expect this either!
Central TV Department 1's payroll system data? There were even details of the time the actions took place? F**k you! How did you get your hands on that! Which internal staffer was spying for Zhang Ye??
But they did not know that it was not only the payroll system of Central TV, even the Korean government's official website could be freely accessed by Zhang Ye. So just with such a simple network security system, how could it stop the world's third-ranked and most wanted hacker with the highest bounty in the world?
The presiding judge and his panel looked through the evidence and started exchanging some words in low whispers.
Mr. Huo retorted, "Firstly, I seriously doubt the authenticity of this piece of evidence. Secondly, there are many reasons for system modification by human factors. It could even be an error caused by a system administrator, so there is no evidence that this was premeditated. Thus, it cannot be a reason for making a subjective judgment for the plaintiff!"
This piece of evidence was very disadvantageous to them. Even if the authenticity of the evidence had not been verified by the presiding judge yet, it was enough of an ominous signal to the judges. Besides, from Jiang Yuan's expression, Mr. Huo could also see that this piece of evidence needed no further verification. It was definitely real. As such, Mr. Huo tried to reverse this situation. He said, "I would like submit additional evidence. This is the labor contract the plaintiff signed with Central TV."
The evidence was submitted.
The presiding judge and his panel started looking through it.
Mr. Huo then stated, "The fifth subclause of the second clause in the contract, as well as the ninth subclause of the fifth clause, clearly state that the relationship between the plaintiff and Central TV Department 1 is not as simple as just employer and employee. It is more of a cooperative relationship as stated by the contract. As you can see, the plaintiff has proposed that he retain a majority of the copyright to the programs that he created. It was only under this premise that he would work together with Central TV alone, while not asking for any bonuses either. Therefore, in such an agreement, excluding the ownership of the copyrights created in the course of professional work, from the fundamental point of view of the contract, Central TV had no obligation to pay a salary to Zhang Ye. This is because the plaintiff contributed the idea to produce a program, while Central TV provided the platform and staff, and helped with the publicity. It was stated clearly in the contract that whatever returns that are generated from the copyright in the course of the program's broadcast would be the actual source of Zhang Ye's salary. Meanwhile, my client has been paying the plaintiff's salary for his work as a host of the station out of goodwill only. Since there is no obligation to do so, we should not be required to pay the plaintiff the amount of compensation that he is demanding!"
It wasn't until this critical juncture that the real battle of legal knowledge started. The real battle had finally begun!
Mr. Huo was greatly looking forward to this segment as the difference between a professional and an amateur would be reflected in this exchange!
Zhang Ye did not get worked up and calmly rebutted, "The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security's Labor Contract Law states that: 'Dispatched workers shall enjoy the right of equal pay for equal work as the workers of the receiving unit do.' During my time at Central TV Department 1, not only did I take on the role of a host, I also held the concurrent post of the program's executive director, overall planner, and other related duties. I ought to be receiving a corresponding salary for those roles, and not be exempted from it just because I am receiving an equivalent salary from the copyrights that I already hold in the first place. If that is the case, does that mean I should be paying my own salary?"
This guy really knows how to bullshit!
Jiang Yuan was a little surprised as he did not expect Zhang Ye to be able to answer that!
Mr. Huo was also a little taken aback but quickly turned around to retrieve a big stack of documents. He lowered his head and read, "Article 16 states that special works made for hire like drawings of engineering designs and product designs, maps, computer software, and other service works which are created mainly with the materials and technical resources of the legal entity or organization and under its responsibility, or service works of which the copyright is, in accordance with the laws or administrative regulations or as agreed upon in the contract, enjoyed by the legal entity or organization. In the above cases, the author of a service work shall enjoy the right of authorship, while the legal entity or organization shall enjoy other rights included in the copyright."
Zhang Ye looked at him and responded, "I would like to remind the defendant and the defendant's lawyer that it has been stated and agreed in the contract that this was not deemed as a special work made for hire, but a work made for hire with attached conditions. The copyright law states that the copyright of such a work shall be enjoyed by the author, but the legal entity or organization shall have a priority right to exploit the work within the scope of its professional activities. Moreover, I have to state clearly that the copyright ownership was already reflected in the labor contract! Therefore, in the understanding that there are no further disputes over the contract, the defendant refusing to pay my salary is already inconsistent with the Labor Law."
Mr. Huo was about to say something.
But Zhang Ye continued from where he left off. "The Labor Law states that workers shall have the right to remuneration for labor. The rights to remuneration for labor are the workers' guaranteed rights that must not be taken away. According to Article 2 of the Labor Law, this law shall apply to enterprises, individual economic organizations, and workers who form a labor union therewith the territory of the People's Republic of China. Organs of state, institutions, and public organizations as well as workers who form a labor contract relationship therewith shall be bound by this law!"
Lawyer Huo immediately spoke, "The Labor Law-"
Zhang Ye interrupted, "While I was employed by Central TV Department 1, I created monetary value for the defendant, and did actual labor for the defendant. The labor relationship between the two parties is not to be doubted. Then, as an official employee of the defendant, I have reason to request that the defendant pay me a salary!"
Lawyer Huo interjected, "The plaintiff's-"
Zhang Ye beat him to it again by saying, "According to our country's Labor Law-"
After being interrupted a few times, Mr. Huo was vexed as he declared, "Your Honor, I strongly object to the plaintiff's-"
Zhang Ye interrupted him for a fourth time. "I am not done with my statement yet. May the defendant please cease the interruptions!"
The presiding judge looked at Mr. Huo and said, "Objection overruled! Plaintiff, please continue."
Mr. Huo's face turned blue!
Zhang Ye continued eloquently, "In Article 50 of our country's 'Labor Law,' the words 'delayed without reason' can be understood to mean that the employer did not pay a salary to the worker in a timely manner without good reason! In Article 4 of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security's 'The Supplementary Provisions to the Tentative Provisions on Payment of Salary,' it stipulates the conditions for 'without reason' to be: 'The delaying of salary without reason do not include: 1. The inability to distribute salary due to the occurrence of reasons beyond the Enterprise's control, such as natural disasters and wars; 2. The Enterprise encounters financial difficulties, resulting in cash flow problems. By receiving the Enterprise's Union agreement, the Enterprise is able to delay the payment of salary to the worker. The limitation to the period of delay is determined according to province, autonomous region, or municipality. All other situations regarding the delay of salary will be deemed without reason'!"
Thinking that Zhang Ye was done, Mr. Huo blurted, "Regarding the plaintiff's-"
However, Zhang Ye was still not done. He seemed to be deliberately waiting for Mr. Huo to interrupt. The moment he spoke, Zhang Ye continued, "And the company in question did not encounter any natural disasters or wars that were beyond its control, nor did it have any financial difficulties or cash flow problems that would affect the delay in salary payment. Therefore, the defendant has no reason to not pay me my salary!"
Lawyer Huo blew his top. "The plaintiff's-"
Zhang Ye was composed as he cut Mr. Huo off again for the umpteenth time. "In the circular, 'Measures for Economic Compensations due to Violation or Rescission of Labor Contracts,' from The Ministry of Labor, when an employer deducts a worker's salary or delays the payment thereof, or refuses to pay the salary remunerations for additional working hours to the worker, it shall, in addition to paying the full amount of salary remunerations to the worker within the prescribed time limit, pay the additional economic compensations equal to a certain percentage of the salary remunerations!"
The presiding judge stared at Zhang Ye.
The other judges' eyes met.
The surrounding court staff and people in the gallery were dumbfounded! They were utterly dumbfounded by what they heard!
Furthermore, they suddenly realized to great astonishment that Zhang Ye did not lower his head even once from the very beginning. That was because, unlike Mr. Huo, he did not even have any notes with him. All he did was rely on his mouth!
A professional lawyer was stammering, unable to interrupt despite having a stack of notes in hand!
An amateur plaintiff was speaking without notes, throwing out one law after another!
The situation was developing in a completely unexpected way!
Hey! Just who the f**k is the professional lawyer here!!
Zhang Ye still had things to say. "Due to the unending stir in public opinion, it has dealt a severe social impact and caused me a great deal of emotional distress. I would like to request that the court uphold the principle in favor of the weak found in the Labor Law, as well as the obligations to protect the workers found in a series of articles within Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, to seek a compensation of twice the amount of my expected salary plus a symbolic sum of 1 RMB to make up for my emotional distress suffered, as well as a public apology from the defendant. I request that the court support my claims!"
Mr. Huo glared at Zhang Ye as he waited for him to continue.
Zhang Ye said, "Then..."
Zhang Ye was finally done this time!
But this was where Zhang Ye was being extremely sly, as he did not make it clear he had finished speaking. After saying all that, he continued looking in the direction of the defendant and cleared his throat while still moving his lips slightly. He even said "then" to give Mr. Huo and Jiang Yuan the impression that he was not done speaking. That was the reason why they waited for him to stop!
Only when the presiding judge said, "Does the defendant not have anything to say in defense?" did Lawyer Huo react. Damn, he had been tricked by Zhang Ye again. He was waiting for Zhang Ye to finish speaking before launching his counterattack, but the atmosphere in the court did not reflect that. The judges did not know this either. What everyone saw was that after Zhang Ye had finished expressing his opinion, he had left the defendant side of Lawyer Huo and Jiang Yuan in silence. It was as though Zhang Ye had made them admit they were wrong. That made them appear at a disadvantage immediately. Their momentum had been broken by Zhang Ye!
Mr. Huo was feeling extremely shocked!
Shit! He had underestimated his opponent!
He truly failed miserably at an easy task!
Who said that grandson was a f**king host? Who said that grandson was a mathematician or a man of letters? His language logic, language artistry, psychological strategy, and even his knowledge of the law and relevant legal matters made Lawyer Huo suddenly realize with shock that this guy was even more professional than he was!
How did you memorize so many legal provisions?
You didn't even need to refer to your notes?
On top of all that, you could even f**king handily quote without stammering some of the legal provisions and mention in an impromptu fashion? F**k, could it be that you have memorized the entire Constitution and civil law?
However, Lawyer Huo could not have expected that he had guessed it right!
This psycho called Zhang Ye had actually spent a day's time yesterday memorizing every constitution and civil law of this world without missing a single word!!