W3+: Do you see a difference between being in the right and dispensing justice? How much room is there for interpretation in administrating justice?
Götz Gerlach: Employment law might be the most prominent example: The German Federal Labor Court (BAG) regularly delivers judgments which are criticized as lacking in practical relevance and which are sometimes even contrary to the text of the law. And when the BAG makes a U-turn “out of the clear blue sky” with regard to legal issues, small and medium-sized companies often have to struggle considerably with the application of the law on a daily basis – occasionally, this is not communicable any more.
W3+: Sometimes, common sense gets exasperated with juridical texts. What do you do about that?
Götz Gerlach: Every science has its own technical terms and phraseology which is often incomprehensible for third parties. Framing laws or formulating judgments is a very challenging task. As one can read, it isn’t always successful. I “translate” linguistic monstrosities into comprehensible wording – just like an interpreter.
W3+: Are there any legal frameworks which are notoriously underestimated by clients with regard to their impact?
Götz Gerlach: Workplace privacy as given by the EU-GDPR or the Federal Data Protection Act is still not taken serious everywhere despite all warnings and risks involved. This may not only come quite costly but it may also do lasting damage to the image of a company.
Dr. Götz Gerlach
Lawyer, specialized lawyer for commercial and company law, specialized lawyer for employment law
Kleymann Karpenstein & Partner