An Expat Guide: Finding FREE Legal Advice in Taiwan

lawyer 2Hopefully this post is not relevant to your life, but if for some unfortunate reason you have been taken advantage of in a business deal by your landlords, employer, etc, then you might need to find legal representation.

Recently, I wrote about Taiwan’s Foreign Police, and how the very threat of calling them won me an instant settlement in a run-in I had with a dishonest doctor. My current situation with my landlords, however, is too big even for the forces of the Foreign Police. In the end, I have had no choice but to buckle down and call a lawyer.

Before I go into any detail, I just want to say it saddens me that almost every single business dealing I’ve had in Taiwan has resulted in the person trying to cheat me out of money. I really don’t want to stereotype the Taiwanese by saying that based on my bad experiences, they are all dishonest, greedy people, but after it keeps happening again and again, I have come to the conclusion that dishonesty seems to be a popular way of thinking among many.

The weird thing, however, is they don’t think they are being dishonest; their perception is that they are saving money for themselves, not stealing from another. Just looking at the way their culture is centered around money, such as burning fake money for their ancestors to have in the afterlife, etc, shows that they are pretty financially obsessed. Over my last year and a bit in Taiwan, I’ve had issues with everyone from bosses to landlords, to doctors-and I’m not the only one.

On the bright side, Dom and I were lucky enough to have a lawyer friend of a friend offer his services for free because he felt bad that we were being taken advantage of. This act of kindness has really touched us, and we are very grateful.

It just goes to show that wherever you go in this world, there will inevitably be rotten eggs.The key is not to let them spoil the enjoyment of the good ones.

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If you are an expat who has found themselves in a bad situation, and hiring a lawyer is not in your cards, you can get free legal advice here:

City Government Free Lawyer Advice And Combined Service Center

No.2 Sihwel 3rd Rd. Lingya District, Kaohsiung

Schedule: Monday-Friday

8:00AM: Registration begins, and they take up to 12 people

9:00: A free lawyer assigned to you starts to give advice

Telephone:07-337-3686 (Call ahead to check the lawyer on duty speaks English)

Are you an expat who has been taken advantage of, or have you been cheated out of money by a Taiwanese person? Or maybe you have a story of kindness and honesty? If so, I would love to hear your tale!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Yeah. I am with you that I don’t want to stereotype Taiwanese. But, their version of honesty and ours are two totally different things. It can really beat you down after a while. It gets hard to trust anyone. Part of the problem for me too was both of my buxibans so far have been shit. It is hard not get sucked up in all of that negative energy. I love and hate Taiwan so much. lol

  2. Just wondering, how much money are you actually out of for this apartment fiasco??

    Not to stereotype, but, THEY probably cant read the contract through their squinty eyes.

    • I get your sarcasm, but I don’t take back any of my comments. As a foreigner, I have been taken advantage of financially so many times. I talked to my Taiwanese friend the other day, and she said that its quite common for landlords here to A.overcharge foreigners and B. screw foreigners out of their deposits.

      I had 3 different landlords in the U.S. and not once did I have this problem. But I don’t want to go back to the U.S. just yet, so I guess I should stop complaining about the total disregard of contracts here.

      We were going to be out $1,000US dollars, but our lawyer reduced it to $500US.

  3. I’m feeling sorry for your bad experience! I also had made some bad experience with the Taiwanese lawyers. I’m still trying to find someone in taiwan who could help me with some legal advices. Because I’m in Germany it’s harder and because I can’t enter Taiwan for the following years which I need a lawyer for, it’s even much more harder.
    Taiwan is a beautiful country with so much kind and world open people, but the more you are need some serious services the harder it will be to find honest people.
    Of course i hope you’ve already find a way out of it. If you have any advices or tips, let me know.

  4. 2. Culture is the second personality and our culture is Confucianism (not you said: centered on money…), we (western and eastern) have totally different values surely. I’m very pride of our moral education/ Confucianism, and believe that we have a lot of honest ppl here. As an British philosopher, Arnold J. Toynbee, said, Confucianism and Buddhism could solve 21century’s problems.
    Every country has some greedy/bad ppl, don’t let the small part of bad ppl influence/lead your judgement.
    LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE.

    • Hi Kitty, not sure if you read the whole article but at the end I wrote this:

      “On the bright side, Dom and I were lucky enough to have a lawyer friend of a friend offer his services for free because he felt bad that we were being taken advantage of. This act of kindness has really touched us, and we are very grateful.
      It just goes to show that wherever you go in this world, there will inevitably be rotten eggs.The key is not to let them spoil the enjoyment of the good ones.”

      I definitely look at the bright side of every situation 🙂

      And if you read some of my other posts from Taiwan, you will notice how much I write about how wonderful the country is.

      Thanks for your comment.

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