(CNN)Jordan Kinyera was just 6 when he saw his father lose the family land in Uganda due to a legal dispute.
Now, after 23 years including his long training to become a lawyer, Kinyera has successfully argued his father's case in court. The High Court of Appeal in Uganda finally ruled this week in his father's favor, putting an end to numerous trials and two decades of legal tribulations.
But for Kinyera, it was a bittersweet victory.
"I was happy that all my years of hard work had finally paid off and that my father had got his land back," Kinyera told CNN via email. "On the other hand, it was painful to know that he could no longer fulfill whatever plans he had for the land because he is 82 years old."
When Kinyera was a child, his father used to complain about people wanting to grab his land in the Kitgum District in north Uganda.
"That left an indelible mark on me," he said. "He had applied for the land and got a certificate of title for it but could not develop it because of the surrounding issues.
"I, therefore, resolved that I wanted to be a lawyer, so that I can help people in desperate situations like his."
A retired civil servant, Kinyera's father had lived in the land for most of his childhood right up to adulthood. "He had a lot of emotional attachment to it, having buried many of his deceased relatives on it, including his brother, after whom I was named," the lawyer added.
He effectively lost his land in 1996, when he was sued by neighbors after a land dispute, Kinyera said. Numerous cases were filed over the years, with one lasting a decade. "Whatever money he had went into settling legal fees." Kinyera said. "There were injunctions against my father, barring him from carrying out any activities on the land."
The long years in and out of court left the aging man in tatters. "It broke my father. It drove him to the brink of depression. He would sometimes break down and cry. His health greatly deteriorated as a result," Kinyera said.
That situation prompted Kinyera to focus on land law while at law school. Land disputes are common in Uganda and sometimes result in violence.
"I endeavored to research extensively to better understand the nature of the dispute and also find possible solutions for my father," he said.
"I admit that the task was daunting because I argued the final appeal with the knowledge that if I had lost, there would be no redemption. I would have let my father and family down."
Kinyera said his ailing father could not attend court to receive the judgment. But his reaction was priceless.
"When I called to inform him, he was overjoyed. He broke down and cried," Kinyera said, adding his father has not shared plans for the land yet.
"He struggles with Alzheimer's, so he has to be reminded from time to time that his son argued his case and got his land back. His joy is renewed every time he is reminded."