PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN LEGAL SPHERE
Legal profession plays a vital role in the administration of justice. Lawyers are the backbone of the justice system in India. Lawyers are the connecting bridge between the parties and the justice system they are ones who listen to the parties, collect proper and relevant legal material related to the case and then argue the case in the court thus, helping the in justice being served. Justice P.N. Sapru has stated that, ‘justification for the existence to the counsel is that each side to the controversy should be in a position to present its case before an impartial tribunal in the best and most effective manner possible.’
The lawyer’s profession is an important and critical one, as it involves the entrustment of the lawyer with the life and rights of the person who comes to seek a professional advice. This magnitude of power, is not free from responsibilities and duties on the part of the lawyer, both moral and legal. Every profession has its own code of conduct, which pertains to the concept of right and wrong for the purposes of that profession, and the Bar Council of India provides for the same, with regard to the legal profession in India. The rules that an advocate needs to adhere to, are mentioned in the Chapter II, Part VI of the Bar Council of India Rules, provided under Section 49(1)(c) of the Advocates Act, 1961.
NEED FOR PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
The American Bar Association Committee has well explained the need for civil code of conduct. It is as mentioned the backbone of the legal system , if it is weakened and allowed to be to be a subject of the eroding and discouraging impact of those, who are controlled by greed or gain or other unworthy motive, sooner or later the arch must fall The eventual fate of the nation depends upon the support of the hallowed place of the equity, unadulterated and unrolled by the promoters. It can’t be so kept up, except if the direct and intentions of the individuals from the legitimate calling are what they question be. In this way, it turns into the plain and straightforward obligation of the lawyer to utilize their impact in each genuine method to help and make the Bar what
it is should be. The board of trustees has additionally seen that individuals from Bar, similar to Judges, are officers of the court and like judges, they should hold office just amid good behavior and this great conduct ought to be characterized and estimated by moral standards ,however high, as important to keep the organization of equity, unadulterated and stainless. Such standard might be solidified into a composed code of expert morals and the attorney neglecting to acclimate thereto, ought not be allowed to hone or hold enrollment in the specific association .
DUTIES OF AN ADVOCATE TOWARDS HIS CLIENT IN INDIA
Advocate has fiduciary relationship with his client He needs to serve the interest of his client by securing him in the prosecution to the best of this limit and capacity in the courtroom. He isn’t just a specialist for his clients but something more than that. Despite the fact that the relationship of a lawyer with his client is of contractual nature still it includes the most astounding request of trust and certainty Despite the fact that their relationship is likened to that of an agent and principal however it is basically a relationship of confidence and loyalty.
Section 11 of the Bar Council of India Rules provides for the duties of advocates towards his clients. According to Bar Council of India Rules as provided hereunder following are the duties of an advocate towards his client:
Rule 11. An advocate is bound to accept any brief in the Courts or Tribunals or before any authority in or before which he professes to practise at a fee consistent with his standing at the Bar and the nature or the case. Special circumstances may justify his refusal to accept a particular brief.
Rule 12. An advocate shall not ordinarily- withdraw from engagements once accepted without sufficient cause and unless reasonable and sufficient notice is given to the client. Upon his withdrawal from a case, he shall refund such part of the fee as has not been earned.
Rule 13. An advocate should not accept a brief or appear in a case in which he has reason to believe that he will be a witness and if being engaged in a case, it becomes apparent that he is a witness on a material question of fact, he should not continue to appear as an Advocate if he can retire without jeopardising his client’s interests.
Rule 14. An advocate shall, at the commencement of his engagement and during the continuance thereof, make all such full and frank disclosures to his client relating to his connection with the parties and any interest in or about the controversy as are likely to affect his client’s judgment in either engaging him or continuing the engagement.
Rule 15. It shall be the duty of an advocate fearlessly to uphold the interests of his client by all fair and honourable means without regard to any unpleasant consequences to himself or any other. He shall defend a person accused of a crime regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused, bearing in mind that his loyalty is to the law which requires that no man should be convicted without adequate evidence.
Rule 16. An advocate appearing for the prosecution in a criminal trial shall so conduct the prosecution that it does not lead to conviction of the innocent. The supression of material capable of establishing the innocence of the accused, shall be scrupulously avoided.
Rule 17. An advocate shall not directly or indirectly, commit a breach of the obligations imposed by Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act.
Rule 18. An advocate shall not, at any time, be a party to fomenting of litigation.
Rule 19. An advocate shall not act on the instructions of any person other than his client or his authorised agent.
Rule 20. An advocate shall not stipulate for a fee contingent on the results of litigation or agree to share the proceeds thereof.
Rule 21. An advocate shall not buy or traffic in or stipulate for or agree to receive any share or interest in any actionable claim. Nothing in this Rule shall apply to stock, shares and debentures or Government securities, or to any instruments which are, for the time being, by law or custom negotiable, or to any mercantile document of title to goods.
Rule 22. An advocate shall not, directly or indirectly, bid for or purchase, either in his own name or in any other name, for his own benefit or for the benefit of any other person, any property sold ‘in the execution of a decree or order in any suit, appeal or other proceeding in which he was in any way professionally engaged. This prohibition, however, does not prevent an advocate from bidding for or purchasing for his client any property which his client may himself legally bid for or purchase, provided the advocate is expressly authorised in writing in this behalf.
Rule 23. An advocate shall not, adjust fee payable to him by his client against his own personal liability to the client, which liability does not arise in the course of his employment as an advocate.
Rule 24. An advocate shall not do anything whereby he abuses or takes advantage of the confidence reposed in him by his client.
Rule 25. “An advocate should keep accounts of the clients, money entrusted to him, and the accounts should show the amounts received from the client or on his behalf, the expenses incurred for him and the debits made on account of fees with respective dates and all other necessary particulars.
Rule 26. Where moneys are received from or’ on account of a client, the entries in the accounts should contain a reference as to whether the amounts have been received for fees or expenses, and during the course of the proceedings, no advocate shall except with the consent in writing of the client concerned be at liberty to divert any portion of the expenses towards fees.
Rule 27. Where any amount is received or given to him on behalf of his client, the fact of such receipt must be intimated to the client as early as possible.
Rule 28. After the termination of the proceeding the advocate shall be at liberty to appropriate towards the settled fee due to him any sum remaining unexpended out of the amount paid or sent to him for expenses, or any amount that has come into his hands in that proceeding.
Rule 29. Where the fee has been unsettled, the advocate shall be entitled to deduct, out of any moneys of the client remaining in his hands, at the termination of the proceedings for which he had been engaged, the fee payable under the rules of the Court in force for the time being, or by then settled and the balance, if any, shall be refunded to the client.
Rule 30. A copy of the client’s account shall be furnished to him on demand provided the necessary copying charge is paid.
Rule 31. An advocate shall not enter into arrangements whereby funds in his hands are converted into loans.
Rule 32. An advocate shall not lend money to his client, for the purpose of any action or legal proceedings in which he is engaged by such client.
Explanation:- -An advocate shall not be held guilty of a breach of this rule, if in the course of a pending suit or proceeding, and without any arrangement with the client in respect of the same, the advocate feels compelled by reason of the rule of the Court to make a payment to the Court on account of the client for the progress of the suit or proceedings.
Rule 33. An advocate who has at any time, advised in connection with the institution of a suit, appeal or other matter or has drawn pleadings or acted for a party, shall not act, appear or plead for the opposite party.
To conclude the above, the professional ethics are also termed as the obligations to be followed by the Advocate, these are the ethics and basic courtesy which every person in this profession should know. These are not just the obligations to be performed on the grounds that the Bar Council has made them, however these are the fundamental behavior which one should incorporate within them. These are the obligations towards the Court, Client, Colleague or Opponent. The execution of the obligation by the Advocate characterizes the assurance, devotion and dedication towards the profession. What’s more, any deviation in their execution of obligation ought to be considered important. An Advocate in in this profession has numerous commitments towards court, customer, judge, adversary, associates, and so forth.
• http://www.jstor.org/stable/2378112/10/10/2011/07:08, October 2011
• http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072186/ 10/10/2011/07:18, October 2011
• www.sabahakhan.articlesbase.com, October 2011
• http://www.ijtr.nic.in/webjournal/2.htm, October 2011
• http://www.scu.edu./ethics/publications/submitted/rhode/legaled.htm, October 2011
• http://legalsutra.org/1506/chaning-scenario-of-the-legal-profession, October 2011