“Duties of Advocate Towards a Client”
Author: Ayush Jain, Unitedworld School of Law, Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Advocates are the one who takes their clients to the journey of justice, they use their knowledge and skills to seek justice the court of law. So, it is the duty of every individual to fulfill its duties and seek justice for the clients. In this professional world, every professional needs to follow the “Professional Ethics” to maintain the harmony and standards of the profession.
Now, what does the term “Professional Ethics” mean?
Professional ethics is nothing but the rules that govern the behavior within the context of a selected profession. within the legal world “Professional-Ethics” is usually termed as a code of rules which regulates the behavior and conduct of a practicing lawyer towards himself, his client, his opposite party, his counsel and after all towards the court. Ethics means principles of behavior that are applied to a typical citizen within the society shall be the standards of morals for a lawyer too. Professional ethics consists of those fundamental values on which the profession has been built. Legal ethics is one of the professional ethics which lays down certain duties for the observance of its members, which he owes to the society, to the court, to the profession, to his client and himself. The practicing lawyer shall have the social responsibility and dignity of the bar and a high standard of integrity and efficient service to his client also as for public welfare. Professional ethics demand to not disclose any secrets of his client or enjoys any unfair practice. it is vital that legal practitioners conduct themselves with integrity, provide proper assistance to the court, and promote public confidence within the system. Advocates, apart from being professionals, are also officers of the court and play a crucial role within the administration of justice.
Professional Ethics in law includes various duties to be performed as a legal professional.
So now let us put some light on what are the “Duties of Advocate Towards a Client”:-
- Protecting the interest of the client.
- Not appearing himself within the matter during which he’s witness.
- Full disclosure of the knowledge to the client.
- Not disclosing any of the knowledge shared between him and his client to a different person.
- Not charge fee on relying on the success of the matter.
- He will act on the instructions of the client only.
- Not bid purchase any of the property of the client arising from legal proceedings.
- Keeping the proper accounts of the remuneration.
- Duty to form sure that there is no conflict of interest.
- He won’t enlarge the case unnecessarily.
There are many other “Moral-Duties” of an advocate towards the client apart from the above-mentioned duties:
- He shouldn’t use any quite “undue influence” over his client.
- He shouldn’t present any false and forged documents as evidence.
- The advocate must plan to solve the disputes by compromise initially.
- Advocates should try their best to supply clients with fair justice.
Thus these are duties of advocates towards his client that need to be practiced by advocates to guard the rights of the client.
Now you might be thinking that what if the advocate fails to practice any of the duties, plan to cheat, or infringe the rights of the client?
If an advocate cheats on a client he/she can file a complaint to The Bar Council of India, the link of the web site is provided here:
As some laws vary from state to state hence there also are State Bar Council within the complaint against an Advocate are often filed. Eg.- Bar Council of Delhi takes the cases of the Advocates which are registered to the present council.
The Council on its investigation starts the proceedings and after which it pronounces its decision under Section 36/ 37 of the Indian Advocates Act, 1961 and if any of the party isn’t satisfied with the choice, then the party has a choice to file an appeal to the apex court of the country within 60 days.
Accordingly, the set of rules that govern their professional conduct arise out of the duty that they owe to the court, the client, their opponents, and other advocates.
The Bar Council of India has given the principles on the professional standards that an advocate must maintain are mentioned in Chapter II, Part VI of the Bar Council of India Rules. These rules are placed there under section 49(1)(c) of the Advocates Act, 1961.
The Rules contains specific “Rules on an Advocate’s Duty towards the Client” which includes the specific key rules are as follows:
Rule 4: makes it compulsory for an advocate to make full and frank disclosure to his client if he features regard to the parties of the suit or any interest that he may have and which may affect a client’s judgment to interact with him.
Rule 23: clearly states that an advocate who has advised a celebration regarding the institution of a suit, appeal, or other matter or has drawn pleadings, or acted for a celebration, shall not act, appear or plead for the opposite party within an equivalent matter. The rule out its nature is wide enough to mean and include that any quite involvement of an advocate during a matter will restrict him from appearing or pleading for the opposite party within an equivalent matter. However, the rule is simply limited to matters related to “suits” and will not relate to general advisory services.
Rule 5: entrusts a general duty on an advocate to uphold the interests of his client by all fair and honourable means.
Rule 9 and 10: restrict an advocate to represent any establishment during which he’s a member or to look within the matter during which he features a pecuniary interest.
Rule 15: states that an advocate shouldn’t misuse or takes advantage of the arrogance reposed in him by his client.
So, finally, we’ll say that professional ethics can also be stated due to the duties that require to be followed by an advocate during his profession. These are moral duties and thus the very basic courtesy which everyone during this field should know. Today, there are a variety of malpractices that are prevailing leading to being called “Legal Malpractice” and sometimes “White Collar Crime”. An advocate who doesn’t work with sincerity and doesn’t follow the principles of conduct is claimed to possess violated the code of ethics of this profession. the basic aim of legal ethics is to require care of honour and dignity of the bar to form sure the spirit of friendly co-operation, honourable and fair dealing of the counsel alongside his clients also on secure the responsibilities of the lawyers towards the society.