Updated: Thursday January 14, 2010/AlKhamis Muharram 29, 1431/Bruhaspathivara Pausa 24, 1931, at 07:12:04 PM
1. General Principles of Legal Ethics.
1. Principles of Legal Ethics by Emmanuel Zafar.
Legal ethics: Legal ethics means the rules of professional ethics for the lawyers, as legal practitioners, which are important for them to know before and after practice of law. It is necessary for them to know the rules and cannons of professional conduct and etiquettes, which help them in the formation of their conduct, with regard to the clients, the courts, the members of legal profession and the public in general. By adopting these rules of professional conduct, that is why legal ethics mean a code of moral rules, which govern the conduct of lawyers in the profession.
These rules consist of customary and modern practice and made by the courts and lawyers and they are based on ethical and moral philosophy governing the human conduct in this particular field.
Constitutional provision regarding legal ethics: Under Article 10 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it is significantly mentioned that “No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without informing as soon as possible the grounds for which he is arrested nor he shall be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.”
This is the most important privilege granted under the constitution to a legal practitioner to defend a prisoner and represent him in the legal proceedings. When this privilege has been given by the constitution to the legal practitioner then with this privilege obligation is also attached. He should behave like a good lawyer. He should represent honestly and advise him to the best interest of his client. The relationship between an advocate and his client is that of confidence and trust, and his client for advocating his cause employs him.
Basis of legal ethics: This undertaking may include the protection of life of person, liberty, property, or reputation of the client by means of defending his client in the Court of law, so the advocate should be well equipped with the knowledge of law and the art of advocacy. According to the cannons of professional conduct and etiquettes framed by the Pakistan Bar Council, and advocate in his professional capacity shall not advise the violation of any law. Generally speaking it is a duty of an advocate to give honest and sincere advice to his client and the advice should be according to law.
Duty of legal practitioner towards client: When client comes to lawyer for his engagement, whatever client conveys to lawyer, either it is secret or confession, duty of lawyer is to keep such things in strict confidence. Disclosure of such things is breach of his legal duty. It is legally binding on the part of lawyer.
This duty remains with lawyer even his client leave one lawyer and deals with another lawyer for filing his suit. Trust remains there even case is finally concluded or sent in appeal or writ. Secret must remain secret. Brief of other party must not be accepted against the interest of first party.
Lawyer must protect the reputation of his client. Demanding of unreasonable fees is unethical on the part of lawyer even it is payable by the client. Lawyer should not exploit the needs of his client. Settlement becomes more important particularly when writ or suit is dismissed in limine. It is not fair for lawyer that he receives full fees but the case is defeated in Court. It was also the principle of Quaid-e-Azam. Reasonable fees may be charged at each hearing.
Wakeel (½Î·Ë) is also a name of Allah. It means to whom one depends. He must be trust-worthy.
Lawyer should advise his client properly and faithfully. Mere earning by way of fees is not sufficient so far as legal ethics are concerned. It is unethical to keep a client in dark. Case must be scrutinized before fixing professional fees. Where lawyer fails to prepare case in first hearing, opposite party may have upper hand. Where case is not maintainable in its present shape or not made out at all, group meeting in term of jury of the elders of the area rather than indulging in litigation unnecessarily should be advised.
Where lawyer accepts case to compete in Court of law, he must prepare case before appearing in Court for hearing.
Lawyer must be well versed with the relevant law applicable in such case for which he is appearing in Court of law. Preparation must follow the relevant legal points.
Even good lawyer cannot fight if he does not know factual position at the time of litigation.
Lawyer must ensure his presence at the time of hearing. Time schedule must not contradict with the other dates.
He should act as diplomats’ act. Diplomats are not allowed to drink in meetings. Where there is necessary to have peg, they may have only one peg. Where second peg becomes necessary they should keep it without drinking, but third peg is not allowed at all. As they take third one, their services are terminated. These precautionary measures are adopted to ensure the protection of interest of one nation. It is presumed generally which is not wrong that during intoxication, no one speaks false, and speaking of truth may cause injury the interest of nation.
Lawyers are presumed symbols to protect the rights of the society members. They ensure the law and order situation. Where police commits wrong, they become leaden-wall to keep police remain in limits.
Lawyers bring to collision with government when question of right of public arises. Only they provide guarantee for the liberty and rights of the people. People do not agitate against the Military Courts, but only lawyers play such role. A good lawyer can say Judge, sitting so high, talking so low.
Good lawyer does not fight for victory. He fights for the satisfaction of the party. He facilitates the Court to reach on fair and legal conclusion on the matters under consideration. Victory itself is not object for lawyer. After all law is supreme and it has finality. Struggle of lawyer is for the dispensation of justice.
He does not mislead Court but facilitates Court to find out reality and truth. He assists Court and does not create problems. He focuses on legal point of the case and avoids commission of the wrong. He brings true facts without any adulteration of wrong into it.
Patience, courage, tolerance, and forbearance are the tools of a good lawyer. Shouting vitiates the proceedings rather than process towards right direction. Courtesy, patience, pleasant personality, and his timely availability on the courtyard are good impressions on the part of lawyer. Wastage of time is wastage of case. It mitigates the chances of victory even than preparation is strong.
Duty of advocate towards opposite lawyer: Lawyers are always colleagues of each other even than they contest from opposite side. They are members of the same bar. One should not treat other one as enemy. Efforts of the lawyers are merely to aid the Court in the interpretation and enforcement of law. This is the supreme duty on the part of lawyers. Both lawyers in proceedings are representatives of their respective parties. Humiliation or insult lowers the importance of the profession. Harsh attitude toward opposite lawyer leaves no good gesture. Attitude must be within limits of ethics and law. Clash and shouting among them disgrace them.
Duty of pleader towards opposite client: Opposite client is also a necessary party of the case. Lawyer should not treat him as his or his client’s enemy. Witnesses of opposite party are also respectable. Impeachment of character of witnesses provided under law does not mean the license of defamation. This right should be used reasonably.
Responsibility of lawyer towards bar council: All lawyers are the members of the different bars. Bar is custodian of the all society members. All bars have their rules and regulations compliance of which is duty of each and every lawyer. Respect of fellow members is also respect of the bar. Where bar is not followed, people hate lawyers.
Responsibility of lawyer towards society: Lawyer is the one of educated member of society. His responsibility towards society is twofold, one being educated person and second one as lawyer.
He should raise helping hand to solve the problems of common people because he knows the laws. His familiarity of law must be seen in his character. Where is transgression there is lawyer.
Duties of a lawyer with regard to Court: Following are the duties:
1. Plain questions as examination in chief:
2. Fair questions in cross-examination: To find truth he has to put fair questions despite insulting questions.
3. Respect of witnesses:
4. Relevant investigation in examination:
5. No coaching of witnesses: He has not to pour undue instructions into them. Keep in mind that prior coaching for the purpose of fabrication is illegal practice.
6. Education of witnesses: He may educate witnesses whether what they have to say which is relevant and what they have to omit being irrelevant. This is not illegal.
7. Advice client to pay cost to his witnesses: Time consumed in evidence is very precious which needs payment of cost. Cost should be reasonable keeping in view of the nature of the business of witnesses.
8. Avoid to become witness of his own client:
9. Avoid to criticize unnecessarily:
10. Avoid to temper record:
11. Avoid to lose tempo:
12. To speak truth:
13. To plead just a cause:
14. Avoid to relate Judge:
16. No discussion:
17. No fraud:
18. Address and not dictate:
Professional conduct and consequences of misconduct: Following are important points:
1. Restoration of confidence of client:
2. Correct information to client:
3. Avoid to financing in litigation:
4. Avoid advertisement:
5. Advice for compromise when beneficial:
6. Avoid charging fee at percentage basis: Although champerty, i.e., participation in a suit in order to profit from the legal outcome is legal but fee charged in percentage against the outcome of the case is illegal.
7. Avoid to refuse case when it is made out:
8. Avoid to influence on Judge:
9. Appearance on date:
10. Filing true suit:
11. Due regard of privileged communication:
12. Using of fair means:
13. Fair pleading: s
14. Avoid to take information from unauthorized persons:
15. Avoid to become witness of client:
16. Avoid to take unnecessary adjournments:
17. Fair litigation:
18. Avoid drinking:
19. True statements:
20. Taking due advantages:
21. Avoid to offer bribe to judiciary:
22. Avoid to misappropriate fee:
23. Charging reasonable fee:
Consequences of professional misconduct: Following outcome may arise with regard to professional misconduct:
1. Report to High Court: s
2. Report to Bar: s
3. Fine: s
4. Impounding of licence: s
5. Imprisonment: s
6. Damage of repute: s
7. Suspend licence: s
8. Cancel licence: s
Duties with regard to witnesses:
1. No leading question as examination in chief:
2. Fair cross-examination: To find truth.
3. Respect of witnesses:
4. Relevant investigation:
5. Avoid coaching of witnesses: Not to pour into them.
6. Education of witnesses: What to say and omit.
7. Avoid to pay cost to witnesses:
8. Avoid to act as witness of own client:
9. Avoid unnecessary criticism:
10. Avoid to temper record:
11. To speak truth:
12. To plead just a cause:
Professional ethics: Following are professional ethics, which every lawyer has to follow in practice:
1. Protection of weak and helpless:
2. To create law as legislature:
3. Respect the pillars of justice:
4. Leadership to country:
5. Reasonable fee:
6. Knowledge of human nature:
7. No to stand in the way of compromise:
8. To rise high in moral statute:
9. No fabrication:
10. Thorough preparation:
11. Assistance of Court:
12. Practical life of lawyers:
Duties of lawyer with regard to client:
1. Fair pleading:
2. Conceal information:
3. Protect client:
4. Advise fairly:
6. Agent of client:
7. Avoid adverse interest:
8. No refusal without reason:
9. Court attendance:
10. Collection of decree:
Rights of lawyer with regard to client:
1. To get information:
2. To get fee: s
3. Lien on documents:
4. Lien on decree:
6. Taking case when made out:
7. Engagement till judgement:
8. Engagement of adverse party upon retirement: