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Professional Ethics For Lawyer

Ethics is the activity of man directed to secure the inner perfection of his own personality. - Albert Schweitzer

Fundamental prerequisite of any profession is good ethics. Ethics denotes to human behaviour to make decisions between what is correct and what is wrong. Professional ethics are those set code or moral principles that govern a person's conduct in a professional workplace or work life. In the legal profession, a lawyer must obey to professional codes for fair dealing with the client and uphold the self-possession. The Indian government has established a statutory body known as The Bar council of India under the Advocate Act,1961.

Advocate Act, 1961

It was introduced to implement the recommendations of the All-India Bar Committee and taking into account the Law Commission's recommendations relating to the legal profession. The Parliament has established The Bar Council of India under section 4 of The Advocate Act,1961. As per section 7(1)(b) the council has to lay down standards of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates. And section 49(1)(c) allows the bar council of India to make rules as to suggest the standard of professional conduct to be observed by advocates.

Bar Council Of India Rules

Bar Council of India has framed the rules under part VI of chapter II dealing with the standard of professional conduct of lawyers. This chapter state 39 rules or duties of the lawyer against court, client, opponent etc.

Lawyers Duty towards Court

Duties of Advocates to courts are:
# to maintain a respectful attitude and dignity towards courts.

# not to impact on the decision of a court by any unlawful or inappropriate means.

# use his best effort to avoid his client from doing unfair practices.

# to appear in the court in the prescribed dress, and a presentable manner.

# to wear bands or gown in courts only or ceremonial occasions and not in public places.

# not to plead in any matter in which he is himself interested.

# if he is a member of the any Executive Committee of organization or corporation than he cannot appear in or before any court or any other authority or represent the case of that organization.

Lawyers duty towards client

Duties of Advocate to the client are:
# once accepted than cannot withdraw from actions or engagements, without appropriate cause.

# should not accept and appear in a case in which he has reason to believe that he will be a witness.

# to make full disclosure against his connection with the parties or interest before the commencement of engagements or during the process.

# support the interests of his client by all moral means.

# not to overpower any material or evidence, which shall prove the innocence of the accused.

# not to reveal the communications or talk made by his client to him.

# not to charge for his services depending on the success of the matter taken.

# does not adjust fee payable to him by his client against his liability to the client.

# to keep proper accounts of received money from clients and to provide a copy of statements to clients also and in case of cancellation of proceedings, adjust the fee.

# and cannot make payments in favour of clients or cannot lend money to him for legal proceedings.

# if he has advised the party in a matter with the institution of suits, then he cannot appear for the opposite party for the same matter.

Lawyers Duty towards the Opponent

An advocate has some responsibilities to opponents, also such as:
# he cannot communicate or negotiate with any party represented by an advocate except through that Advocate upon the subject matter of conflict.

# to carry out all valid promises made to the opposite party.

Lawyers Duty towards Colleagues

# an advocate has an obligation to colleagues that he will not solicit work or advertise, either directly or indirectly. The sign-board or name-plate should be of a reasonable size, and that board will not show that he is a member on bar council or he is or has been president of bar council or he is or has been with some organization or with matters of particular specialization etc.

# he shall not be allowed to use his name in aid or professional service.

# when a client can pay the fee than he will not accept a fee lass than taxable under rules.

# not enter in the appearance of any case in which there is already a memo was filed by an advocate, except with his consent or parties' consent.

Punishment For Professional Misconduct

As per section 35 of the Advocate Act,1961 if a person is found guilty of professional misconduct then the case will be referred to a disciplinary committee, then they fix a date of hearing and issue a notice to the Advocate. Then the disciplinary committee of the State Bar Council, will hear both the parties, the court may:
# Dismiss the complaint,
# warning to advocate;
# suspend the Advocate from practice for certain period of time;
# remove the name of an advocate from the state roll of advocates.

Professional ethics are not only important for advocates, there importance diverse to any field whether it is business or employment or profession. Good ethics leads as to make respect in society as well in our work life. If we compare in between other employment, there were no punishments for this kind of misconduct but in legal profession you have to obey these rules as laws otherwise you will be penalized. Ethics are just about the way or conduct or manner in which we perform our actions or work. In my point of view, it depends on us how we want to work, whether we choose correct way or wrong way. But never forget Karma comes after everyone ultimately.

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