Many Lawyers and New Wigs find it difficult to acclimatize their brains with the code of conducts for legal practitioners; Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007.
This challenges faced by our aspirants to the bar, to whom knowledge of professional ethics is of paramount important in the Bar Finals’ examination
calls for this highlights of the rules for easy grasp.
- Highlights of the Rules of Professional Conduct
This highlights will cover the general responsibility of lawyers, role and duties of counsel to court, duty of counsel to other lawyers, duty of counsel to clients, improper attraction of business, remuneration and miscellaneous.
- General Responsibility of Lawyers
As a legal practitioner, you have a general responsibility not to engage in any conduct which is unbecoming of a lawyer, not to admit unqualified persons into the profession, nor aid the unauthorised practice of law. Avoid intermediaries in your work but you are free to partner with other legal practitioners. If you are in judicial or public employment, don’t engage in business or any salaried employment. Take note that; practicing fee is compulsory, obtain your accredited seal and stamp, attend Continuing Professional Development course, you are entitle to practicing certificate and notify NBA when you set-up a new office.
- Duties of Counsel to Clients
As you relate with your client(s), you are to dedicate and devote to your client cause, represent him within the bounds of law and represent him competently. Avoid conflict of interest where there is agreement with you or he entrust you with privilege information. As a witness do not withdraw from his employment or call at his house. In dealing with his property, you have responsibility for litigation and you must investigate facts and ensure proper production of witness.
- Duties of Counsel to other Lawyers
As you relate with other lawyers, keep fellowship and precedence, your acts should be fair and in good faith, you can associate with them in single matter, and observe the rules when your client change or debrief you.
- Role and Duties of Counsel to Court
As you relate with the court, being an officer you have a duty of good conduct, candid and fair dealing, not to publicise trials. Beware of your closeness to judges,[, respect tribunals, act with decorum, do the necessary in the best interest of your client but don’t stand bail for them, and exert your best effort while handling the brief of an indigent client.
- Improper Attraction of Business
As a professional tycoon; don’t solicit but fairly advertise, use note-papers, envelopes and visit cards, signs and note; books and articles are also allowed. You can publish your new address, your willingness to associate with other lawyers in your locality. Be robe in superior courts, you can handle some press, radio and television legal interviews, but don’t instigate litigation.
As a professional employee, you are entitle to remuneration, you can accept general or special retainer, arrange for contingent fee in civil matters, but don’t agree to pay litigation expenses. Your fee should be reasonable and commensurate, avoid sharing your legal service fee, and don’t accept gifts from your client’s opponents.
The provisions of the rules are enforceable against any person bearing the second word as defined in the interpretation rule, see the citation.
The above rules segmented and summarize will make one appreciate the rules of professional conduct at his fingertips. It’s the responsibility of lawyers or law students to appreciate the entire rules and applied them when the need arise.
In 1963, an American attorney named Reed Lawlor published a prescient article in the journal of the American Bar Association. “In a few years,” he wrote, “lawyers will rely more and more on computers to perform many tasks for them. They will not rely on computers simply to do their bookkeeping, filing or other clerical tasks. They will also use them in their research and in the analysis and prediction of judicial decisions. In the latter tasks, they will make use of modern logic and the mathematical theory of probability, at least indirectly.” Learn more about Virtual Law Practice