An Advocate is regarded as an officer of the Court and is a part and parcel of a court. He must always respect and co-operate with the proceedings of the court.
An advocate must always respect the court and follow 'professional ethics'. Abbort Pary, LJ has formulated seven essential features and characteristics for advocacy. These characteristics of an advocate are called the Seven Lamps of Advocacy.
Most Courts provide a Chamber for Advocates in the court premises. An Allotment Committee will generally be formed for the purpose.
The Right to practice is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. However, Allotment of Chamber is neither a fundamental right nor a statutory right for advocates but is a customary practice followed to foster the Bar-Bench relations.
An advocate can reject taking up a case citing it is not in the domain of his specialty. However a judge cannot reject a case that comes to him citing lack of knowledge in the specialization of the case.
Advocates cannot wear bands or gowns in public places except in the Court premises and in such ceremonial occasions and at places as prescribed by the Court or Bar Council.
- Advocates in India have to follow the rules and regulations prescribed the Bar Council of India.
- Advocate has to pay the prescribed fee with the State Bar Council
Being an Advocate is a full time profession. Hence, many countries prohibit Advocates from entering / running businesses or managing companies or being into a full-time salaried employment.
Duties to the Court
- Should conduct himself with dignity and self-respect
- Show respectful attitude towards the Court bearing in mind the dignity of judicial office.
- Should not influence the decision of the court by illegal or improper means.
- Should not waste the time of court
- Show respect and confidence at the Court and its procedures
- Should safeguard administration of justice
Duties to the Client
- Need to maintain an account of the client's money entrusted to him
- Maintain account in respect to expenses incurred when dealing with the client's case.
- At the end of the case, the account has to be settled and his fee be charged after client's consent.
- A copy of client's account shall be furnished on demand duly charging him for the copying expenses.
- Advocates shall not convert funds in his hands into loans.
- Should pass all relevant information to the clients quickly.
Provisions governing conduct
An Advocate has to abide and follow the rules and procedures as prescribed by various entities at all time. For instance, an Advocate in India, has to abide by the:
- Rules framed by the Bar Council of India
- Rules framed by the High Court of the state
- Statutory provisions as in Advocates Act, 1961.
- Procedural code as mentioned in Code of Civil Procedure etc.
- An Advocate's office is considered a public office in the sense that any person can meet him and seek legal help and advise.
- The office should be adequately staffed.
- It should have a library with books and latest journals and computer facility, preferably with internet access facility.
- Good Chamber is necessary so that he may have reasonable contact with the clients.
Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Laws
- R Vs Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another (Respondents)  UKSC 1, UK Supreme Court, January 2013: .. Legal advice privilege should not be extended to communications in connection with advice given by professional people other than lawyers, even where that advice is legal advice which that professional person is qualified to give.
- Central Bureau of Investigation, Hyderabad Vs K Narayana Rao
- A lawyer does not tell his client that he shall win the case in all circumstances... a professional may be held liable for negligence on one of the two findings, viz., either he was not possessed of the requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise, with reasonable competence in the given case, the skill which he did possess.
- ..it is beyond doubt that a lawyer owes an “unremitting loyalty” to the interests of the client and it is the lawyer’s responsibility to act in a manner that would best advance the interest of the client. Merely because his opinion may not be acceptable, he cannot be mulcted with the criminal prosecution, particularly, in the absence of tangible evidence that he associated with other conspirators.
- Deepak Aggarwal Vs Keshav Kaushik and Others, Civil Appeal Jurisdiction, Civil Appeal No. 469 OF 2013, Supreme Court of India judgement dated January 21, 2013
- Vinay Balachandra Joshi vs Registrar General, Supreme Court of India (1998) 7 SCC 461: .. It would be a matter of discretion of the Principal Judge of the Court to decide to whom and to what extent that facility should be extended when the same is available... It would be for him to decide when, to whom, to what extent and on what terms and conditions he should allot Chambers.
- C Ravichandran Iyer vs Justice AM Bhattacharjee (1995) 5 SCC 457: The Supreme Court discussed at length and has laid down several principle and guidelines in regard to Bar-Bench relations.
- UP Sales Tax Service Association vs Taxation Bar Association (1995) 5 SCC 716: The appearance of an Advocate before a tribunal carrying his licensed revolver is condemned by the Supreme Court. The act is considered inconsistent with dignity of the Court. The Supreme Court advised advocates to be equipped with law and precedents but not with firearms.
- Satyendra Narain Singh and others vs Ram Nath Singh and others, AIR 1984 SC 1755: When a case of a Advocate Son came before a Judge Father, the Advocate-Son withdrew from the case. The Supreme Court felt that the advocate son, rather than the judge father, withdraws from the case.
- P G Gupta vs Ram Murti (1997) 7 SCC 147
- In the matter of Madhav Singh, AIR 1923 Pat 185: Advocates and pleaders are enrolled not only for the purpose of rendering assistance to the Courts in the administration of Justice but also for giving professional advice to their clients for which they are paid by those members of the public who require their services.
- In the matter of Babu Diwakar Prasad Mithal, AIR 1924 All 253: Advocates are agents, not of their client who pay them, but are acting in the administration of justice.
- Sebelius v Cloer; 12-236; United States Supreme Court: Whether a person whose petition under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is dismissed as untimely may recover from the United States an award of attorneys' fees and costs.
- In the United States of America, after passing graduation in law, aspiring lawyers have to pass a bar examination of their state. Passing the exam is mandatory even if the aspirant does not want to practice law but merely give legal advise. Giving legal advise (even if free) without passing the bar examination is a criminal offense in every state.
- Number of lawyers in various countries
- Reasons for delay in cases getting cleared in Courts
- Advocates and Accountancy
- Bar and Bench
- Legal Ethics
- Public Prosecutor