In a society which is based on respect towards the rule of law, an advocate undertakes a special role. Advocates are the carrier of law and can be said as the bridge between person and justice. The legal practice of advocates is established in the Advocates Act, 1961. Advocates have legally bound duties towards the client, court, society and people of the same profession; they are also bound by code of conduct and laws.
As advocates analyze and solve the client’s problem they are expected to be ethical. The most important scope of legal ethics is to uphold the dignity and order of the law profession. This ethics and code of conduct and duties are stated under the Advocates Act, 1961 and Bar Council of India.
According to section 3 of Bar Council Advocates are not allowed to illegally influence Courts decision. Here illegally includes bribe and coercion. Advocates are under a social and legal responsibility to present their client and keep confidentiality as secrecy is the advocate’s primary and main right and obligation. If an advocate is found indulging in disclosing the same, he would be violating Section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. But at the same time while maintaining the secrecy they should work ethically or can say that should not blindly follow every instruction of their client like an advocate shall never knowingly provide false or misleading information to the court.
Advocates Act, 1961 provides the rule for right, misconduct, duties etc of an advocate. Chapter V and Section 35 states the punishment which will be given if any professional misconduct is done by an Advocate. The punishment for the misconduct by Bar Council is stated in Section 36 of the Act.
Advocates are obligated to follow Chapter IV and VI of the Bar Council of India Rules while presenting in Court like language need not be unparliamentary, they should be dress in presentable form. As the legal profession is very reputable so advocates while pleading should maintain decency and should be not defamed the other party without any accepted grounds.
Advocates are not allowed to plead or appear for their spouse and relatives etc. Every advocate refuses to plead and appearing in front of relatives to prevent jeopardizing the clients’ interests. Advocates should work in their client’s interest not in their interest as they should neither create an impression that they can make use of any connection for the clients’ advantage. Advocates are also barred to appear as the surety for their client in proceedings.
Advocates are bound to accept fees from their clients. They should charge fees that are equal with the fees charged by fellow advocates of the same rank at the Bar. The Code of Ethics for Advocates does not allow advocates to adjust fee payable to them by their clients against the advocate’s’ own personal liabilities to the clients, which do not arise during the representation. Advocates should present their client in the view of justice and in doing so they should not conceal a material fact of the case. Advocates are barred from lending money to their client by any means. Advocates without the knowledge of the client should not make any deal with the other party.
Code of Ethics of Advocates does not allow the advocate to advertise their work or soliciting work as they wish. Advocates should not allow another person to use their name or profession for an unlicensed work of law.
These were most of the rules and laws governing advocates under Advocates Act, 1961 and Bar Council of India. These rules and laws works in justice and good conscience and equity. We can say that professional ethics is very important for lawyers, they need to follow it otherwise they can be penalized.