Conduct and Etiquette

Conduct and Etiquette:

An advocate shall, at all times, comport himself an a manner befitting his status as an officer of the Court, a privileged member of the community, and a gentleman, bearing in mind that what may be lawful and moral for a person who is not a member of the Bar, or for a member of the Bar in his non-professional capacity may still be improper for an advocate. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing obligation, an advocate shall fearlessly uphold the interests of his client and in his conduct conform to the rules hereinafter mentioned both in letter and in spirit. The rules hereinafter mentioned contain canons of conduct and etiquette adopted as gneral guides; yet the specific mentioned thereof shall not be construed as a denial of the existence of others equally imperative though not specifically mentioned.

Section I - Duty to the Court

1. An advocate shall, during the presentation of his case and while otherwise acting before a court, conduct himself with dignity and self-respect. He shall not be servile and whenever there is proper ground for serious complaint against a judicial officer, it shall be his right and duty to submit his grievance to proper authorities.

2. An advocate shall maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude, bearing in mind that the dignity of the judicial office is essential for the survival of a free community.

3. An advocate shall not influence the decision of a court by any illegal or improper means. Private communications with a judge relating to a pending case are forbidden.

4. An advocate shall use his best efforts to restrain and prevent his client from resorting to sharp or unfair practices or from doing anything in relation to the court, opposing counsel or parties which the advocates himself ought not to do. An advocate shall refuse to represent the client who persists in such improper conduct. He shall not consider himself a mere mouth-piece of the client, and shall exercise his own judgement in the use of restrained language in correspondence, avoiding scurrilous attacks in pleadings, and using intemperate language during arguments in court.

5. An advocate shall appear in court at all times only in the prescribed dress, and his appearance shall always be presentable.

6. An advocate shall not enter appearance, act, plead or practise in any way before a court, Tribunal or Authority mentioned in Section 30 of the Act, if the sole or any member thereof is related to the advocate as father, grandfather, son,grand-son, uncle, brother, nephew, first cousin, husband, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law or sister-in-law.

*For the purposes of this rule, Court shall mean a Court, Bench or Tribunal in which above mentioned relation of the Advocate is a Judge, Member or the Presiding Officer.

7. An advocate shall not wear bands or gown in public places other than in courts except on such ceremonial occasions and at such places as the Bar Council of India or the court may prescribe.

8. An advocate shall not appear in or before any court or tribunal or any other authority for or against an organisation or an institution, social or corporation, if he is a member of the Executive Committee of such organisation or institution or society or corporation. "Executive Committee", by whatever name it may be called, shall include any Committee or body of persons which, of for the time being, is vested with the general management of the affairs of the organisation or institution, society or corporation.

Provided that this rule shall not apply to such a member appearing as "amicus curiae" or without a fee on behalf of a Bar Council, Incorporated Law Society or a Bar Association.

9. An Advocate should not act or plead in any matter in which he is himself pecuniarily interested.

Illustration:

I. He should not act in a bankruptcy petition when he himself is also a creditor of the bankrupt.

II. He should not accept a brief from a company of which he is a Director.

10. An Advocate shall not stand as a surety, or certify the soundness of a surety for his client required for the purpose of any legal proceedings.

Section II - Duty to the Client

11. An advocate is bound to accept any brief in the Courts or Tribunals or before any other authorities in or before which he proposes to practise at a fee consistent with his standing at the Bar and nature of the case. Special circumstances may justify his refusal to accept a particular brief.

12. An advocate shall not ordinarily withdraw from engagements, once accepted, without sufficient cause and unless reasonable and sufficient notices is given to the client. Upon his withdrawal from a case, he shall refund such part of the fee as has not been earned.

13. An advocate should not accept a brief or appear in a case in which he has reason to believe that he will be a witness, and if being engaged in a case, it becomes apparent that he is a witness on a material question of fact, he should not continue to appear as an Advocate if he can retire without jeopardising his client's interests. 14. An advocate shall at the commencement of his engagement and during the continuance thereof, make all such full and frank disclosure to his client interest.

14. An advocate shall at the commencement of his engagement and during the continuance thereof, make all such full and frank disclosure to his client relating to his connection with the parties and any interest in or about the controversy as are likely to affect his client's judgement in either engaging him or continuing the engagement.