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Lawyer's duty to protect and promote the interests of his client

This basic duty of all lawyers in relation to their clients is laid down in Section 16 (1) of the Law on Advocacy and is further specified in the provisions of Article 6 of the Code of Ethics and in Article 2.7. of the European Code. The primary duty of an attorney from which his other duties are derived is specified in the Code of Ethics so that the legitimate interests of the client take precedence over the attorney's own interests and considerations of other lawyers, which can be summarized in the Latin proverb – "Dura lex sed lex" (The hard law, but the law). Lawyer's own interests will be mainly economic, business, legal and personal interests. The emphasis is also on the independence of the lawyer in defending the client's interests on any external influences. Thus, the client acquires a person with legal education, but also a person independent on the external and internal influences, in terms of financial, legal and moral, to defend his rights. Obviously, the attorney is only dependent on the client and his/her instructions, and the interest of the client is for the attorney the only thing cui bono. Of course, this statement is somewhat simplistic, especially because the lawyer must act within the limits of legal and professional law creating a framework of advocacy.

"One of the attorney's duties is to ensure that the legitimate interests of the client are protected and enforced in a lawful manner, and the lawyer is obliged to use consistently all legal means that can serve the client's interests in the legal matter that is the subject of a contract between the attorney and the client on the legal services, that is to say, both procedural and substantive means, unless it is expressly agreed that a lawyer-client contract only applies to certain specific acts or is excluded by a later express instruction from the client."

It cannot be forgotten that the attorney's obligation based on the provision of Section 16 (1) of the Law on Advocacy is based on a higher principle than the lawful binding, on the principle of binding by law. This legal wording may mean that the lawyer is, as well as a judge, entitled to assess the compliance of the subordinate norm with the law and to follow the instructions of the client only if they are in accordance with the law.

For example, the law determines that the client's instructions that are contrary to these regulations are not a boundary for the lawyer and the lawyer must reasonably instruct his/her client. Another nature has the so-called inappropriateness of the client's instructions. If an attorney gets the impression that his client's instructions are inappropriate, he should warn him of this inappropriateness. However, if the client continues "on his own", the attorney will have to make such an order. This is a clear indication of the client's position in the attorney-client relationship and of the proof of the superiority of the client's interests over the interests of the attorney.

Let me just give you one short quote from the disciplinary practice of the Czech Bar Association:

"It is a serious violation of the lawyer's obligations if he makes mistakes in the preparation of contracts for the transfer of ownership of housing units, which in addition to the call of the cadastral office does not remove in time and in addition does not communicate with the client."

Furthermore, this expression also includes, for example, an explicit prohibition for a lawyer to verify the truthfulness or completeness of factual information provided by the client without the consent of the client. This means that the attorney's doubt about the data from a client cannot be subject to self-inquiry (for example, by asking a witness or other person). On the other hand, it will be the fault of the client if an attorney, on the basis of this "commanded blind trust in the client", issues a case in the direction that turns out to be wrong (for example, as a result of a false alibi told to a lawyer by the accused client, the interviewing witnesses will only contribute to the conviction of that client). This prohibition of verification of information, of course, does not apply to legal information, because its obtaining and processing is the primary purpose of a lawyer, and he is therefore not bound by the legal assessment of the case by the client, although the client often comes to a lawyer with a clear view of the appropriate course of action. Here, of course, the best solution is a mutual discussion (possibly based on an advocate's explanation of the legal background of the case), which should ideally result in a common view on the law point of view of the case; but sometimes the outcome of these debates is also the end of mutual cooperation.

The attorney in the enforcement of the rights and interests of the client must act diligently and honestly and choose and apply all available legal remedies, in other words, provide legal services according to the de lege artis principle. The concrete behaviour of the lawyer (his / her verbal and written speech and his culture) is of course on him / her. For example, the lawyer should inform the client on likely hopelessness of a possible legal dispute, or the continuation of proceedings (appeals or appeal proceedings, etc.) and, of course, to fulfil the obligation to prioritize the interests of the client over his / her interests, in this case the economic ones. The client often prefers a rather sharp approach to other involved persons, which could not only be counterproductive, but if the attorney himself behaved in this way, this would reduce the dignity of the lawyer in the eyes of the public, which is already in that respect itself quite undermined. For such a reason, lawyers are obliged to act honestly and fairly, and their speech in the practice of advocacy must be factual, sober and not knowingly untrue - it must not diminish the dignity of the lawyer's status; the lawyer is also obliged to observe the rules of professional ethics and competition rules. According to one interesting case of disciplinary practice, for example, it is a serious violation of such lawyer's obligations if he uses an academic title inappropriately in his name.

However, if we return to the prohibition of deliberately untrue statements of a lawyer, it may turn in a collision with the recommended openness of the client to the attorney. This conflict is exacerbated by the rule under Article 17 (2) of the Code of Ethics that a lawyer may not, in any judicial or other proceedings, cite data or suggest evidence that he or she knows to be untrue or misleading, even at client's request. It is correct that the lawyer in the case knows all the data in full, but if he knows that the credible person to testify to the defendant's alibi is lying, the attorney may not propose to question him, which, however, can paradoxically contribute to the final conviction. If he is not informed on the false alibi and suggests the interrogation, it cannot be ruled out that the client will be exempt. From this point of view, it is not surprising that the client very often hesitates to communicate sensitive information to his attorney and that the attorney is very often faced with the choice to prefer the imperative of protecting the rights and legitimate interests of the client to his professional duties. In this respect, the attorney, for example, may not act on behalf of the client before the client terminates the power of attorney to his former representative, otherwise the procedure would also be a breach of the Rules of Professional Ethics and hence of his professional duties. Infringement of the rules of professional ethics is also particularly relevant if the lawyer does not respond to requests from a former client's new lawyer to provide information on the course of his or her past representation, the adulteration of another attorney without specific and demonstrable knowledge even if the client himself orders such a snoring, or offensive statements to the address of the counterparty, even if the attorney was convinced of their veracity, as well as offensive statements about the court decision. Similarly, there is a violation of professional ethics, if the lawyer does not supply to the court power of attorney, thereby causing it not to be informed about the acts that he thus does not attend.