Finding the right voice

20 Feb

Choosing proper legal representation is a task which none will envy. India’s notoriously slow and unpredictable justice delivery system ensures a tough time for litigants. Legally India has drawn up the do’s and don’ts of choosing the right lawyer and this post is just an addition to the same. Most people would not find anything new here, but here goes.

I repeat, Indian justice delivery system is highly unpredictable. When litigants approach a lawyer, some of them may make claims of ensuring the outcome within a certain amount of time. When faced with such claims, litigants should generally avoid engaging the lawyer.

Once a person is embroiled in litigation, it becomes very difficult to change representation. The new lawyer would take some time to understand the matter and would gently ease into the proceedings. This causes the matter to be delayed further, which is never good.

Another important thing to note is that, unlike the United States, champarty is prohibited under Indian law. However, that does not deter some lawyers from demanding a part of the decretal amount as fees. This may occur in recovery and property matters but the practice is most prevalent in Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals and the Delhi High Court at one point of time was mulling allowing it in cases where the claimant may be indigent. As on date, the law remains the same, and lawyers are prohibited from demanding a part of the decretal amount as fees. Therefore, refuse to engage a lawyer who raises such a demand.

Remember, ethics is important. So steer clear of unethical legal professionals. 

Additionally, I would like to share my views on engaging the right senior advocate. As per the Advocates Act and the Bar Council Rules, seniors are prohibited from interacting directly with clients. Designated senior advocates cannot appear before court without a briefing counsel. The extent to which this rule is implemented is another story altogether.

Without diverting too far from the topic, it is very important to engage the right senior advocate for a positive outcome. The most important thing to consider would be the prospective senior’s face value before the bench where the matter is listed. This determines the effectiveness of the senior before that court. This can only be determined by analyzing the trend in outcomes the senior has had before the bench in question.

Seniors with a good face value may receive greater leeway from the bench as compared to a lawyer whose case may be as strong, if not stronger. Of course, it goes without saying that the senior should be selected mainly on the basis of his knowledge of the relevant laws in issue and his degree of articulation. But, where there is a choice between seniors of equal competence, it comes down to who enjoys a better reputation and rapport with the bench. 

Some may disagree with my views and discussions on the same are welcome.

 

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One Response to “Finding the right voice”

  1. Michele August 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM #

    This is very fascinating, You’re an overly skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

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