It’s the duty of the lawyer to maintain a respectful attitude and dignity towards courts, not to impact on the decision of a court by any unlawful or inappropriate means or use his best effort to avoid his client from doing unfair practices to maintain the privacy of the client etc. But many lawyers fails to perform their duty and leads to profession misconduct. Sometimes lawyers used unfair methods to win a case. Many lawyers are not able to maintain the privacy of their client and sometime they charge unfair fees. Some lawyers do not even wear proper uniform. Chapter – V of the Advocate Act of 1961 deals with conduct of Advocates, it describes provision relating to punishment for professional and other misconducts.
Misconduct of an Advocate may be explained with the reference to the following.
Dereliction of Duty: – It means handling over brief to another advocate and such transfer is considered as unprofessional but if he does so with the consent of his client, it is not improper.
Professional Negligence: – An advocate is expected to exercise reasonable skill and prudence and should not be negligent. In order to constitute misconduct, the negligence must be accompanied by suppression of truth or deliberate misrepresentation of facts.
Misappropriation: – When an Advocate collects money from his clients for court purposes and misuses it is called as misappropriation which amounts to professional misconduct.
Contempt of Court and Improper behavior before magistrate: – An advocate must respect the Court and maintain the dignity. Making of false allegation against the judicial officers amounts to gross misconduct.
Contempt of court concerns the fair administration of justice with the intent to punish acts hurting the dignity and authority of the court. Contempt by lawyers, on account of the nature of duties to be discharged by the lawyers and Judges they may get into heated dialogue which may result in contempt of Court.
There are several instances of the misconduct which have been taken as contempt of Court, e.g, using insulting language against a Judge.
- Suppressing the facts to obtain favourable order hurling shoe at the Judge.
- Imputation of partiality and unfairness against the Judge etc.
A counsel who advises his client to disobey the order of the court is also held liable for contempt of court. Attacking the Judiciary in a Bar Council Election Manifests is taken as Contempt of court. If a counsel refuses to answer the questions of the court is also liable for contempt of courts.
A lawyer is under obligation to do nothing that shall detract from the dignity of the court, of which he is himself a sworn officer and assistant. He should at all times pay deferential respect to the Judges, and scrupulously observe the decorum of the court room.
Giving Improper Advice: – Advocacy being a noble profession, an advocate must give his client the benefit of his learning, talent and judgment. An advocate must give his proper advice if he is unable to take up the brief he should advice the client to consult another counsel but should not give improper advice. Improper advice amounts to misconduct.
Furnishing false information – Furnishing false information amounts to ‘professional misconduct’.