Client's rights and solicitor's obligations
The client’s rights and the solicitor’s obligations are based on the contract entered into by the client and the solicitor. A legal service is taken to mean professional legal advice, the representation or defence of a person in court, during pre-trial procedure or elsewhere, drawing up a document for a person, or performing another legal act for his or her benefit. Lawyers are responsible for their activity in accordance with the law and the legislation regulating the work of the Bar Association.
A lawyer is obligated to be independent, meaning that upon providing a legal service the lawyer must proceed from the law, the legislation and decisions of the bodies of the Bar Association, the requirements of professional ethics, as well as good morals and practices and his or her conscience. One of the most important obligations is that of confidentiality, according to which the relationship between the lawyer and the client must above all be based on trust. The lawyer must keep any information confidential, as well as ensure that third persons have no access to the client’s documents. The obligation of confidentiality applies to the lawyer even after he or she has discontinued his or her professional activities.
The lawyer also has the duty to use for the client’s benefit all means and methods which are not in conflict with the law or with the requirements of professional ethics and which make it possible to better protect the client’s interests, fulfil the tasks received from the client in a careful and accurate manner, provide expert legal services, perform the client’s task within a reasonable time, refrain from incurring unjustified expenses for the client, and regularly inform the client of the circumstances related to the fulfilment of the task. During court proceedings, the lawyer must not present evidence or claims that harm the interests of his or her client.
Pursuant to the Bar Association Act, a person has the right to file an appeal to the administrative court about a body of the Bar Association or a legal act. The Bar Association Act also provides that if a client finds that a lawyer’s fee or a legal expense is not justified, he or she may challenge it in the court of honour of the Bar Association.
Other providers of legal services are liable in a similar manner. The responsibility of legal service providers who do not belong to the Bar Association or notaries’ offices, however, is regulated by general contract law. Hence, with such solicitors it is important to agree on the terms and conditions of providing legal services beforehand, to avoid unwelcome surprises later.
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