Professional ethics are vital in the legal profession to ensure that legal practitioners carry themselves in a manner that is acceptable. In this regard, professional misconduct consists of acts that are in violation of the code of conduct that is observed by constituents of a given jurisdiction. Ethics are highly valued in stucco because lawyers play a fundamental role in the political, social and economic progress. Scholars have noted that the attorney’s knowledge and skill are not to be held by the advocate for his own interest but for the benefit of the society.
In the case of Groom v. Crocker, Lord Denning was at the forefront of setting out the roles of a lawyer. It was fortified that the duties include an obligation to his client, a duty to the profession, a duty to himself and a duty to the court. The collaboration of these duties set a threshold on which lawyers can be guided to practice utmost professionalism. The lawyer’s duties may conflict, but it is the responsibility of the advocate to balance these functions and ensure that preservation of justice. The duties are thereby illuminated as follows;
Duty to client
The lawyer must at all times put the interests of his client before his own in order to administer justice effectively. Confidentiality is a common practice that is accorded to clients and hereby a lawyer must always withhold information that is shared within subsistence an attorney client relationship. The lawyer must also represent his client zealously and diligently. The lawyer should use his best skills and knowledge to take up an arguable point of law that will preserve the interests of his client.
Duty to himself
A lawyer has a responsibility to act reasonably, honorably and morally in the administration of his functions. Professional undertakings require that a lawyer is truthful and forthcoming in obedience of his duties therein. Further, an attorney must not indulge in practices that are likely to bring about a conflict of interests.
Duty to court
An advocate is an officer of the court and therefore has a duty to be truthful and observe the rules of the court. Also, the lawyer must not mislead the court or participate in fraud and misrepresentation of evidence. The advocate must ensure that cases are brought to a close within reasonable time and thereby avoid tendencies that are likely to prolong the case.
Duty to the profession
The legal profession must instill confidence in the public, and this can only be achieved through dutiful practitioners that are observant of the binding code of ethics.