There is a long held debate about which standards criminal lawyers are held to when compared against their legal compatriots, politicians and other members of society.
In many cases they are viewed from the outside with a healthy dose of skepticism, operating as guns for hire for anyone willing to pay for the privilege.
Yet the law within a democratic society like Australia outlines with clarity that anyone is entitled to obtain counsel, irrespective of the allegations, charges or alleged crime that has taken place.
So what role does the solicitor play in this instance and what are the professional standards that they must uphold in order for this democratic process to maintain integrity?
Let us discuss.
Protecting the Client Against Negligence
If there is a deficiency with the level of service or expertise of a best criminal lawyer, then that will be a violation of the need to protect the client. This will be seen with failings of moral standards, a lack of education of the solicitor or when there is dubious practice that could threaten their admission to the bar. Legal representatives, such as a criminal lawyer, might not be specifically bound by law in this matter, but they are duty bound to ensure they are improving the standards of the industry and operating with complete and utter integrity, values that will benefit the justice system as a whole and their client.
Making Unfounded Allegations
When it comes to the issue of integrity and legal ethics, making unfounded allegations against opposing counsel stands out as one of the core standards that has to be upheld. In an environment where little details can make the difference between a win and a loss in a courtroom, attempting to influence a judge or jury can see solicitors push the boundaries of what is acceptable. Unfounded allegations have no place in these settings.
Conflicts of Interest
When a criminal case becomes personal for a representative, that transitions to a conflict of interest and a violation of the core standards in the legal profession. These individuals must be completely independent operators whose only interest is to the client’s welfare, so when these specialists have a personal stake or there is cause to act in a way that it outside those traditional realms, that is when they have to step aside.
Not Dealing With External Clients
There are very specific circumstances that would allow a legal representative from dealing with a client from a peer. That would only be allowed to take place if they have been given prior acceptance to do so or if it is merely an act of clarification. Outside of those incidents, one of the core standards that is maintained within the justice system is separating those parties from attorneys who have not be hired to offer them counsel or guidance. This is a policy that is rarely applicable to other industries as customers have the capacity to take their business from one outlet to the next.
Criminal lawyers are held to a unique standard and it is not exactly a subjective exercise to determine if a solicitor has failed those benchmarks. If that does occur there is grounds for dismissal and even disbarment. Of course there are other standards at play within this discussion that will speak to their capacity to communicate effectively, be punctual for court dates and appointments and operate in the best interests of the client. Yet they must go above and beyond the basic functions of their daily role to be beacons for other members in the community to emulate and respect.