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Thread: Accountability of lawyers

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    Accountability of lawyers

    General question, can lawyers in SA be held accountable for non-performance, lack of interest/commitment/competency and non-compliance?

    Any informed response will be appreciated.

    Thanks.

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    My daughter has just qualified and apparantly they are accountable. There is one "senior" lawyer in the area that she has to chat to every now and again, but I believe they are accountable to the Law society and the bar. If the lawyers on this site dont answer your question more - I will ask her and find out for you.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    They are liable in terms of the consumer protection act, there is no exclusion.
    Attorneys are liable to the Law Society of their area and advocates to the Bar Council.

    The bar and society are generally quite strict and effective. As always,evidence needs to be put forward, however any professional is automatically held to a high standard and that standard needs to be maintained.
    the fidelity fund is an insurance where the actions of an attorney might cost a client money, e.g. allowing a claim to prescribe.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    In a clear case of Brutum fulmen, would the attorney bringing the case to court be liable for the wasted fees?

    An urgent application was brought against a supplier to force him to deliver about 6 month's production in 10 days. As it was physically impossible to execute the order in the time given, the applicant had to accede and then settled for what could be manufactured in the normal course of business.

    The interdict could not be issued, as the judgment requested would cause the manufacturer to be in contempt of court. The total proceeding was a waste of the court's time and the parties both ended up with hefty legal bills. The applicant actually came off worse, as he had to pay COD from there on, having lost all credit facilities he has had with the supplier.

    My view is that the attorney had given the wrong advice and benefited financially from his client's ignorance and incompetence to run his business properly. This was after the supplier had tried to set up meetings to discuss production issues and delays caused by the customer. The High Court action served no purpose, other than to further sour the relationship between the supplier and the customer.

    brutum fulmen Lat.: inert thunder. It refers to an empty threat or charge, or a void judgment which is in legal effect no judgment at all. See 179 S.W. 2d 346, 348. Any potentially powerful and effective orders, documents, decrees, or judgments that are powerless due to some imperfection causing them to be unenforceable. The following statement is exemplary: “Any decree by this court directed against the legislature would be unenforceable and no basis for a charge of contempt, if ignored. It would be a classic example of what the law describes as brutum fulmen.” 153 A. 2d 888, 892.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/brutum-...#ixzz25RS4slSI
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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Is there a limit or a guideline to what attorneys may charge?

    In a case where I had NO performance from the attorney in question, I decided to close the file and then had the added insult of being charged a "closing file fee". I was told that "everyone does it, it is standard for the industry". Well, I have never in all my dealings with attorneys come across this. Can someone please enlighten me?
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    If a medical doctor makes a mistake, tries to hide it through his superior knowledge of the subject, but get caught, probably will face suspension from the medical association, financial difficulties etc.
    If a engineer designs and builts a bridge, and it collapses killing innocent people, he will be suspended and charged appropiately for damages etc.

    But if a lawyer stuffs up, they seem to know the ropes so much better getting out of the mess. Which is understandable, it's their game. Will the Law Society side with the client if this can be proved, or just another society "protecting" their members.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Any comments from our lawyers and law students?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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