Legal Practitioners

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The council should be careful in performing his professional duties. If a counsel, by his acts or omission, causes the interest of the party engaging him, in any legal proceedings to be prejudicially affected, he does so at his peril.

In India, Section 5 of the Legal Practitioners (Fees) Act, 1926 provides that “no legal practitioner i.e. advocate, vakil, pleader, mukhtar or revenue agent, who has acted or agreed to act shall, by reason only of being a legal practitioner, be exempt from liability to be sued in respect of any loss or injury due to any negligence in the conduct of his professional duties”.

In Somasundaram v. M. Julius Meichior and Co., [(1989) 1 All ER 129 (QA)1, the plaintiff who had been goaled for an assault upon his wife, sued his solicitors, alleging that they were guilty of negligence in advising him to plead guilty.

The Court of Appeal upheld the striking out of the action and found it unnecessary to decide whether the solicitor’s immunity from suit extended to the advice given.

In Manjit Kaul v. Deol Bus Service, [AIR 1989 P&H 183], plaintiff’s husband died in a road accident, filed an appeal through her counsel for enhanced compensation.

The case remained on the daily list for two weeks and then it was dismissed in default because the counsel failed to appear on behalf of the client.

The application for re-hearing of the appeal also became time-barred, because the council did not communicate with the party anything about the appeal for years.

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