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russell sarkar ( Lawyer )     24 September 2010


is advocate liable if he signs the vakalatnama and doesnot appear before court on date of evidence.


 6 Replies

Adv Archana Deshmukh (Practicing Advocate)     24 September 2010

It is the duty of an advocate to represent the client on every date and take necessary steps in the case on behalf of his client, but if he/ she fails to appear because of some unavoidable genuine reason then, of course not liable.

1 Like

G. ARAVINTHAN (Legal Consultant / Solicitor)     24 September 2010

An advocate must be available and be present and to represent the case of his client on each and every hearing of the case.

If there is no reason for the absence of advocate on the date of hearing of the case, it amounts to professional misconduct and the client can even proceed with a complaint with bar councuil

Shiva Kant Dixit (Advicate)     24 September 2010

´╗┐Dear  Russell,

No, advoacte can not liable if adjournment application filed before Hon'blefor his non presence . Even Advoacte, can not liable, if he is facing inevitable circumstances and unable to send adjournment. 

Your question reflects that advocate has signed "only" Vakalatnama, and his non presence is at the stage of evidence.   

If non presence of advoacte in is his wilfull conduct, and for his conduct client have suffred, then it amount professional misconduct, and your advocate may liable for the same.

BAPOO M. MALCOLM (Advocate and Empanelled Arbitrator Bombay High Court I 7809 OS 14436)     25 September 2010

All this stems from the basic rule of hearing the other party. Audi alteram partem. The court has to give leeway for non-appearance of an advocate because the litigant must be represented and heard to avoid a re-trial.

Of course no one is holding a brief for an overappointed lawyer who persistently absents himself. He can be taken to task, maybe by the court itself.

In a matter before a magistrate some time ago, I had argued against an absent lawyer at the umteenth hearing. My stand was that not only was my time and that of my client, the complainant, was being wasted but a lot more.

The court was asked to consider expenses of travelling, the time of the court, its staff, the administration, the Home department, the electricity, the wear and  tear as a national loss, etc. The magistrate gave an hour for the opposing counsel to be in court! And he did.

Yes, we succeeded too

Philipose.p (Advocate)     26 September 2010

dear sir,


when an advocate take the vakalath of a person, the person belives him, so the advocate must appear,for the client on the date, execp for some inaviodable circumstances.

yashovirsingh (practicing advocate)     28 September 2010

dear sir, 

 a vakalatnama is only an authority on behalf of the client and not a contract in legal terms. mere signing a vakalatnama does not cast any liability on the advocate. for the purpose of liability, consideration(fees) and several other facts as discussed above are required to be taken in to account.   

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