A matter pending at the National Industrial Court had suffered three previous adjournments at the instance of the Plaintiff whose counsel was absent on each occasion.

Legal Tips drew the attention of the colleague to the provision in the Rules of Professional Conduct that states that counsel must provide competent representation to a client, perform acts of diligence or to keep a client informed of the legal proceeding, else, be guilty of professional misconduct.
The counsel has undoubtedly violated the Rule of Professional Conduct Part B, Rule 14(1) (2). Part B, Rule 14(1) & (2) RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS 2007 states as follows:
14.(1) It is the duty of a lawyer to devote his attention, energy and expertise to the service of his client an, subject to any rule of law, to act in a manner consistent with the best interests of the client.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1) of this rule, a lawyer shall –
(a) consult with his client in all questions of doubt which do not fall within his discretion;
(b) keep the client informed of the progress and any important development in the cause or matter as may be reasonably necessary;
(c) warn his client against any particular risk which is likely to occur in the course of the matter;
(d) respond as promptly as reasonably possible to requests for information by the client, and
(e) where he considers the client’s claim or defence to be hopeless, inform him accordingly.

It is of paramount significance, to provide competent representation to a client.

LEGALTIPS is anchored by Ms CIA Ofoegbunam, an Abuja-based lawyer who is passionate about legal practice.

LEGALTIPS offers quick hints on substantive law, as well as rules of practice and procedure, and serves as a handy reference guide to lawyers, especially in court.

Published on a weekly basis, the LEGALTIPS Series is CIA’s modest contribution to legal development in Nigeria.

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