Ethics demands that a legal practitioner has a duty to the court where he has been debriefed.
In according due respect to the court; Subject to any applicable rule of court, it is courteous and dignifying for a legal practitioner from whom instructions have been withdrawn to make a final appearance to formally withdraw his representation.
It is gross professional misconduct to depart from this, for the reason that the Rules of Professional Conduct above all, makes provision for this. Thus, nonconformity certainly violates Rule 29 (2) of the Act.
In Nigeria, Part C, Rule 29 (2) RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS 2007 (As amended) regulates the relationship with other lawyers and change of lawyer. Rule 29(2) states as follows:
“29 (2) Where in litigation, a client changes his lawyer, both the old lawyer and new lawyer shall give notice of the change to the court.”
It is paramount to notify the court of a change in counsel.
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.