In addition, you can ask your lawyer for advice at any time, whether to avoid a dispute or to prepare your case as the plaintiff or defendant in a trial. You can also ask your lawyer to represent you at your trial.
Lawyers generally act on behalf of another person, under a power of attorney, in order to take certain legal actions. They play various roles, depending on whether they are providing advice or pleading in court.
The role of a lawyer acting as counsel is to:
- inform you about the laws and regulations that apply to your situation;
- advise you on ways to settle a dispute or implement a plan.
In addition, a lawyer can help you draw up various documents, such as a joint application for divorce on the basis of a draft agreement, a cohabitation agreement or a will. The lawyer can also draw them up for you.
In some cases, lawyers act as mediators.
The role of a lawyer acting as a litigator is generally to plead your case in court, by representing you and defending your point of view.
Lawyers are bound to comply with a range of obligations, and owe their clients a duty of:
- integrity and transparency;
- professional secrecy and the avoidance of conflicts of interest;
- availability, prudence and diligence;
- independence and impartiality.
Lawyers must be loyal, honest, independent and impartial. They must also
- be prudent in their discussions;
- intervene quickly and effectively to avoid causing you harm;
- earn your trust;
- be competent, and accept a case only if they knowledge and skills in the relevant field.
Lawyers have a duty to advise. They must inform you, in plain language,
- of the risks you may face;
- of the upcoming steps in your legal process;
- of the deadlines you must meet.
Lawyers' fees vary, depending on various factors.
In general, a lawyer must make an agreement with you that specifies:
- the cost of the lawyer's services;
- the services that the lawyer will provide.