Advokato profesija: prieštaringas jos pobūdis ir kontrolė.
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This paper analyzes the status of attorneyship as one of the state-controlled legal professions. It should be noted that although the public recognizes the importance of lawyer’s assistance, in the cultural context lawyer is one of the most ridiculed and criticized legal professions. Such assessment of attorneyship depends on the controversial nature of this legal profession, i.e. first, the lawyer uses his profession to earn income for himself, his family and his business; second, the lawyer is obliged to unconditionally pursue his client’s interests to a widest extent possible; and third, the lawyer is one of those participating in the justice implementation and, as a result, is the subject to higher standards of behaviour, normally associated with both formal legal requirements and ethical requirements. The lawyer’s personal interest is mostly in line with his commitment to act exclusively for the benefit of the client, because protection of the client’s interests determines the lawyer’s reputation and income. However, obligations of the lawyer, as the justice implementation participant, often force the lawyer to act otherwise than they would normally act in order to benefit their client. At this date, the controversial nature of attorneyship in Lithuania has yet not reached the level of doctrinal debate; therefore, it is difficult to assess what theoretical models could be considered appropriate when solving this problem. 590 |a Such divergence leads to the demand that attorneyship would be controlled by external means. The general external control over attorneyship may be exercised by both lawyers’ professional association (the judicial control over attorneyship in a particular case is not addressed in this article). The paper provides points proving that attorneyship is Lithuania’s least state-controlled profession as compared to other similar professions, e.g. bailiff or notary. The Lithuanian Bar Association bears the primary responsibility for lawyers’ ethical performance. After assessing the published data on the Lithuanian Bar Association activities, it can be stated that the control provided is insufficient, often identifying and responding to formal violations, such as non-payment of contributions and failure to submit the public liability insurance policy. There is no evidence that the Lithuanian Bar Association has a clear position concerning the lawyers’ ethics and expresses it in such a way that no lawyer could question assessment of behaviour non-compliant with ethical principles. Even more questions arise in the light of the latest trends. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Lithuania asked the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling in determining whether in certain cases the lawyer, providing legal services to an individual, should be recognized as a business person, his client as a consumer, and the legal aid contract as a consumer contract. At the same time, a legal prerequisite for the lawyer advertising has been created in Lithuania, which had been strictly prohibited until recently. There are grounds for believing that the lawyer will be viewed more as a business person than as a person involved in the justice implementation process. As a result, the extent of ethical requirements to the lawyer may change.
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