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Why Is a Lawyer an Officer of the Court

The clerk or bailiff usually takes an oath to potential jurors and witnesses. The registrar is also responsible for physical evidence presented in evidence and is responsible for other administrative aspects of a trial. These are individuals whose professional functions are important to the functioning of the judicial system. n. any person required to promote justice and the efficient functioning of the judicial system, including judges, lawyers appearing before the courts, bailiffs, clerks and other staff. As judicial officers, lawyers have an absolute ethical duty to tell judges the truth, including avoiding dishonesty or evasion about why the lawyer or client does not appear, the location of documents, and other matters related to the conduct of the courts. In common law systems, the generic term “court officer” applies to all persons who participate to some extent in the legal system on the basis of their professional or similar qualifications. Court officials should not be confused with judicial officials, law enforcement officers who work in the courts. Court officials have legal and ethical obligations. Their task is to participate to the best of their ability in the functioning of the judicial system in order to achieve justice through the application of the law and the simultaneous pursuit of the legitimate interests of all parties and the general interest of society. Lawyers like to think of themselves as court officials. A careful analysis of the lawyer`s role in the adversarial legal system shows that the characterization is empty and too much praised by itself. It confuses lawyers and misleads the public.

The profession should therefore either cease to use the qualification of judicial officer or give it meaning. This article suggests ways to give meaning to the term. Lawyers for both parties are also court officials. Their task is to diligently represent their clients within the framework of the formal rules of the Code of Ethics. The belief is that justice can be better served when each case is vigorously presented by competent lawyers. In its public claims, the legal profession promotes a different model: lawyers are court officials in the conduct of their professional and even personal affairs. The organized bar association has explicitly emphasized this commitment in each of its major codifications of the profession`s ethical obligations, including the American Bar Association`s recent efforts, the 1983 Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The judge presides over the courtroom. When a case is heard by a jury, the judge decides legal questions and instructs the jury and informs the jury of the law governing the case. (The jury determines the facts based on the evidence presented.) If there is no jury, the judge establishes the facts and decides the verdict – for example, a finding of guilt or not guilty in a criminal proceeding or a verdict for or against the plaintiff in a civil case. These are people who, because of their expertise or experience in a particular subject, appear before the courts and can testify or give opinions. Their opinions sometimes rise to the level of scientific evidence and are evaluated by judges and jurors to draw conclusions or judgments.

Another term for persons consulted by a court is amici curiae. Two competing models describe the role of lawyers in our legal system. More familiar to the public and more comfortable to lawyers is the model of the lawyer as a “zealous lawyer”1, the dedicated advocate of the client`s cause. In fact, the image of the lawyer as the loyal advocate of the besieged client is maintained by the Bar Association itself and reinforced by the media, literature and general tradition. The court reporter records word for word everything that is said in the courtroom as part of the formal process, including The bailiff maintains order in the courtroom, calls witnesses and directs the jury as directed by the judge. It is the duty of the bailiff to ensure that no one tries to influence the jury. In many jurisdictions, audio or audio-visual tapes are used to record the trial instead of a court reporter, particularly at the misdemeanor level. In some jurisdictions, both methods are used, using the record of registrants when there is an appeal to a higher court, although the recordings are sometimes part of the record of an appeal. Eugène R. Gaetke, Lawyers as Officers of the Court, 42 Vanderbilt Law Review 39 (1989) Available at: In particular those who make the decisions that determine the course of justice and its outcome.