Lawyers In Lebanon, Attorneys Practice In Lebanon
Lawyers or attorneys practicing in Lebanon have to respect the rules of the legal profession.
The attorneys profession is regulated by LAW N ° 8/70 with its amendments which governs the lawyers profession in every aspect.
The law organizes the lawyer’s profession which aims at establishing justice by providing legal opinions and defending rights .
The lawyer according to the text of law follow clients instructions and therefore can not interfere in a situation where there would be a conflict of interests which may hurt the client’s interests.
Two Bar Associations exist for lawyers in Lebanon , one in Beirut , one in Tripoli .
All attorneys are registered in the Beirut Bar Association except those whose offices are situated in the Mohafazat (Department) of North Lebanon who are registered in the Tripoli Bar Association.
A lawyer may not practice in Lebanon unless he is registered in one of the two Associations.
The lawyer must as well have an office in his area of practice.
2-Qualifying as a Lebanese Lawyer or Attorney / Conditions
Any person wishing to practice as a lawyer or an attorney should fulfill the following conditions :
1-Have Lebanese citizenship for a minimum of 10 years.
2-Have civil rights , be over the age of 20 and under 65.
3-Be a holder of the required educational level.
4-Behave in a way that reveals trust and respect.
5-not convicted for a criminal or disciplinary act.
6-not dismissed from a profession for reasons contrary to honor and dignity.
3-Lawyers in Practice in Lebanon
An attorney at law in Lebanon will not be able to::
1-Occupy any public office or service except the membership of Parliament or of a municipal council…
2 -Practice in the fields of trade , industry or journalism ( except legal or scientific journalism ) and in any profession which targets profit .
3-Be a chairman , vice – chairman or manager of any company.
4-Work as a courts’ expert or any other institution.
5-Engage in a practice that is contrary to the attorney’s independence or to the dignity of the legal profession.
6-Act as Speaker of Parliament or Prime Minister . An attorney or Lawyer in such position will suspend practicing his profession and inform the President of the Bar of the matter.
4-Conflict of Interests
1-A lawyer who was a minister is forbidden , for a period of one year after leaving his position as a minister , from accepting a case in relation with the ministry he headed.
He can not accept as well to be a member of the board of the public institutions that are supervised by the ministry he headed.
2-A lawyer who is a member of Parliament can not accept , a case for the State or one of its public institutions.
3-A lawyer elected as a member of a municipal council shall not accept a case for or against that municipality.
4-A former public servant and became a lawyer can not accept a case against the administration which employed him for a period of a minimum three years after leaving his employment.
5-A former judge practicing as a lawyer shall not accept a case he looked upon while he was still in practice as a magistrate.
6-Any public servant or arbitrator or expert shall not accept a mandate to act as a lawyer in a case he looked into as his capacity mentioned above.
5-Organization and Management of The Bar Associations of Attorneys in Lebanon
Each of the two Bar Associations of Beirut and Tripoli shall be formed of the attorneys who are members and who are registered on the roll.
The Bar Associations are constituted of the General Assembly , the Council and the President.
6-Rights, Duties and Privileges of Lebanese Lawyers / Attorneys
1-Consultations and Powers of Attorney
Only duly registered lawyers or attorneys appear before the courts and specifically:
1-Before the Criminal court .
2-Before the Court of cassation and before administrative courts.
3-Before the Court of appeal for all civil , community and religious cases.
4-Before the courts of first instance for unevaluated civil cases.
5-For matters of urgency – Judge of Urgent Matters.
6-Before executive office in what relates to judgments execution , bonds and all contracts the value of which is over a certain ceiling.
7-Before appeal expropriation committees.
Every company operating in Lebanon , or abroad whether the company has headquarters or a branch in the Lebanese territory , shall be obliged to appoint a lawyer in Lebanon to represent it..
2-Power to plead before the courts
The lawyer shall be chosen to appear before the courts and represent his clients by an official power of attorney or proxy given to him by his clients.
However ,this power is not necessary in the following cases when the lawyer is appointed the President of the Bar:
1-In case of granting judicial assistance to a person.
2-When several lawyers have rejected a case, although it has a just cause.
3 -In case the Criminal court or the juvenile court requests the appointment of a lawyer for an accused or a person underage and asking for a lawyer assistance or representation
4-In case of the death of a the lawyer following a certain case , if his name is removed from the bar association’s roll, if he is arrested and in case of impossibility for him to continue with the case.
The mandate of the lawyer in this case is limited to temporary measures to protect the client’s interests he appoints a lawyer.
The lawyer is entitled to fees for the works undertaken for his client’s interest, and to collect the taxes and expenses incurred.
1-The lawyer , in all his undertakings , respects and follows the principles of honor , rectitude and honesty.
2-The lawyer shall have an office in the area of the Bar Association in which he is registered.
3-The lawyer is responsible towards his client for performing his duties and tasks in accordance with the laws’ provisions and his mandate’s conditions.
4-The lawyer can not accept a mandate from the adversary of his client , nor give him any help or counseling ,even after the case is over.
5-The lawyer is bound by full and total professional secrecy.
Therefore, he can not divulge any secret confided to him, even after end of his mandate.