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Imaginary fears and real problems

The speed of reaction to the freshest of initiatives (the ink is still wet) is a motive for great joy. It means that we, the advocacy, have no problems with communication, interestedness, feedback and freedom of opinions.

But there are also motives for grief. No, respected colleague, it is not that you do not support these ideas – thank God that not everyone starts supporting at once, thank God for those who does not agree. It grieves that D.N.Talantov, unfortunately, following the “best” advocacy traditions, does not bother going into details, dwelling mostly on irrational fear, unspecific and instinctive.

According to him, “some jabberwockie” will inevitably visit the President of the FCA and persuade him to expel every advocate from the corporation: for visiting a theatre while wearing shorts, for “wrong someone’s knees”, for disrespect towards a state authority and similar sins. Or the FCA President himself “bounds” towards revisionism. And Dmitry Nikolaevich is terrified by the future insomnia caused by that people “may be stripped of their advocate’s status for “wrong” convictions, predilections, personal peculiarities or even wrongdoings not connected directly to the professional activity”.

These are the abyssal fears created by D.N.Talantov for himself and, as he would have it, for us. And just why does he need this?

Leaving the shell

But inexplicable fear is a luxury we cannot afford. Specifics and knowledge of the subject will help us cope with it. They are more useful than general impression, especially such an emotional one.

It is true that many colleagues believe that nowadays a motive for initiating disciplinary proceedings may only be discovered in a purely professional activity.

Many, but not all of them. There are those who are convinced that Mr. Ivlev and Mr. Hasavov should be brought to responsibility. Should, or must – more attention while reading our Code is required. And its norms should be construed not only for the sake of some colleagues’ good appetite and deep sleep, but also for the sake of such seemingly illusive thing as the good name of the corporation in general and of each of us in particular. After all, we are advocates, not dogmatists.

The current situation is not forever, the world moves on, and the advocacy legislation is bound to change. We are also interested in this, because we want to achieve the advocate’s monopoly and eliminate the “dualism” in the sphere of professional activity, when not-advocate lawyers consult the citizens and represent their interests in courts.

And if we leave the “routine shell” and look at the real life, we will find out that D.N.Talantov and we are not the only ones who care about the fate of the Russian advocacy. There are others who are also interested, and many of those have issues with advocates, related to their professionalism as well as to their morality. And not unfounded issues, I daresay. And I believe that, frankly speaking, everyone agrees that we give many reasons for this.

The Ministry of Justice itself makes no special attempt to hide that creation of a self-governing organization of practicing non-advocate lawyers, a kind of “parallel advocacy”, may be a variant of the future reform. Another fresh piece of unwelcome news: the II International Law Forum showed, during the work of the profile session, that most members of CLO (Corporate Lawyers’ Organization) have not so much as the idea that Russian advocacy has its Code of Professional Ethics. Neither do they consider advocates the least bit moral people. Not a big deal, or so it would seem, but CLO is composed of the heads of law departments of all the largest Russian and foreign companies.


Full version of the publication is available here.

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