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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

‘Lawyers should be allowed to advertise'

Special Correspondent


BCI should fix a lump sum fee in standard cases like divorce and motor accidents: K. K. Venugopal

Young lawyers should be helped get a foothold in the profession




Making a point: K. K. Venugopal, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court (left), at a meeting in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. Bar Association president D.V.S.S. Somayajulu and secretary T. Ravi Kumar are seen.

VISAKHAPATNAM: There should be a minimum, controlled right to advertise for lawyers as they had to tell the public what they would offer and also compete with well-established firms, senior advocate of Supreme Court `Padmabhushan' K. K. Venugopal said here on Thursday.

Addressing members of the Visakhapatnam Bar Association, he the advertisement need not be on such level as in the USA where a child at a barber shop replies to the barber who warns him of cutting his ear if he moved, that his lawyers would sue him for a million. Such type of publicity was wrong, he stated.

On the proposal of putting on the website, he wondered how many, particularly in the rural areas, could have access to it. When doctors could advertise, lawyers should also be allowed to do so, he pointed out.

The legal luminary said the BCI should fix a lump sum fee in standard cases like divorce and motor accidents.

There should be a contingent fee arrangement where a maximum of 30 per cent was paid to the lawyer, directly by the judge. “Otherwise, not being sure of the number of hearings and duration, the client may not go to court at all as he can't afford it. The BCI should think seriously of contingency fee so successful in the USA,” he said.

Mr. Venugopal also felt it was a duty on the part of every senior lawyer to take a junior and train him or her. Like the article clerks with Chartered Accountants, the junior lawyers also should be paid a salary. “The Bar Council of India has to ensure this so that the young law graduates get a chance and don't feel frustrated. For, with frustration, all the negative aspects of law come out,” he observed, adding that the system should help the young lawyers get a foothold in the profession.

There were over one million lawyers in India which came next only to the USA where the number was 1.016 million. About 70 per cent of the Indian lawyers practised in moffussil centres and their earnings were meagre.

The legal education witnessed a revolution where libraries, case studies and continuous examinations had helped.

On women lawyers, it said that they found it very hard to come up which was a `world-wide phenomenon'. They were discriminated against and also subjected to sexual harassment.

It was very essential to find a proper atmosphere for working, he said and hoped that India would have a very strong unified bar which would do justice to clients second to none.

Earlier, Visakhapatnam Bar Association president D.V.S.S. Somayajulu introduced the guest. Principal District and Sessions Judge K. Gaddenna and VBA secretary T. Ravi Kumar were on the dais while several judges, members of the Bar and others were present.

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