The following are my learnings while working with advocates. Some taught me Dos and some Don’ts. Take it as you like.
- Start using eCourts app and learn to find more information from High Court websites, if not found on eCourts platform (app and website)
- Discuss your priorities and expectations from the case, in clear terms. Better safe than sorry.
- Ask/find and record/save alternate means of communicating with your Advocate. Office Address, Alternate contact numbers, Colleague in his Chambers, Email etc.,
- Learn the Law and the court procedure involved in the instant case thoroughly. It helps pacify unwarranted fears to some extent.
- Most petitions are available in/near Court premises and sold at retail price. No need to shell out 1000’s for these forms.
- Ensure ALL your payments to Advocate are made digitally. This is solid evidence against unpleasant disputes
- In Criminal Trials, Electronic Evidences in their Original devices need not be shared with advocates at the beginning itself. A set of copies will do for perusal and any drafting. There is stage later on when Evidence needs to be brought on record of Court supported by a certificate u/s 65B of Indian Evidence Act.
- Ask them to read (a) All Protection from Police here and (b) All Reliefs from Judiciary here. hehe
- Above tip not working? Want to discontinue the services of current advocate? Communicate on email, phone clearly your intent and ask for NOC (No Objection Certificate). This is NOT a rule but a unwritten practice, so avoid complications between advocates due to clients. NOC is nothing but Vakalath/Vakalathnama on the sleeve/side of which Advocate writes, ‘No objection to engage another advocate’, along with Name, Signature, Enrollment number and date. Simple!