DECREE OF JULY 12, 2005 RELATING TO THE RULES OF CONDUCT OF LAWYERS
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DECREE OF JULY 12, 2005 RELATING TO THE RULES OF CONDUCT OF LAWYERS

The Prime Minister,On the report of the Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice,

Having regard to the code of criminal procedure;

Having regard to the new code of civil procedure;

Considering the law n ° 71-1130 of December 31, 1971 amended reforming certain judicial and legal professions, in particular its article 53;

Considering the amended law n ° 91-647 of July 10, 1991 relating to legal aid;

Considering decree n ° 72-785 of August 25, 1972 relating to canvassing and advertising in matters of consultation and drafting of legal acts, modified by decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 organizing the profession of lawyer ;

Considering the decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 modified organizing the profession of lawyer;

After hearing the Council of State (interior section),

  • TITLE I: ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF THE LAWYER PROFESSION.
    Article 1

    The essential principles of the profession guide the behavior of the lawyer in all circumstances.

    Article 2

    The profession of lawyer is a liberal and independent profession whatever its mode of practice.

    Article 3

    The lawyer exercises his functions with dignity, conscience, independence, probity and humanity, in accordance with the terms of his oath. He also respects, in this exercise, the principles of honor, loyalty, disinterestedness, brotherhood, delicacy, moderation and courtesy. He demonstrates competence, dedication, diligence and prudence to his clients.

    Article 4

    Subject to the strict requirements of his own defense before any jurisdiction and cases of declaration or disclosure provided or authorized by law, the lawyer does not, in any matter, make any disclosure that contravenes professional secrecy.

    Article 5  
    Modified by Decree 2007-932 2007-05-15 art. 25 1 ° JORF May 16, 2007
    The lawyer respects the secrecy of investigation and investigation in criminal matters, by refraining from communicating, except for the exercise of the rights of the defense, information extracted from the file, or from publishing documents, exhibits or letters concerning an investigation or information in progress. He may only send copies of documents or documents from the procedural file to his client or to third parties under the conditions provided for in Article 114 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
  • TITLE II: DUTIES TOWARDS CUSTOMERS.
    Article 6  

    The legal profession contributes to access to justice and the law. The lawyer is bound to comply with the appointments and commissions ex officio, unless there is a legitimate reason for excuse or impediment admitted by the authority which made the appointment or the commission. Within the framework of an agreement concluded in application of article 57 of the aforementioned law of July 10, 1991, the lawyer can, at the end of a free legal consultation given in particular in a town hall, or a house of justice and the law, agree to take care of the interests of the person he receives and who requests it.

    Article 7

    The lawyer may not be the counsel, representative or advocate of more than one client in the same case if there is a conflict between the interests of his clients or, unless the parties agree, if there is a risk. seriousness of such a conflict. Unless the parties agree in writing, he refrains from dealing with the affairs of all the clients concerned when a conflict of interest arises, when professional secrecy risks being violated or when his independence risks no longer being complete. He cannot accept a new client’s case if the secrecy of information given by a former client is in danger of being violated or when the lawyer’s knowledge of the former client’s affairs would favor the new client. When lawyers are members of a practice group, the provisions of the preceding paragraphs are applicable to this group as a whole and to all its members. They also apply to lawyers who practice their profession by pooling resources, when there is a risk of breach of professional secrecy.

    Article 8

    The lawyer must provide proof of a written mandate except in cases where the law or regulations presume its existence. The lawyer first ensures the legality of the operation for which he is mandated. He strictly respects the purpose of the mandate and ensures that he obtains from the principal an extension of his powers if the circumstances so require. The lawyer may not, without having been specifically authorized in writing by the principal, transact in his name and on his behalf or bind him irrevocably by a proposal or an offer to contract. The lawyer may not dispose of funds, bills or securities or alienate the property of the principal unless the mandate expressly stipulates it or, failing that, after having been specially authorized in writing by the principal.

    Article 9

    The lawyer drafting a legal act ensures the validity and full effectiveness of the act according to the parties’ expectations. He refuses to participate in the drafting of an act or a clearly illicit or fraudulent agreement. Unless discharged by the parties, he is required to carry out the legal or regulatory formalities required by the act he is drafting and to request the prior payment of the necessary funds. The lawyer who is the sole drafting of an act ensures the balance of the interests of the parties. When it has been seized by only one of the parties, it informs the other party of the possibility that it has to be advised and to be assisted by another lawyer. If he has acted as the sole drafter in his capacity as counsel for all the parties, he cannot act or defend on the validity, execution or interpretation of the act he has drafted, unless the dispute emanates from ‘a third. If he has acted as the sole drafter without advising all the parties, or if he participated in its drafting without being the sole drafter, he may act or defend on the execution or interpretation of the act of which he was the drafter or in the drafting of which he participated. He can also defend on the validity of the act.

    Article 10  
    Modified by Decree 2007-932 2007-05-15 art. 25 2 ° JORF May 16, 2007
    In the absence of an agreement between the lawyer and his client, the fees are set according to custom, depending on the client’s financial situation, the difficulty of the case, the costs incurred by the lawyer, reputation and of the latter’s due diligence. The lawyer in charge of a file can ask for fees from his client even if this file is withdrawn from him before its conclusion, to the extent of the work accomplished. The lawyer informs his client, as soon as he is referred, then on a regular basis, of the methods for determining the fees and the foreseeable evolution of their amount. Where applicable, this information is included in the fee agreement. Unless the lawyer intervenes urgently before a court, such an agreement is mandatory when the lawyer is remunerated, in whole or in part, under a legal protection insurance contract. Flat rate fees can be agreed. The lawyer may receive fees from a client on a periodic basis, including in lump sum form. Remuneration for business contributions is prohibited.
    Article 11  

    The lawyer who accepts the charge of a case may ask his client for the prior payment of a provision to be used against his costs and fees. This provision cannot go beyond a reasonable estimate of the fees and probable disbursements involved in the case. In the absence of payment of the requested deposit, the lawyer may give up dealing with the case or withdraw from it under the conditions provided for in article 13. He provides his client with all the information necessary for this purpose.

    Article 12

    The lawyer keeps at all times, by file, precise and distinct accounts of the fees and of any sum that he may have received and of the allocation which has been given to them, except in the case of a global package. Before any final settlement, the lawyer gives his client a detailed account. This account clearly shows the costs and disbursements, the tariffed emoluments and the fees. It mentions amounts previously received as a provision or in any other way. An account drawn up in accordance with the procedures provided for in the preceding paragraph is also issued by the lawyer at the request of his client or the chairman of the bar, or when required by the president of the tribunal de grande instance or the first president of the court of appeal, seized of a dispute as regards fees or disbursements or as regards tax.

    Article 13

    The lawyer carries out the case for which he is responsible to its conclusion, unless his client discharges him or if he decides not to continue his mission. In the latter case, he informs his client in good time so that his interests are safeguarded.

    Article 14

    When the case is finished or is discharged from it, the lawyer returns without delay the documents for which he is the custodian. Disputes concerning the return of documents are settled according to the procedure provided for in terms of the amount and recovery of fees.

    Article 15

    Advertising is permitted to the lawyer if it provides information to the public and if its implementation respects the essential principles of the profession. Advertising includes the dissemination of information on the nature of the services offered, since it is exclusive of any form of canvassing. Any personalized service offer addressed to a potential client is prohibited for the lawyer

  • TITLE III: DUTIES TOWARDS THE OPPOSITE PART AND TOWARDS COLLEAGUES.
    Article 16

    The lawyer complies with the requirements of a fair trial. He behaves loyally towards the opposing party. He respects the rights of the defense and the adversarial principle. The mutual and complete communication of the means of fact, of the evidence and of the means of law takes place spontaneously, in good time and by the means provided for by the rules of procedure.

    Article 17

    If a dispute is likely to receive an amicable solution, before any procedure or when an action is already pending before a court, the lawyer can contact or receive the opposing party only with the consent of his client. On this occasion, he reminds the opposing party of the right to consult a lawyer and invites him to let him know the name. He refrains from any unfair presentation of the situation or any threat to him. He may nevertheless mention the possibility of a procedure.

    The lawyer, representative of his client, may address any injunction or formal notice to the latter’s opponent.

    Article 18

    The lawyer responsible for assisting a client in a negotiation can only conduct negotiations in the presence of his client or with the latter’s agreement.

    On the occasion of talks with an interlocutor assisted by a lawyer, he cannot receive him alone, except with the prior agreement of his colleague.

    Article 19

    Unless the president agrees beforehand, a lawyer who accepts to succeed a colleague cannot defend the interests of the client against his predecessor.

    The new lawyer strives to get his client to pay any sums still owed to a colleague previously seized of the case. If he receives a payment from the client while sums remain due to his predecessor, he informs the President of the Bar.

    The lawyer who succeeds a colleague intervening for legal aid can only claim fees if his client has expressly waived the benefit of such legal aid. He first informs his client of the consequences of this waiver. In addition, he informs his colleague previously mandated, the legal aid office and the chairman of his intervention.

    Difficulties relating to the remuneration of the lawyer initially seized or to the return by the latter of the documents in the case are submitted to the President of the Bar.

  • TITLE IV: SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF PRACTICE OF THE PROFESSION.
    Article 20

    The lawyer exercising the functions of collaborator of deputy or assistant of senator cannot perform any act of the profession in favor of the persons received within the framework of these functions.

    Article 21  
    Modified by Decree n ° 2009-1544 of December 11, 2009 – art. 7
    The honorary lawyer remains subject to the obligations resulting from the lawyer oath.He may not perform any act of the profession except the consultation or the drafting of acts, with the authorization of the chairman.The honorary lawyer can accept a mission of justice, arbitration, expertise or mediation. He may also participate in an administrative commission or an examination or competition jury.Before being able, in application of Article L. 723-11-1 of the Social Security Code , to resume the practice of the profession of lawyer, the honorary lawyer is registered at his request on the roll of a bar. but is exempt from taking the oath of lawyer. During this exercise, he is not authorized to avail himself of his honorary position.
    As from the cessation of this activity, he can again avail himself of his quality of honorary lawyer, unless this has not been withdrawn in application of article 184 of decree n ° 91-1197 of 27 November 1991 organizing the legal profession.

    TITLE V: FINAL PROVISIONS.

    Article 22
    Modified the following provisions:
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 155 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 156 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 157 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 158 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 159 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 160 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 161 (Ab)
    Repeals Decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 – art. 245 (Ab)
    Article 23
    Modified the following provisions:
    Modifies Decree n ° 72-785 of August 25, 1972 -art. 2 (V)
    Article 24

    This decree is applicable to Mayotte, the Wallis and Futuna Islands, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

    Article 2

The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, and the Overseas Minister are responsible, each as far as he is concerned, with the execution of this decree, which will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.

By the Prime Minister:

Dominique de Villepin

The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice,

Pascal Clement

The overseas minister,

Francois Baroin

Decree n ° 2005-790 of July 12, 2005 relating to the rules of ethics of the legal profession

NOR: JUSC0520196D

 

The Prime Minister,
On the report of the Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice,
Having regard to the Code of Criminal Procedure;
Having regard to the new code of civil procedure;
Considering the law n ° 71-1130 of December 31, 1971 amended reforming certain judicial and legal professions, in particular its article 53;
Considering the amended law n ° 91-647 of July 10, 1991 relating to legal aid;
Considering decree n ° 72-785 of August 25, 1972 relating to canvassing and advertising in matters of consultation and drafting of legal acts, modified by decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 organizing the profession of lawyer ;
Considering the decree n ° 91-1197 of November 27, 1991 modified organizing the profession of lawyer;
Having heard the Council of State (interior section), Decrees:


TITLE I
ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF THE LAWYER PROFESSION
 

Article 1

The essential principles of the profession guide the behavior of the lawyer in all circumstances. 

Article 2

The profession of lawyer is a liberal and independent profession whatever its mode of practice.

Article 3

The lawyer exercises his functions with dignity, conscience, independence, probity and humanity, in accordance with the terms of his oath.
He also respects, in this exercise, the principles of honor, loyalty, disinterestedness, brotherhood, delicacy, moderation and courtesy.
He demonstrates competence, dedication, diligence and prudence to his clients.

Article 4

Subject to the strict requirements of his own defense before any jurisdiction and cases of declaration or disclosure provided or authorized by law, the lawyer does not, in any matter, make any disclosure that contravenes professional secrecy.

Article 5

The lawyer respects the secrecy of the investigation and the investigation in criminal matters, by refraining from communicating, except to his client for the needs of the defense, information extracted from the file, or from publishing documents, exhibits or letters concerning an investigation or information in progress.
He may only send copies of documents or documents from the procedural file to his client or to third parties under the conditions provided for in Article 114 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.


TITLE II
DUTIES TOWARDS CUSTOMERS

Article 6

The legal profession contributes to access to justice and the law.
The lawyer is bound to comply with the appointments and commissions ex officio, unless there is a legitimate reason for excuse or impediment admitted by the authority which made the appointment or the commission.
Within the framework of an agreement concluded in application of article 57 of the aforementioned law of July 10, 1991, the lawyer can, at the end of a free legal consultation given in particular in a town hall, or a house of justice and the law, agree to take care of the interests of the person he receives and who requests it.

Article 7

The lawyer may not be the counsel, representative or advocate of more than one client in the same case if there is a conflict between the interests of his clients or, unless the parties agree, if there is a risk. seriousness of such a conflict.
Unless the parties agree in writing, he refrains from dealing with the affairs of all the clients concerned when a conflict of interest arises, when professional secrecy risks being violated or when his independence risks no longer being complete.
He cannot accept a new client’s case if the secrecy of information given by a former client is in danger of being violated or when the lawyer’s knowledge of the former client’s affairs would favor the new client.
When lawyers are members of a practice group, the provisions of the preceding paragraphs are applicable to this group as a whole and to all its members. They also apply to lawyers who practice their profession by pooling resources, when there is a risk of breach of professional secrecy.

Article 8

The lawyer must provide proof of a written mandate except in cases where the law or regulations presume its existence.
The lawyer first ensures the legality of the operation for which he is mandated. He strictly respects the purpose of the mandate and ensures that the granter obtains an extension of his powers if the circumstances so require.
The lawyer may not, without having been specifically authorized in writing by the principal, transact in his name and on his behalf or bind him irrevocably by a proposal or an offer to contract.
The lawyer may not dispose of funds, bills or securities or alienate the property of the principal unless the mandate expressly stipulates it or, failing that, after having been specially authorized in writing by the principal.

Article 9

The lawyer drafting a legal act ensures the validity and full effectiveness of the act according to the parties’ expectations. He refuses to participate in the drafting of an act or a clearly illicit or fraudulent agreement. Unless discharged by the parties, he is required to carry out the legal or regulatory formalities required by the act he is drafting and to request the prior payment of the necessary funds.
The lawyer who is the sole drafting of an act ensures the balance of the interests of the parties. When it has been seized by only one of the parties, it informs the other party of the possibility that it has to be advised and to be assisted by another lawyer.
If he has acted as the sole drafter in his capacity as counsel for all the parties, he cannot act or defend on the validity, execution or interpretation of the act he has drafted, unless the dispute emanates from ‘a third.
If he has acted as sole drafter without advising all the parties, or if he participated in its drafting without being the sole drafter, he may act or defend on the execution or interpretation of the act of which he was the drafter or in the drafting of which he participated. He can also defend on the validity of the act.

Article 10

In the absence of an agreement between the lawyer and his client, the fees are set according to custom, depending on the client’s financial situation, the difficulty of the case, the costs incurred by the lawyer, reputation and of the latter’s due diligence. The lawyer in charge of a file can ask for fees from his client even if this file is withdrawn from him before its conclusion, to the extent of the work accomplished.
The lawyer informs his client, as soon as he is referred, then on a regular basis, of the methods for determining the fees and the foreseeable evolution of their amount. Where applicable, this information is included in the fee agreement.
Flat rate fees can be agreed. The lawyer may receive fees from a client on a periodic basis, including in lump sum form.
Remuneration for business contributions is prohibited.

Article 11

The lawyer who accepts the charge of a case may ask his client for the prior payment of a provision to be used against his costs and fees.
This provision cannot go beyond a reasonable estimate of the fees and probable disbursements involved in the case.
In the absence of payment of the requested deposit, the lawyer may give up dealing with the case or withdraw from it under the conditions provided for in article 13. He provides his client with all the information necessary for this purpose.

Article 12

The lawyer keeps at all times, by file, precise and distinct accounts of the fees and any sum that he may have received and the allocation which has been given to them, except in the case of a global flat rate.
Before any final settlement, the lawyer gives his client a detailed account. This account clearly shows the costs and disbursements, the tariffed emoluments and the fees. It mentions the sums previously received as a provision or in any other way.
An account drawn up in accordance with the procedures provided for in the preceding paragraph is also issued by the lawyer at the request of his client or the chairman of the bar, or when required by the president of the tribunal de grande instance or the first president of the court of appeal, seized of a dispute as regards fees or disbursements or as regards tax.

Article 13

The lawyer carries out the case for which he is responsible to its conclusion, unless his client discharges him or if he decides not to continue his mission. In the latter case, he informs his client in good time so that his interests are safeguarded.

Article 14

When the case is finished or is discharged from it, the lawyer returns without delay the documents for which he is the custodian. Disputes concerning the return of documents are settled according to the procedure provided for in terms of the amount and recovery of fees.

Article 15

Advertising is permitted to the lawyer if it provides information to the public and if its implementation respects the essential principles of the profession.
Advertising includes the dissemination of information on the nature of the services offered, since it is exclusive of any form of canvassing.
Any personalized service offer addressed to a potential client is prohibited for the lawyer.

TITLE III
DUTIES TOWARDS THE OPPOSITE PARTY
AND TOWARDS COLLEAGUES 

Article 16

The lawyer complies with the requirements of a fair trial. He behaves loyally towards the opposing party. He respects the rights of the defense and the adversarial principle.
The mutual and complete communication of the means of fact, of the evidence and of the means of law takes place spontaneously, in good time and by the means provided for by the rules of procedure.

Article 17

If a dispute is likely to receive an amicable solution, before any procedure or when an action is already pending before a court, the lawyer can contact or receive the opposing party only with the consent of his client. On this occasion, he reminds the opposing party of the right to consult a lawyer and invites him to let him know the name. He refrains from any unfair presentation of the situation or any threat to him. He may nevertheless mention the possibility of a procedure.
The lawyer, representative of his client, may address any injunction or formal notice to the latter’s opponent.

Article 18

The lawyer responsible for assisting a client in a negotiation can only conduct negotiations in the presence of his client or with the latter’s agreement.
On the occasion of talks with an interlocutor assisted by a lawyer, he cannot receive him alone, except with the prior agreement of his colleague.

Article 19

Unless the president agrees beforehand, a lawyer who accepts to succeed a colleague cannot defend the interests of the client against his predecessor.
The new lawyer strives to get his client to pay any sums that may remain due to a colleague previously seized of the case. If he receives a payment from the client while sums remain due to his predecessor, he informs the President of the Bar.
The lawyer who succeeds a colleague intervening for legal aid can only claim fees if his client has expressly waived the benefit of such legal aid. He first informs his client of the consequences of this waiver. In addition, he informs his previously mandated colleague of his intervention, the
Difficulties relating to the remuneration of the lawyer initially seized or to the return by the latter of the documents in the case are submitted to the President of the Bar.

TITLE IV
SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF PRACTICE
OF THE PROFESSION 

Article 20

The lawyer exercising the functions of collaborator of deputy or assistant of senator cannot perform any act of the profession in favor of the persons received within the framework of these functions.

Article 21

The honorary lawyer remains subject to the obligations resulting from the lawyer oath.
He may not perform any act of the profession except the consultation or the drafting of acts, with the authorization of the President of the Bar.
The honorary lawyer can accept a mission of justice, arbitration, expertise or mediation. He may also participate in an administrative commission or an examination or competition jury.

TITLE V
FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 22

Articles 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161 and 245 of the aforementioned decree of 27 November 1991 are repealed.

Article 23

In article 2 of the aforementioned decree of 25 August 1972, the word: “letters” is deleted. 

Article 24

This decree is applicable to Mayotte, the Wallis and Futuna Islands, French Polynesia and New Caledonia. 

Article 25

The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, and the Overseas Minister are responsible, each as far as he is concerned, with the execution of this decree, which will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.
Done in Paris, July 12, 2005.

Dominique de Villepin


By the Prime Minister:

The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice,
Pascal Clément
The Overseas Minister,
François Baroin

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