Legal representation

Nov, 18 2023


Generally, the parties – legal entities and individuals – participate in the trial.

Citizens have the right to independently represent their interests, and legal entities are represented by the director – “a person who has the right to act without a power of attorney.”

Legal representation: concept, types, powers of a representative

In addition to independent representation of interests, there is an institution of representation.

A legal representative is a person acting on behalf of and in the interests of the represented participant in the proceedings. He or she can implement the following:

  • help a participant in the process;
  • perform procedural actions instead of the defendant;
  • be represent at hearings when the defendant’s appearance is impossible.

The current Civil Procedure Code and Arbitration Law allows individuals and legal entities to conduct business through representatives, in accordance with the legal procedure.

Types of representation

The institution of representation is divided into several types:

  • Legal representatives acting on behalf of incapacitated citizens or persons who have incomplete legal capacity. They represent legal interests and protect the freedoms and rights of children, wards and other persons specified by federal law;
  • acting on the basis of a power of attorney, which entitles them to represent the interests of the principal before third parties and to conclude contracts and transactions;
  • court-appointed representation may be granted in compelling circumstances.

Defendants and plaintiffs may determine for themselves who will defend their interests and perform court-appointed representation in civil proceedings. It is necessary to take into account the limitations enshrined in the CPC and properly draft the documents confirming the powers.

Powers of the representative

Powers of court-appointed representation in civil proceedings are divided into two main groups:

  1. general – to perform any procedural actions on behalf of the principal: acquaintance with case materials; extracts and copies from materials; filing objection; provision and examination of evidence, filing motions; questioning participants of the case; giving arguments and explanations.
  2. Special – actions that can be performed only on the basis of a power of attorney.

By appointment of the court, the representative has the same powers as the principal. But some of the functions of a human rights defender are necessarily set separately:

  • drafting and filing a claim;
  • deciding to bring the case to the next instance court;
  • filing counterclaims;
  • lodging a complaint

These powers are mandatory indicated in the power of attorney, if it is necessary to perform them within the framework of the case.

The legality of actions is proved by an order, power of attorney; for legal entities – constituent documents, protocols of election, orders of appointment.

Rules and nuances of choosing representatives

The process of choosing an applicant for representation by court appointment is not easy, but there are a few rules that can help you choose a representative to continue to work together successfully.

The representative should be an attorney, a lawyer, or a law firm.

A higher legal education is often established as a requirement for a representative in disputes. Therefore, it does not make sense to consider an unqualified applicant. He will not be allowed to attend the hearing and therefore will not be able to take part in the dispute.

It is sensible to choose a lawyer. It is not enough to have a law degree to become a lawyer. He or she should receive a high score from experienced colleagues, pass a difficult examination and be allowed to practise law. The status of a lawyer indicates competence.

The rule of ‘attorney-client privilege’ guarantees the non-disclosure of data on the progress of the case. The lawyer may request the necessary documents in order to obtain evidence affecting the course of the case and the outcome.

A law firm has an advantage over a private lawyer. Having interchangeable specialists reduces the risk of missing a court hearing for any reason.

In order not to make the wrong choice, it is advisable make sure that the representative specialises in a particular profile. 

Law is a broad field. It is impossible to have skills in every field at the same time. 

Each specialist focuses on his or her main area of expertise: civil law, labour law, criminal disputes.

There are lawyers who deal with dispute resolution and court-appointed representation. These specialists are experienced in handling procedural cases and in public speaking. They are skilled in presenting a party’s position to the court.

You can find out more about the field of activity of an applicant for court-appointed representation on the Internet, from acquaintances, business executives who have asked them for help.

It is often possible to find publications or comments in specialist publications and study the rating. It is formed on the basis of analysis of unbiased feedback from clients. But not all lawyers or companies are interested in publicity and publicity. That is why not all of them can be seen in the rankings.

  • The rule of three “no’s”.

A lawyer is not allowed to promise the defendant a positive result of a dispute. This rule is fixed in the Code of Professional Ethics of a lawyer. A lawyer, who does not have the status of a lawyer, also cannot guarantee a positive solution, even if the case is undisputed.

He or she does not offer the client to influence the course of the case by means of acquaintances or bribes. This is illegal and illogical. Every dispute goes through three or more instances. For example, cassation court may declare a previous decision illegal and overturn it.

The remuneration cannot be too low or too high. A company with a famous name does not guarantee the provision of an experienced human rights defender. Often the popular name of the firm hides a staff of inexperienced professionals. Their “cost price” is much lower than the amount on the company’s price list.

A low price may indicate a lack of experience or the use of standard forms in court. This can have a negative impact on the court’s decision in complex cases requiring detailed consideration.

  • Personal acquaintance with the representative

Once a candidate for representative is chosen, it is worth getting to know them in person, talking to him or her one on one to find out if he or she is a good match for you.

There are no universal rules of communication. It is worth relying on the comfort of being in the company of a representative, quality and literacy of speech, intuition.

Representation in court: drafting of credentials and provision of supporting documents 

After choosing the advocate, it is necessary to prepare the documents necessary for speaking at the hearing.

The power of attorney is executed in the form of attorney’s warrant (for court of general jurisdiction) or power of attorney. Depending on the status of the principal, it is prepared differently. A citizen draws up and certifies it with a notary, while a legal entity draws up the document in writing and signs it with the seal of the organisation.

It is obligatory to indicate the time and date of execution; surname, first name and patronym, address of the trustor and trustee; period of validity (not exceeding three years).

Then, the powers and rights stipulated in the relevant document are defined. These include:

  • Signature of documents;
  • acknowledgement or rejection of claims and demands;
  • conclusion of a settlement agreement;
  • Receipt of awarded money or property;
  • attending meetings of creditors.

Sometimes a power of attorney needs to be drawn up for representation in a particular dispute or case.

It is worth considering a power of attorney. If the case is extensive, requiring more than one specialist, then the possibility of delegation of powers is indicated.

The power will enable additional persons to be involved.

Author of the article
Legal representation
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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