Rights and Duties
Most people have only a vague idea of the actual range of services offered by a lawyer.
Lawyers are advisors, representatives and helpers in all legal matters. The professional duties of a lawyer are regulated by law in the Austrian Lawyers' Code (Rechtsanwaltsordnung). A lawyer is authorised to represent parties before all courts and public authorities of the Republic of Austria, including the authority to professionally represent parties in all public and private matters in and out of court.
The cornerstone of a lawyer's work is his client's trust. Apart from the required expert knowledge and discretion, above all his integrity vis-à-vis the client and high professional ethics are the key to success. Moreover, lawyers are under a statutory obligation to maintain secrecy and are subject to strict professional rules intended to protect clients.
Lawyers who breach their professional duties or harm the reputation of the legal profession will be held responsible and must answer to the Disciplinary Board of their bar.
The Disciplinary Board's power to impose punishment goes as far as an expulsion from the lawyers' register.
Lawyers are also liable under criminal law and civil law.
The Law Firm
Every lawyer must equip his law firm with state-of-the-art communications technology in order to communicate with the courts electronically.