DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LAWYER IN HANDLING CASES As court officers, lawyers have an important role to play in preserving society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by lawyers of their relationship with and function in our legal system. A consequent obligation of lawyers is to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct. In carrying out his professional duties, a lawyer inevitably plays various roles that require the execution of many difficult tasks. Not every circumstance he can face can be foreseen, but basic ethical principles are still in place to guide him. The first and foremost duty of a lawyer is to advocate the proper administration of justice. Hence, lawyers are expected to be at the forefront in the observance and maintenance of the rule of law and of the preservation of its democratic institution and liberties. Also, according to the Code of Professional Responsibility, the lawyers should be guided by their four-fold duties – to the courts, the clients, their colleagues and the society. Firstly, lawyers has the duty to maintain respect due to courts for that said respect guarantees the stability of our democratic institutions. He has the right to criticize the wrong doings of the court, however, he must see to it that he uses respectful language. Furthermore, a lawyer’s duty is to render service without the involvement of any disrespect to the judicial office which he is bound to uphold. Secondly, the duty of the lawyer to his client is considered as highly personal, highly fiduciary, and highly confidential. A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him. He is truly expected to be vigilant in the prosecution or defense of his client’s right. However, a lawyer must see to it that although he is expected to defend his client’s cause, it should not be at the expense of the truth and the defiance of the clear purpose of laws. Thirdly, a lawyer’s duty to his colleagues is to always maintain respect towards each other. Fourthly, his duty to the society, according to the Code of Professional Responsibility is that, a lawyer shall make his legal services available in an efficient and convenient manner compatible with the independent, integrity and effectiveness o the profession. He shall not reject, except for valid reasons, the cause of the defenses or the oppressed. With all the foregoing duties mentioned, it is true therefore that a lawyer has a more dynamic and positive role in the community than merely complying with the minimal technicalities of the statute. As a man of law, he is necessarily a leader of community, and is looked up to as a model citizen. An attorney must always be mindful that the practice of law is more of a privilege than a right. It is granted by the state only to those who measure up to the exacting standards of mental and moral fitness.