Lawyer gave only Dh200,000 out of Dh3m compensation awarded to plaintiff
Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation has upheld the decision issued by the Lawyers Disciplinary Council to permanently revoke a lawyer’s licence for violating his professional duties.
The decision was based on a complaint against the lawyer in relation to a compensation case. According to the facts of the case, an agreement has been concluded between the plaintiff and the lawyer for filing a compensation case against a hospital which inflicted severe damages on the plaintiff’s wife as a result of a medical error. The agreement stated that a fee of 25 per cent of the awarded compensation would go to the lawyer.
The plaintiff was awarded a sum of Dh3 million which was received and encashed by the lawyer based on the power of attorney (POA) issued to him. Out of this amount, the lawyer deposited only a sum of Dh200,000 in the plaintiff’s wife account.
The lawyer refrained from handing over the compensation amount ordered by the court which he received based on a power of attorney issued to him by the plaintiff, thereby breaching his professional ethics and his obligation towards his client.
The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation stated that based on the case file, “it is established that the amount received by the defendant was not handed over to his client apart from the Dh200,000. This forms a violation of the lawyer’s code of conduct and professional ethics stipulated in Article 47 of the Law Regulating the Legal Profession.”
The violation occurs when a lawyer performs any act that degrades the value of the profession or affects the rights of his client, through the exploiting of the POA granted to him. The court believes that the decision issued by the disciplinary council to convict the lawyer and permanently cancel his license is accurate and correctly complies with the law.
Article 31 of the Law Regulating the Legal Profession states that a lawyer may not buy any disputed rights wholly or partly nor may he agree to take part of them in return for his fees. The condition provided for in the agreement in relation to payment of attorney fee out of the decided award is deemed illegal.
The Court of Cassation is the highest judicial body in Abu Dhabi that has the power to consider challenges filed against the judgments rendered in the Courts of Appeal, and to decide on jurisdictional conflicts that may emerge among the Emirate courts.
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