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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
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Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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What duties if any does a practising solicitor owe a litigant

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What duties if any does a practising solicitor owe a litigant in person when dealing in a case against one ?
I assume from your previous questions that your question relates to Queensland.

The following link is to the Queensland solicitors rules which govern their overall obligations as solicitors and which include various obligations as to how they deal with opponents (which include unrepresented parties), particularly rule 18:

http://www.lsc.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/184641/Legal-Profession-Solicitors-Rule-2007.pdf

There are otherwise no specific laws which require lawyers to deal in any particular way with unrepresented parties. That said it is commonly the case that the court will watch the conduct of the lawyer more closely in cases where their opponents are unrepresented to guard against that lawyer obtaining any advantage due to the unrepresented parties lack of familiarity with the court process. That said, the indulgence of the court in favour of unrepresented parties is usually greater in Magistrate Court proceedings than in the District Court or Supreme Courts since procedures in those courts are not designed with unrepresented parties in mind, and accordingly are stricter and more legalistic, meaning that in those courts, unrepresented parties may well be at a disadvantage.

I trust the above assists.

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Thank you and good luck.

Patrick

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