Lawyers in India are known for frequently missing scheduled hearings, not being prepared, and unscrupulous billing practices. This recent op-ed
of mine in the Hindu highlights some of these shortcomings and discusses potential remedies. (Others
have recently commented on the negative effects of frequent lawyer strikes, including boycotts
by lawyers who are upset with particular judges). There is plenty of blame to go around for the inefficiencies and procedural injustices we see in the judicial system. Judges who do not properly manage their courtrooms are certainly part of the problem. So is a government that doesn’t fund the system enough, or in the most effective manner. Still, it’s important to turn our attention to the bar because while this is where the public usually has its most direct interaction with the judicial system, it’s also one of the most under-regulated parts of the system.
I’ve gotten a few reactions to the piece emailed to me so far, including a couple people who have asked whether I had any tips on how to pick a good lawyer. I don’t. However, if any readers have any general advice feel free to leave them in the comment section (explicit advertising for – or against – particular lawyers will get screened). It might be useful for one of the legal news sources like Bar and Bench, Legally India, or Live Law to think about how they might be able to not only report on lawyers for lawyers, but also provide a screening mechanism for litigants who are interested in finding a lawyer – whether that’s just refining some tips or actually ranking or certifying lawyers.