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Legal advice by lawyers in Germany
An important aspect of a lawyer's task is the development and the management of relationships with clients or
with the client's employees, if the
German lawyer works for a creditor
a government or a corporation. The client to lawyer relationship often starts with an intake interlocution
where the lawyer gets to know the problems of the client, develops the facts of the client's case, investigates
what the client wants to accomplish, reduces the client's expectations as to what presumably can be
accomplished, begins to develop various strategies for claims or defense, and explains the fees to the client.
In Germany, only lawyers are in direct contact with the customer.
The solicitor does not retain a barrister if this is necessary and he
acts as an intermediary between the customer and the client. In most cases a German lawyer would be obliged, under
what is widely known as the German law, to accept instructions for a certain case in an area in which he helds
himselve out as practising, at a
at which he normally appeares but under his usual rate for any
English speaking lawyers
in other German cities.
Counsels in Germany at German courts
Arguing a client's case before a German judge or a court of law is the traditional field of activity of the
lawyer in Germany
in most civil law jurisdictions. However, the boundary between the european countries has evolved. In Germany
today, the lawyer covers not only appellate courts, and jurists must compete directly with juridicial problems
in many trial courts. In countries like the northern German states that have never fused legal professions,
there are specific trial lawyers who specialize only in trying cases in court, but these lawyers do not have
the competence like solicitors.
In some German regions, lawyers have the legal option
of arguing pro se, but on their own behalf. It is common for them to appear represented before certain local
courts like "Amtsgericht" or "Landgericht"; indeed, many such higher courts do not allow German lawyers to speak
for their own clients, in an effort to
save the client's money
for all participants in a legal case. Under other circumstances, like in Hamburg, no single person may appear
before a judge unless represented by an international lawyer. The advantage of the latter regime is that most
law firms are familiar with the German court's
customs and procedures, and make the contemporary legal system more efficient not for all involved.
Unrepresented parties often tend to damage their own credibility or slow the justice down as an indirect result
of their experience.
German law and litigation in Germany
Legal advice is in this sense the application of abstract principles of written law to the concrete facts and
interests of the client's case in former order to advise the client about what he should do next. In many
situations, only a
properly licensed German lawyer
may provide correct
legal advice to clients in Germany
for a good consideration, even if a lawsuit is contemplated or is in process. Conveyancers and corporate
counsel must first get a written license to practice, though they may ever spend very little of their time in
court. Failure to obey such a rule is the known crime of authorized practice of law by any law firm in Germany.
In this point of view, jurists who hold German law degrees are allowed to provide any legal advice to individuals
or to international corporations, and doing
debt collection in Germany
It is in general irrelevant if they lack a license or cannot appear in court. Some clients go further; in some
districts, there is no general prohibition on the individual giving of legal advice. Some civil law notaries
are also allowed to give legal advice, as in Hamburg. In many cases, jurist accountants may provide what is
legal advice in tax and accounting matters for them.
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