New South Wales Court of Appeal - Introductory Information on Practice and Procedure

For Practitioners

As officers of the court, practitioners have a duty to this Court and others. In NSW, the statement of principles for Rules 17-24 of the Solicitors' Rules, makes this clear, stating:

Practitioners in all their dealings with the courts, whether those dealings involve the obtaining and presentation of evidence, the preparation and filing of documents, instructing an advocate or appearing as an advocate, should act with competence, honesty and candour. Practitioners should be frank in their responses and disclosures to the Court, and diligent in their observance of undertakings which they give to the Court or their opponents.

As is evident from the Solicitors' Rules, practitioners have a responsibility to ensure that they are aware of, and comply with the relevant practice notes.

Aside from this, practitioners also have a duty to ensure that they do not commence, defend or carry on proceedings without reasonable prospects of success, on behalf of clients. If a solicitor acts without reasonable prospects of success he or she may be liable to pay costs, under section 348 of the Legal Profession Act 2004. This is just one example of how a practitioner's failure to comply with the relevant legislation, rules or practice notes may have negative consequences for a practitioner and/or prejudice a client's case. It is therefore imperative that practitioners familiarise themselves with the relevant legislation, rules and practice notes.

Practitioners with queries concerning the rules of this Court, practice notes or case management should contact the Court.

Practitioners with queries concerning practice as a lawyer, the Solicitors' Rules or ethical issues should consider contacting the Law Society of New South Wales.