Professional Ethics & Practice
- Sarah is an advocate of the High Court of 15 years’ standing. She has been employed as an associate with the firm of Wakili and Company Advocates. Three years ago she resigned from her job and proceeded to the United Kingdom for further studies. She is now back in the country and is interested in pursuing a part-time teaching career at a local university’s faculty of law while practicing law. In pursuance of her practicing career, Sarah has established a law firm by the name Of Sarah Mkubwa & Co. Advocates. She has embarked on her practicing career with gusto and already has few clients one of whom is Tom. Tom was recently relieved of his duties as a banker by Mali Nyingi Bank.
Tom’s instructions to Sarah include the following:
File a suit against his former employer Mali Nyingi Bank and seek compensation for wrongful dismissal.
(ii) Prepare and lodge the relevant documents for the registration of a limited liability company.
In this representation, Sarah and Tom enter into a retainer agreement in which they agree inter alia that Tom will only pay Sarah legal fees if the suit against his employer succeeds. They also agree that Sarah will not be held accountable for any negligence on her part in the course of her representation of Tom.
Sarah realizes she has not taken out a practicing certificate for the year 2014 but decides to proceed to work as per Tom’s instructions nonetheless.
Meanwhile, Tom has made a business proposal to Sarah for her consideration. He promises to send her several clients if she agrees to give him 10% of the legal fees for those matters.
Sarah on her part assures Tom that she has spoken to her cousin Justice Kwame who has confirmed that he will ensure the case is heard by him and that he will return a favorable judgment to her. This promise was repeated to Tom by the said judge during Sarah’s homecoming party after which Tom presented Justice Kwame with an expensive Rolex watch as a gift and which gift Justice Kwame gladly accepted. Justice Kwame then called Sarah aside and whispered to her that he intends to ‘assist her in all her matters by speaking to the judicial officers handling her matters to return favorable decisions.
Meanwhile, Sarah has to contend with a former client Jack who filed a complaint alleging that Sarah had misappropriated his money amounting to Kshs.200,000. This complaint was forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and is being handled by Sarah’s classmate at Kenya School of Law by the name Austin. Though Austin has established that the complaint against Sarah has no merit, he has vowed to proceed with the prosecution of the matter to teach Sarah a lesson for turning down his marriage proposal while they were students at the Kenya School of Law.
- a) Carefully consider the narrative above and identify ethical issues that arise.
(8 Marks) b) What steps should be taken in disciplining Justice Kwame?
(7 Marks)ATP 105 Professional Ethics & Practice r 2014-1