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Clients & Ethics

On this page

Professional Standards

Due to the nature of legal practice, we all face ethical dilemmas at some time or another. If you are troubled by a particular situation and find you are not sure what to do, help is available.

The Law Society of South Australia invites its members to contactthe Director of Professional Standards.

The Law Society has a collection of ethics and trust accounting resources (Resources). They also have an Online Ethics Enquiry Service.

Professional Standards Section
Law Society SA
Phone: (08) 8229 0229
Fax: (08) 8410 5688
Law Society web site

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Commentary on Law and Ethics

client relations legal ethics ethical issues

Criminal Lawyer Ethics

A common question asked of criminal lawyers is "How do you defend somebody who you think is guilty?". For an interesting discussion on this issue, see the Radio National's the Law Report's 'The Ethics of Criminal Lawyers' interview:

South Australia 3 client relations legal ethics ethical issues

Complaints and Conduct Board

Legal Practitioners Conduct Board

Level 3, 33 Franklin Street, Adelaide

GPO Box 230, Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: (08) 8212 7924
Free Call: 1800 337 570
Fax: (08) 8231 0747

Information on the web site for practitioners includes advice as to how to respond to a complaint.

Dealing With Complaints

Rule No. 1. If a client complains absolutely do not bury your head in the sand, throw bombs back again or despair.

Unless you are determined to turn a query into a formal complaint or Professional Negligence Claim.

Rule No. 2. Do not panic.

It is not the end of the world. Although it may start to seem that way if you don't follow Rule No. 3.

Rule No. 3. Talk to somebody about it.

This will help to get it into perspective and you can start getting help to see if there really is a problem. There may be answers that you have not seen. If there is, then together you can work out what you might do about it.

South Australia 1  client relations legal ethics ethical issues

Talk to Law Claims if it even potentially involves a professional negligence claim. They are very experienced and will talk to you confidentially.

If you are looking for an independent senior solicitor who is sympathetic to the problems of being a practitioner and who has already volunteered to help, then consider the Papa Panel provided by the Law Society of South Australia. (you need to log-in to access the list, or just call them).

The Independent Bar are also very generous and supportive of practitioners in times of crisis.