Are court-appointed lawyers good lawyers

Objectivity / misinformation

As an independent body responsible for the administration of justice and as the appointed advisor and representative of those seeking justice, the lawyer must represent the interests of his client. Performing this task does not allow the lawyer to always treat those involved in the proceedings so gently that they do not feel their personality has been impaired. The BVerfG therefore emphasizes that the lawyer may also use strong, haunted expressions and obvious catchphrases in the “fight for the law”, practice scolding or argue “ad personam” (BVerfG, BRAK-Mitt. 1988, 54 ff.). It is not decisive whether the lawyer could have phrased his criticism differently. In principle, legal behavior must also be accepted and tolerated that is perceived as improper, as a violation of good manners and tact, or generally viewed as irrelevant. In terms of professional law, this applies even if the behavior of the individual lawyer is detrimental to the reputation of the legal profession in general (AGH Bremen, BRAK-Mitt. 2009, 286 ff.). From all of this it follows that a disparaging statement alone is not sufficient to justify a professionally relevant violation of the objectivity requirement. A breach of professional duty is only to be assumed if the reduction in content or form is to be judged as a punishable insult, defamation or defamation and is not justified by the perception of legitimate interests.

In individual cases, the question can often be asked whether the disparaging statement actually crosses the threshold of criminal insult. Apart from formal insults or so-called defamatory criticism, it must always be clarified exactly whether the disparaging statement was made in the dispute with the matter or whether the defamation of the person is in the foreground. In cases in which the admissibility of a statement is in question, the interpretation of the content of the statement must be carried out on the basis of a weighing up. An isolated consideration of only a certain part of the criticized statement is prohibited here. Rather, the disparaging utterance must always be assessed by the lawyer in the context of the entire facts and arguments. Against this background, a disparaging statement can, depending on the circumstances of the individual case, be classified as a criminal offense or as a statement that is still permitted. In the legal assessment, the question of whether the disparaging statement was made in the perception of legitimate interests often turns out to be just as difficult. The basic prerequisite for such an assumption is that the other parties involved or the course of the proceedings have given rise to the disparaging statement at all. An appeal to the protection of legitimate interests can be excluded if dishonorable, grossly untrue factual assertions are made. The justification for safeguarding legitimate interests is also excluded if the disparaging statement can or should no longer serve to safeguard interests in favor of the client. This is especially the case if the offensive behavior presents itself as a derogation that is beside the point. Overall, there is often only a narrow and also normative degree between an unjustified disparaging statement and behavior that is still permitted under professional law. In any case, the subjective feeling of a possible degradation is not a legally relevant yardstick.