Legal investigations by an attorney at law (advocates) in Russia
Legal investigation is an attorney’s actions using an integrated approach to collect evidence and information, establish circumstances of legal significance, interact with third parties who own this or that information or evidence necessary to represent the client’s interests.
The definition of actions and measures necessary for the implementation of a detailed lawyer investigation is determined by the lawyer, taking into account the actual circumstances, based on knowledge of the law and law enforcement practice.
In accordance with the Federal Law “On Advocacy and the Bar in the Russian Federation”, one of the main powers of lawyers is the collection of information necessary for the provision of legal assistance, including requests for certificates, documents, characteristics and other information from state authorities, bodies local government, as well as public associations and other organizations. An attorney at law is entitled to collect the documents requested by him or their certified copies no later than one month from the date of receipt of the attorney’s request.
The second important power of a lawyer, which allows conducting lawyer investigations, is the right of an attorney at law to question persons who allegedly have information related to the case in which the attorney provides legal assistance. The specified authority allows conducting internal investigations with the involvement of qualified legal expertise, but without referring the issue to law enforcement and other bodies.
At the same time, all information related to the provision of legal assistance by an attorney at law to his client is an attorney-client secret and is protected by the Federal Law “On Advocacy and the Bar in the Russian Federation”. Thus, an attorney at law cannot be summoned and interrogated as a witness about the circumstances that became known to him in connection with applying to him for legal assistance or in connection with its provision. In addition, conducting operational-search measures and investigative actions against a lawyer (including in residential and office premises used by him to carry out advocacy) is allowed only on the basis of a court decision. Information, objects and documents obtained in the course of operational-search measures or investigative actions (including after the suspension or termination of the status of a lawyer) can be used as evidence of the prosecution only in those cases when they are not included in the advocate’s proceedings on the cases of his principals.
Additional means for conducting legal investigations is the right of an advocate to collect and present objects and documents that can be recognized as physical and other evidence. Also, a lawyer has the right to engage specialists on a contractual basis to clarify issues related to the provision of legal assistance.
- Advice on the prospects for conducting a legal investigation
- Determination of the structure and procedure for conducting an attorney’s at law investigation of violations in companies
- Gathering the necessary information as part of the legal investigation
- Sending requests to authorized authorities and organizations
- Survey of persons who have significant information
- Involvement of experts and specialists who have special knowledge for the investigation
- Settlement of conflict issues that arose during legal investigation