Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2013
In Lithuania, lawyers (attorneys) (advokatai) who are admitted to the Lithuanian Bar Association (Lietuvos advokatūra) are subject to the duty of professional secrecy. The right to appear in a court is entitled only to attorneys who are admitted to the Lithuanian Bar Association (with a few exceptions for assistant attorneys, lawyers representing their relatives etc.). Such attorneys may practise law either individually or on the basis of a partnership without establishing a legal person or by establishing a legal person (a professional partnership of attorneys). All attorneys must comply with the Law on the Bar of the Republic of Lithuania (18 March 2004, no IX-2006) and with the Code of Attorney's Ethics. All attorneys are members of the Lithuanian Bar Association, which is a public legal person domiciled in Vilnius. Lawyers may also additionally join the Lithuanian Young Bar Association on a voluntary basis, which unites attorneys and their assistants (advokatų padėjėjai) under the age of forty-five years. The Lithuanian Young Bar Association is also a member of the European Young Bar Association.
According to the Law on the Bar, an assistant attorney has all the rights and duties of attorney provided by this law, except for membership in the Lithuanian Bar Association and a few restrictions established in procedural laws. An assistant attorney is entitled to represent his/her client's interests in court only subject to the written permission of the attorney (who is the supervisor of his/her apprenticeship) for representation in a particular case. The assistant attorney may be a representative only in courts of first instance and not earlier than one year after the commencement of his/her apprenticeship as an assistant attorney. The assistant attorney is not entitled to represent in criminal cases where serious or particularly serious crimes are concerned.