In legal practice, Codification refers to the procedure of recording the acts of a lawyer. Codification may be a precondition to a lawyer’s acceptance of an assignment or it may be the very procedure by which he accepts that assignment. In common parlance, however, it is generally understood to mean “to record in writing.” In law, codification is simply the procedure of compiling and recording the laws of a country, usually by area, formulating a legally binding codex of laws, i.e. a codex.
This procedure applies to all kinds of law: civil law, criminal law, family law, and even private litigations. Before lawyers begin their work in any area of law, they generally draft a Code of Professional Responsibility Conduct of Attorneys Code of Ethics. A Code of Professional Responsibility and Ethical Standards of Lawyers is essentially a set of rules and regulations designed to protect attorneys from unethical conduct. These documents also help to discipline lawyers from unethical behavior and ensure that lawyers remain honest in their practices. It also requires attorneys to be subject to disciplinary action in instances where they fail to comply with these ethical standards.
Codification also provides an important level of protection for clients. For instance, a court may require an attorney to record meetings in a proceeding. If no written record is maintained, a court will not have complete knowledge of meetings that took place between two attorneys. Such extraneous meetings, when they take place, may result in conflicts between attorneys that are irrelevant to the underlying case. Without codification, such extraneous meetings would likely not be recorded, and courts could not properly oversee such matters as non-disclosure agreements, attorney-client privilege and attorney work product.
Codification also ensures the uniformity of the legal system. In particular, codification provides a standardized system of terminology use. This uniformity improves the quality of legal communications. Uniform law creates a better-quality environment for litigation involving multiple parties. It also facilitates the interchange of information that is needed in legal disputes. For instance, cases dealing with business laws, real estate laws, family law and juvenile law often involve terminology that is unique among the various jurisdictions.
In some ways, lawyers have benefitted from the development of codification. This benefit has been particularly appreciated by bar associations. As a result of the uniformity of the legal record that codification affords, bar associations have been successful in developing standards of what constitutes proper recordkeeping. Bar associations have also been successful in preventing frivolous claims from being filed and in maintaining the standard of competence necessary for attorneys to serve their clients effectively. In addition, it has been found that, in some instances, attorneys have been prevented from providing certain services because of codification. For instance, in the case of divorce, the attorney may be prohibited from giving certain legal advice because of the nature of the case and because of the strict limitations placed on him or her by governing statutes.
Codification also has some disadvantages. One major disadvantage is that codification can be viewed by others as having an additional or added value beyond the practical utility. There are also inherent difficulties associated with the procedure for codifying records. These difficulties include time-consuming record retrieval from electronic databases and the difficulty of matching a template for a codifying statute to a specific jurisdiction. There are also difficulties inherent in the collection and retention of data and of indexing of the information.
Another concern that may be raised with what is codification, is the effect of such a procedure on the practice of law in other areas or for other professionals besides attorneys. The concern is that if there is a deviation from the original jurisdiction of the law, then the deviation could be considered as lawbreaking. Codification also alters the incentives that law has to offer its practitioners. For instance, once a case is codified, a party cannot subsequently litigate the same case using the same legal methods and arguments because that party’s activities would be deemed to be in violation of the new law.
What is codification also has some limitations regarding the protection of the individual’s rights that may be protected by law. In order for a person to seek codification, he or she must file an action in the appropriate jurisdiction. He or she must also abide by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the case was filed. This means that the person must also abide by the principles governing that jurisdiction. Moreover, it also means that an attorney who is attempting to obtain what is codification must first establish the jurisdiction of the court in which the case will be heard, before attempting to secure it.