General Principles for Counsel
In Criminal, Delinquency, Dependency
And Civil Commitment Cases

Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution... In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right ... to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence (sic).

Article I, Section 11 of the Oregon Constitution... In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right ... to be heard by himself and counsel.

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Principle 1
The paramount obligation of counsel is to provide quality representation and diligent advocacy for the client at all stages of the representation.

Principle 2
To provide quality representation and diligent advocacy, counsel must preserve, protect and promote the client's rights and interests.

Principle 3
To ensure the preservation, protection and promotion of the client's rights and interests, counsel must:
  1. be proficient in the applicable substantive and procedural law;

  2. abide by the Code of Professional Responsibility and the rules of the court;

  3. acquire and maintain appropriate experience, skills and training;

  4. devote adequate time and resources to the case;

  5. engage in the preparation necessary for quality representation;

  6. endeavor to establish and maintain a relationship of trust and open communication with the client;

  7. keep the client informed and seek the lawful objectives of the client; and

  8. make accommodations where necessary due to a client's special circumstances, such as youth, mental or physical disability, or foreign language barrier.
Principle 4
To promote the interests of clients and society at large, counsel must actively seek improvement in the administration of justice, including the provision of adequate resources.