Tue, Jun. 22, 2004

Ex-Judge Cannot Be Attorney

CK - Washington.   A retired appeals court judge is not automatically qualified for admission to the bar of the appeals court, the German Supreme Court ruled recently. The decision seems odd, because German lawyers train to be judges before they can seek admission to the bar.

The case involves a judge who retired from the appeals court and, after admission to the bar, sought an additional admission to the bar of the court of appeals. Only experienced lawyers qualify for such admission. Experience is demonstrated by having practiced in the lower courts for a period of five years. The Supreme Court decided to hold the judge to the same standards as other lawyers, docket number AnwZ (B) 77/03, decided January 12, 2004.

The Court interpreted the statute governing the practice of law, Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung, sections 20(I)(1) and 226(2). It found no discretion to exist which would permit the admissions board to apply an exception from the requiement of the required five year term which the judge had failed to meet. Since there was no room for discretion, the Court abstained from determining whether a 20 year term on the court of appeals would be equivalent to practicing law at the trial level. For the same reason, the Court did not address the issue of whether her affiliation with the court precluded her admission to the same court of appeals.

Unrelated: Vertretbar Weblawg disputes the notion that inexperienced lawyers abuse clients and argues that experienced lawyers are less familiar with the law.

Superlative Advertising

SK - Washington.   On June 17, 2004, the Supreme Court in Karlsruhe decided case number I ZR 284/01, American Online Inc. vs. T-Online International AG. The latter is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, a telephone company with activities in the United States. The Lawgical blog discusses the case in German. The court published a press release and the ruling should appear soon on its web site.

The Court affirmed a cease-and-desist order issued under unfair competition laws against T-Online. In 1999 and 2000, the company had promoted itself with the German equivalents of statements such as T-Online is Europe's greatest Internet-Provider or Today, T-Online is already one of the world greatest Internet corporations.

The Court pointed to clear precedent by which it would apply the standard of the perception of the average consumer to issues of advertising. In the instant case, it held that such a consumer would have been led to believe that T-Online was the most frequently used Internet provider. That was not true at the time, and the advertising was, therefore, over the top, enabling AOL to step in. See also, Sevriens, Irreführende Werbung.

      CURRENT :: 2003 :: 2004 :: 2005 :: 2006 :: 2007 :: 2008 :: 2009 :: 2010 :: 2011 :: 2012 :: 2013 :: 2014 :: 2015 :: 2016 :: 2017 :: 2018 :: 2019