Although a Rechtsanwalt may give legal advice in any town, in the past he could not do so on a permanent basis. There were territorial limitations on legal representation and jurisdiction in civil matters but these did not extend to local courts of first instance (Amtsgerichte), tribunals, criminal or other matters. The old rules about geographical limitations are no longer valid. § 24 BRAO, that formerly regulated the geographical possibilities of a lawyer, has been abrogated since 1 January 2000. Thus today, as soon as you are registered as a lawyer in one county, you are allowed to give legal advice and to appear before court everywhere in Germany.
A Rechtsanwalt is usually concurrently admitted to a local court
and to regional court of first instance. After five years of practice,
a Rechtsanwalt may be admitted to the regional court of appeal
(Oberlandesgericht). In most areas he cannot be concurrently
admitted to a court of first instance and to an appeal court: however,
an exception is provided from this rule in certain areas (Baden-Württemberg,
Bayern, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg and the Saarland). This will change
from July 2002 onwards as a result of a judgement
of the Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) of December
2000 (BverfG 12.12.2000 Aktz 1 BvR 335/97) from when it will be possible
to hold all admissions concurrently.
A German notary is regarded as a state-related profession although generally is treated as a free profession. A notary is not the representative of either party, but must act as the impartial confidant of both parties.
All contracts to transfer the ownership of land, marriage contracts and public wills, must be drawn up and witnessed by a notary. A notary also has important fuctions in relation to the formation and registration of companies. So, notarial work is mainly a combination of certification and authentication, requiring intensive consultation with the clients and responding to their specific needs.
The main areas of the notarial work are: Real Estate Law, Commercial
and Company Law, Family Law and the Law of Succession.
The basic functions of Gerichtsvollzieher
Gerichtsvollzieher are civil servants working as servers and enforcers. In the area of execution (Zwangsvollstreckung) they are responsible for the seizure of property as well as the seizure of ships registered in the register of shipping, for the provisional seizure of claims, for the taking away of objects, the clearing of estates, dwellings and other premises, for the administering of the affirmation in lieu of an oath of disclosure including the relevant procedure and, if needs be the arrest of the debtor on the basis of a warrant issued by a judge, the arrest and production of witnesses as well as other arrests in civil proceedings.
 in the meaning of ‘eviction of people from the premises’
 The oath of disclosure or affirmation in lieu of an oath of disclosure is given by debtors who wish to affirm that they possess nothing that can be taken away – an insolvent debtors oath.
Copyright © 1995-2001 J Lonbay. All rights reserved.
Revised: 2 March 2002
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