No representation by an attorney is required before the Amtsgericht;
any party may conduct his or her own case in this Court (section 79, ZPO).
Any party may also be assisted by a friend or other adviser at the hearing (section 90, ZPO).
Before the higher Courts (Landgericht, Oberlandesgericht and Supreme Court), the principle of compulsory representation by a Rechtsanwalt applies (Prinzip des Anwaltszwangs). This means that each party has to be represented by a Rechtsanwalt who has been admitted to practise before the particular Court (section 78, ZPO) in accordance with the rule of the German Bar which recognises local admission only. Anwaltszwang applies to every step in the proceedings before these Courts, except to those few cases (expressly defined by statutory provisions) where declarations can be made before the Clerk of the Court (Urkundsbeamte der Geschiiftsstelle), or those parts of the proceedings which take place before a requested judge (ersuchter Richter) (see para. 24 above).
Rechtsanwilte and any other representatives must prove that they are entitled to conduct the proceedings on behalf of the party whom they represent. This is done by the production of a written authorisation in the prescribed form (Prozessvollmacht). The extent of this power is standardised by law (section 81, ZPO). It includes, in addition to other rights, the power to settle the case by way of compromise, and even to renounce the rights of the party represented, or to acknowledge indebtedness.
But the party may restrict the authority within certain limits. The signature of the party requires as a rule no authentication by either witnesses or a notary, but the Court may...
SECTION VII - Legal Representation And Legal Assistance In Proceedings
|Author:||E. J. Cohn and G. Meyer|
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