Key facts of the case:
Defendant B.Š submitted a cassation appealing the lower instances courts’ decisions. Applicant lawyer A.D. sued his former client B.Š. for unpaid honoraria of 15 000 Litas (EUR 4347) with 5% interest for provided legal services under the concluded contracts for legal representation. B.Š. launched counter-claim stating that contracts were concluded by fraud and should be declared void. After pronunciation of judgments (unfavourable to the client) in three cases where lawyer represented the defendant, he asked the defendant to pay honoraria. The term for payment under the legal services contract was not specified. Defendant B.Š. claimed that she did not understand when signing the contracts that she will have to pay despite the result reached in the cases and that lawyer misled her by his actions and explanations. First instance court satisfied the claim of lawyer A.D. Second instance appeal court rejected B.Š. appeal. Court of cassation stated that this case concerns a legal question arisen between the practising lawyer and the natural person who concluded the legal service contracts and the issue is whether such contracts should be viewed as contracts concluded between the customer and business service provider, whether guarantees applicable to customers should be applied in the present case as well. Court noted that customers’ rights protection is transposed into the national law, however on national level there is no formed judicial jurisprudence for treating contracts of legal service as pure customer service contracts. Such practice is not established and by the EU Court of Justice. Court of cassation decided to apply for preliminary ruling from EU Court of Justice.
The right to a fair trial and judicial protection, as a fundamental human right, is enshrined first of all in European Convention on Human Rights Article 6 paragraph 1, as well as recognized in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which since the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009 December 1, gained the status of a legally binding treaty. In the present context, particularly relevant are following provisions from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights [Article 47 and Article 51 (1)].