Philippe Lefaure, president of Guéret: “There is human justice in Creuse”

No, Guéret is not the smallest bar in France. “We are third, after Lozère and Saint-Gaudens”, rectifies Philippe Lefaure, who represents the lawyers of Creuse for two years.

Nineteen lawyers in Creuse. Is it sufficient ?

It is a stable number. But there will be retirements. Three lawyers are in their 70s. We need renewal but it’s hard to bring young people to Creuse. However, there is work for everyone.

How to convince young lawyers to come and practice in Creuse?

They are trained in Bordeaux. The problem is the same as for doctors: young people want to work in big cities, in Bordeaux, La Rochelle. Guéret is unattractive except for those with ties here. To convince them, you have to tell them that the Creuse is beautiful?! That the work is varied: we don’t do the same thing every day, that’s what I like. And there is this proximity to the court. We are like a big family. We know the clerks, the magistrates, it makes the job easier. There is a human justice, it is not slaughter like in the big cities.

Are there specialized lawyers in Creuse?

We are all generalists, even if we have preferences. There is not enough work to specialize. We defend all causes: civil, commercial, criminal, social law.

What are the duties of the lawyer?

We have a duty to advise our customers who are having difficulties. Either we consider an amicable settlement, or we go to the judiciary. The lawyer is responsible for bringing a case to justice or defending it when the person is attacked.
I would like to develop legal advice, for example for the creation of a company or for making leases. In order to not only do litigation but also legal, construction.

When is the use of a lawyer mandatory?

When the court is seized, most of the time the lawyer is obligatory. You can’t go to court without a lawyer except in correctional courts, industrial tribunals and for rural leases.

What if you don’t know a lawyer?

You must call the Order ( which will give you the list of lawyers. In court, if someone wants a lawyer but does not have one, it is the President of the Bar or the President of the court who appoints one. It is often the duty lawyer.

How much does a lawyer cost in Creuse?

The fees are free. We can work by the hour or on a fixed price. Everyone determines their fees. For me, it’s around 200 euros per hour.

And for those who can’t afford it?

There is legal aid. The State bears the legal costs. He pays a flat rate to the lawyers. To benefit from it, the reference tax income must not exceed a ceiling, which is around 12,000 euros per year. Legal aid can be total or partial. In Creuse, many people benefit from legal aid. Often people don’t dare go to see a lawyer because they have low incomes. We have to tell them that there is this help. We won’t ask them anything.

Lawyers had demonstrated in recent years because they feared that some litigation would go to the big cities. Where we are ?

We are still very worried. The abolition of the Limoges Court of Appeal in favor of Bordeaux or Poitiers is not completely at the bottom of the drawer. It is unlikely to say that we are going to do local justice but that we are going to plead in Bordeaux. It will deter people from appealing.

Find the first part of our series on Justice: What are the missions of the clerks, discreet, but essential to the judicial court of Guéret?

Catherine Perrot


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