attorney

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attorney,

agent put in place of another to manage particular affairs of the principal. An attorney in fact is an agent who conducts business under authority that is controlled and limited by a written document called a letter, or power, of attorney granted by the principal. An attorney at law is an officer of a court of law authorized to represent the person employing him (the client) in legal proceedings. England retains the distinction between the attorney as agent, the solicitorsolicitor,
in English law, person duly admitted to practice before the supreme court of judicature. He is the agent of the person whose suit he handles, and is distinguished from a barrister, who argues cases before the judge (see attorney).
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, who deals directly with the client but does not act as an advocate in court, and the attorney as pleader, the barrister (called advocate in Scotland), who presents the case in court. Most senior and distinguished barristers are designated King's (Queen's) counsel. The distinction between agent and pleader also exists in Europe. In the United States, a similar distinction was formerly made in some states between a counselor at law, who argued the case in court, and an attorney, who prepared the case but did not argue it; but that distinction has now generally disappeared. Today an attorney at law is authorized to exercise all the functions of a practicing lawyer. The growth of large business corporations, beginning in the 19th cent., has brought into existence a large group of attorneys who rarely or never act as trial lawyers yet are among the most influential members of the profession. They work directly for corporations or are members of large law firms and specialize in areas of commercial law. All of them must, however, like the ordinary attorney, be admitted to the bar. The term attorney is also used for county, state, and federal prosecuting officers, as county attorney, district attorney, and attorney general (see Justice, United States Department ofJustice, United States Department of,
federal executive department established in 1870 and charged with providing the means for enforcing federal laws, furnishing legal counsel in federal cases, and construing the laws under which other federal executive departments act.
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).

Bibliography

See M. Mayer, Lawyers (1967); K. L. Hall, ed., The Legal Profession (1987).

Attorney

 

in Anglo-Saxon countries, the representative of another person who appears in his place and in his name to conclude agreements or other acts outside of court. Until 1873 the lowest category of lawyer in England (corresponding to the French scrivener) was also called attorney. In accordance with the English Act Governing the Administration of Justice (1873), all persons permitted to conduct cases in court, aside from barristers, were called solicitors. In the USA the attorney is an official who serves in the court which admitted him to the bar and carries out all functions connected with conducting cases in court.

attorney

1. a person legally appointed or empowered to act for another
2. US a lawyer qualified to represent clients in legal proceedings
3. South African a solicitor
References in classic literature ?
In the course of my stumbling upstairs, I fancied I heard a pleasant sound of laughter; and not the laughter of an attorney or barrister, or attorney's clerk or barrister's clerk, but of two or three merry girls.
Battle royal raged, terminating in both attorneys apologizing to the Court and to each other.
These were attorneys of more than doubtful reputation, who helped him to new business, or raised fresh profits upon old.
This fellow, I say, stiled himself a lawyer, but was indeed a most vile petty-fogger, without sense or knowledge of any kind; one of those who may be termed train-bearers to the law; a sort of supernumeraries in the profession, who are the hackneys of attorneys, and will ride more miles for half-a-crown than a postboy.
His hotel bill, losses at billiards and cards to Captain Crawley had almost drained the young man's purse, which wanted replenishing before he set out on his travels, and he had no resource but to infringe upon the two thousand pounds which the attorneys were commissioned to pay over to him.
The gentlemen of the bar being barristers and attorneys too (for there is no division of those functions as in England) are no more removed from their clients than attorneys in our Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors are, from theirs.
Let me see,' said Mortimer, as they went along; 'I have been, Eugene, upon the honourable roll of solicitors of the High Court of Chancery, and attorneys at Common Law, five years; and--except gratuitously taking instructions, on an average once a fortnight, for the will of Lady Tippins who has nothing to leave--I have had no scrap of business but this romantic business.
Then, three or four little boys dropped in, on legal errands from three or four attorneys of the Brass grade: whom Mr Swiveller received and dismissed with about as professional a manner, and as correct and comprehensive an understanding of their business, as would have been shown by a clown in a pantomime under similar circumstances.
A word, a personal word from him to the district attorney, or the judge, would be enough.
The poor fellow had got the attorney to promise secrecy, but what of that?
Having received his orders, I despatched a man to fetch the attorney, and four more, provided with serviceable weapons, to demand my young lady of her jailor.
The honorable, the king's attorney, is informed by a friend of the throne and religion, that one Edmond Dantes, mate of the ship Pharaon, arrived this morning from Smyrna, after having touched at Naples and Porto-Ferrajo, has been intrusted by Murat with a letter for the usurper, and by the usurper with a letter for the Bonapartist committee in Paris.