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A person, who through a regular program of study, is learned in legal matters and has been licensed to practice his or her profession. Any qualified person who prosecutes or defends causes in courts of record or other judicial tribunals of the United States, or of any of the states, or who renders legal advice or assistance in relation to any cause or matter. Unless a contrary meaning is plainly indicated this term is synonymous with attorney, attorney at law, or counselor at law.

Each of the 50 states employs admissions committees or boards to review the backgrounds of prospective attorneys before they are admitted to practice. Each state also has adopted codes of conduct or disciplinary rules and has appointed adjudicative boards to address Attorney Misconduct. But these measures only weed out or discipline those who have violated laws or those who are otherwise unfit to practice law. They have done little to address the day-to-day civility and conduct of attorneys in their practice. In that regard, the behavior and conduct of peers and colleagues within the profession often impose more palpable influences on newly practicing attorneys than any standards or codes of ethics that they may have learned in law school.

A focus of a new movement in several states is not only to crack down on professional misconduct per se, but also to stem borderline conduct before it becomes an ethical violation. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice william rehnquist, addressing new graduates from the University of Virginia School of Law in June 2001, remarked that incivility remained one of the greatest threats to the ideals of American justice and to the public's trust in the law. The conduct of former president bill clinton was considered to have seriously contributed to the harming of public confidence and trust in the legal profession because of his subjective approach to answering questions under oath and other improprieties associated with the legal aspects of his administration.

The American Bar Association (ABA) and lawyers' groups in more than a dozen states have joined in the movement to improve not only civility and courtesy among lawyers, but also the public's perception of the profession. Ultimately, the goal of these efforts is to ensure that attorneys have an unequivocal, current, and realistic standard of conduct and ethics to rely upon as a valid guide for their profession.


noun avocat, advocate, attorney, barrister, counsel, counselor, iurisconsultus, iurisperitus, jurisconsult, jurist, legal advisor, legal advocate, legal consultant, legal practitioner, legist, member of the legal profession, solicitor
Associated concepts: admission to bar, attorney-client privvlege, bar association, character and fitness committee, code of professional conduct, grievance committee, work product
See also: advocate, attorney, barrister, counsel, counselor, esquire, jurist, practitioner, proctor, proxy, representative

LAWYER. A counselor; one learned in the law. Vide attorney.

References in periodicals archive ?
But the defense lawyers of members of Hezbollah accused of complicity in the attack sought to discredit the testimony of MP Marwan Hamade, Hariri's former economy minister, saying he was politically biased and believed in the guilt of the suspects without the benefit of a fair trial.
Gardner's personal feelings on criminal defense lawyers were captured in the Perry Mason novel The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito, in which Mason answers criticism that he "sticks up" for criminals: "I have never stuck up for any criminal.
That appears to be the question Entwistle's defense lawyers are hoping will linger in the minds of jurors as the defense seeks to debunk the alleged motive that Entwistle killed his family because he was in debt and dissatisfied with his sex life.
That's why you hear these horror stories about defense lawyers in Texas sleeping during the trial, being intoxicated or on drugs, and quite literally doing nothing for their clients.
Consequently, like any other lawyer, an insurance defense lawyer can use a retainer agreement to fix the identity of his or her client(s).
If you are going to settle the case, give the defense lawyer all the tools he or she needs to get the case settled.
Defense lawyers said two more Jews -- a shopkeeper and a university professor -- have pleaded guilty to being members of an alleged spy ring.
Summary: Defense lawyers at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon said Wednesday that a member of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's convoy who survived the explosion that killed Hariri had not seen the Mitsubishi vehicle that allegedly carried the explosives, casting doubt on a key fact in the case.
A fight over what defense lawyers can do with information about their clients in criminal cases after prosecutors turn it over to them is threatening to stymie the "Michael Morton Act.
Vermont Ethics Opinion 95-04 reaches a similar conclusion as to the criminal defense lawyer, but on a different basis, finding that a criminal defense lawyer should not advise a client to accept a plea offer conditioned on waiver of ineffective assistance of counsel because of Vermont's prohibition that "a lawyer shall not attempt to exonerate himself from or limit his liability to his client for personal malpractice.
7, allegedly because chief defense lawyer Gamal El-Swed has the flu.

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