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The act by which a defendant completely consents to the jurisdiction of the court by appearing before it either in person or through an authorized representative thereby waiving any jurisdictional defects that might be raised except for that of the competency of the court.
A general appearance differs from a special appearance in which a defendant agrees to submit to the jurisdiction of the court for a restricted purpose, such as to test whether the Service of Process made upon him or her was legally sufficient.
n. an attorney's representation of a client in court for all purposes connected with a pending lawsuit or prosecution. After "appearing" in court, the attorney is then responsible for all future appearances in court unless officially relieved by court order or substitution of another attorney. A lawyer may be leery of making a general appearance unless all details of representation (such as the amount and payment of his/her fees) have been worked out with the client. This is distinguished from a special appearance which is only for a particular purpose or court session, and does not make the attorney responsible for future conduct of the case. (See: special appearance).