Lawyer


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Lawyer

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.

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

References in classic literature ?
The lawyer was a little, squat, bald man, with a dark, reddish beard, light-colored long eyebrows, and an overhanging brow.
In the morning before office hours, at noon when business was plenty, and time scarce, at night under the face of the fogged city moon, by all lights and at all hours of solitude or concourse, the lawyer was to be found on his chosen post.
"You might have brought friends," the lawyer suggested.
Sir Joseph explained his views at the fullest length, and the lawyer's pen kept pace with him.
She took the offended wife's hand; she appealed to the lawyer to reconsider that side of his theory which reflected harshly on Ferrari.
"Anyway," says the lawyer, "we shall do better to bide where we are, and let the soldiers rally us."
Having thus convinced her of the formality of the will, the lawyer interposed before she could question him, and addressed her in these words:
'Lawyer Lightwood,' ducking at him with a servile air, 'I am a man as gets my living, and as seeks to get my living, by the sweat of my brow.
Once or twice the lawyer looked up and asked a question of Szedvilas; the other did not know a word that he was saying, but his eyes were fixed upon the lawyer's face, striving in an agony of dread to read his mind.
"What the devil do you know about my way of doing my business?" he burst out when the lawyer had done.
Not perceiving his drift yet, and thinking it always desirable for the sake of peace and quietness to be on the lawyer's side, I said I thought so too.
By 1878, when he came in to defend the little Bell Company against the towering Western Union, Smith had become the most noted patent lawyer in Boston.