(redirected from Sole practitioner)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Christina McKinnon, 42, of Pembroke Pines, is a sole practitioner with the Law Office of Christina A.
If the disability is temporary, what happens when the sole practitioner is ready to return to practice?
Sole practitioners reported a weighted average of $93,800 in 1998 ($87,600), an increase of 7.07% over the previous year.
The primary benefit a sole practitioner offers to a potential client is attention.
Calling a sole practitioner produces an experienced, usually senior professional to whom the client is relatively much more important.
* Nicholas Mulick, 67, of Tavernier, is a sole practitioner.
Many sole practitioners work from an outside office.
* Cincinnati Sole Practitioner & Small Practice Roundtable
Carolyn Sechler, CPA, a Phoenix-based sole practitioner and virtual firm owner, is paying a lot more attention to ergonomics after a bout with back pain this year.
Kowaloff, a sole practitioner and a counsel to the Building Industry Association of New York City, said Staten Island secession may cause a problem for a small real estate developer.
"The rater can cater for any professional ranging from graduate, sole practitioner or small firm, to a global practice."