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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.

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 ?
The much-anticipated 2019 Trial Lawyers Section Discovery Handbook is now complete and ready to be distributed to 1,350 judges around the state who rely upon it often.
How can a trial lawyer ensure that a witness is fully prepared?
Witness preparation: Trial lawyers also assist with preparing witnesses for trial.
A major error by Skordelli's trial lawyer, he noted, had been the failure to submit as evidence the phone records of Skordelli and Fanos Hadjigeorgiou -- the driver of the getaway bike.
Quarterbacks don't win without a strong offensive line to protect them and fleet receivers to catch the ball; politicians don't succeed without smart advisors and loyal volunteers to support their campaigns and policies; and first chair trial lawyers don't win in court without a strong second chair and paralegal to provide critical support, diversity and personal appeal.
They also have not given up on civil lawsuits or on those mean old trial lawyers - when they need them.
Summary: As the famous movie quote says, the job of a trial lawyer is to always be closing.
This primer for new trial lawyers offers advice from the author's decades of experience and teaching.
Fellowship status is extended by invitation only, after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality.
Miller is a frequent lecturer and author on trial strategies and also taught trial practice as an adjunct professor of law, founding Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, and authoring several legal articles.
In addition to AAJ and ABOTA, member associations include the American Bar Association, the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, the Defense Research Institute, the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the International Association of Defense Counsel, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the Federal Bar Association.
Watson, a partner in the Manchester-based law firm of Wiggin & Nourie, has been named the winner of the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association 2007 President's Award.