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Repeated or customary action; habitual performance; a succession of acts of similar kind; custom; usage. The exercise of any profession.

The form or mode or proceeding in courts of justice for the enforcement of rights or the redress of wrongs, as distinguished from the Substantive Law that gives the right or denounces the wrong. The form, manner, or order of instituting and conducting an action or other judicial proceeding, through its successive stages to its end, in accordance with the rules and principles laid down by law or by the regulations and precedents of the courts.

An attorney is actually engaged in the Practice of Law when she maintains an office, offers to perform legal services, describes herself as an attorney on letterheads or business cards, counsels clients, negotiates with other parties or opposing counsel, and fixes and collects fees for legal work. A doctor is practicing medicine when he discovers the cause and nature of diseases, treats illnesses and injuries, or prescribes and administers medical or surgical care. Lawyers and doctors must qualify for licenses before they may practice their professions.

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


1) n. custom or habit as shown by repeated action, as in "it is the practice in the industry to confirm orders before shipping." 2) the legal business, as in "law practice," or "the practice of the law." 3) v. to repeat an activity in order to maintain or improve skills, as "he practices the violin every evening." 4) v. to conduct a law business, as "she practices law in St. Louis."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

PRACTICE. The form, manner and order of conducting and carrying on suits or prosecutions in the courts through their various stages, according, to the principles of law, and the rules laid down by the respective courts.
     2. By practice is also meant the business which an attorney or counsellor does; as, A B has a good practice.
     3. The books on practice are very numerous; among the most popular are those Of Tidd, Chitty, Archbold, Sellon, Graham, Dunlap, Caines, Troubat and Haly, Blake, Impey.
     4. A settled, uniform, and loll, continued practice, without objection is evidence of what the law is, and such practice is based on principles which are founded in justice and convenience. Buck, 279; 2 Russ. R. 19, 570; 2 Jac. It. 232; 5 T. R. 380; 1 Y. & J. 167, 168; 2 Crompt. & M. 55; Ram on Judgm. ch. 7.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Part II then examines what this survey might tell us about constitutional interpretation in the executive and legislative branches, and raises several questions about judicial reliance on such political branch practice.
I highlight here a few features of this political branch practice, including political actors' reliance on their own precedents and their use of constitutional standards that might not be deemed "judicially manageable." These features suggest that political actors are engaged in a very different enterprise than the judiciary when they interpret Article III.
I suggest here that there are reasons for the judiciary to be cautious about relying too heavily on political branch practice.
Some forms of interpretation may, of course, exclude reliance on political branch practice. For example, if a judge concluded that constitutional meaning should be determined exclusively (or almost exclusively) by Founding-era sources, then the subsequent practices and constitutional interpretations of the political branches would be largely irrelevant.
Customary international law and executive agreements binding on the United States are themselves particularly strong forms of executive branch practice, because they embody norms so significant that the executive branch was willing to commit to them internationally.
Relying on these sources can complement and, in some cases, improve upon the Court's current analysis of congressional authorization and executive branch practice. Part III considers congressional and presidential authority over international law and war prosecution as it was understood at the framing and concludes that the Constitution assigned control over these issues to Congress.
It is itself a kind of second-order interpretative norm and in some contexts provides additional evidence of executive branch practice and congressional authorization.
It describes how international law serves as one form of congressional authorization and executive branch practice. It also argues that in some contexts international law offers unique advantages over other ways of analyzing both congressional authorization and executive branch practice.