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An attorney or lawyer. The rendition of advice and guidance concerning a legal matter, contemplated form of argument, claim, or action.The terms counsel and advise are frequently employed as synonyms for the term aid and abet to describe a person who, while not actually performing a criminal act, induced its performance or contributed to it.

The term junior counsel refers to the younger member of the team of attorneys retained on the same side of a case, or the one lower in the hierarchy of the firm, or one who is assigned to the preparation or trial of less significant aspects of the case.

The term of counsel refers to the description given to an attorney who is not the principal lawyer in charge of a case but who merely contributes his advice on the way it should be handled.

Where of counsel follows an attorney's name on a letterhead or office sign, this designation indicates that the person is employed by the firm primarily as a consultant on specialized matters, not as a full-time partner or associate.

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


1) n. a lawyer, attorney, attorney-at-law, counsellor, counsellor-at-law, solicitor, barrister, advocate or proctor (a lawyer in admiralty court), licensed to practice law. In the United States they all mean the same thing. 2) v. to give legal advice. 3) v. in some jurisdictions, to urge someone to commit a crime, which in itself is a crime. (See: attorney)

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


another name for a BARRISTER or ADVOCATE.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

COUNSEL. Advice given to another as to what he ought to do or not to do.
     2. To counsel another to do an unlawful act, is to become accessory to it, if it be a felony, or principal, if it be treason, or a misdemeanor. By the term counsel is also understood counsellor at law. Vide To open; Opening.

COUNSEL, an officer of court. One who undertakes to conduct suits and actions in court. The same as counsellor.

COUNSEL, practice, crim. law. In the oath of the grand jurors, there is a provision requiring them to keep secret "the commonwealth's counsel, their fellows, and their own." In this sense this word is synonymous with knowledge; therefore, all the knowledge acquired by grand jurors, in consequence of their office, either from the officers of the commonwealth, from their fellow jurors, or which they have obtained in any manner, in relation to cases which come officially before them, must be kept secret. See Grand Jury.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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