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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 ?
(Because of her history of giving away free cars, and bestowing too much credibility on dubious guests, it's often overlooked how good an interviewer Oprah can be.) But the rest of his 90-minute performance consisted of lawyerly quibbling.
The twin problems of "constitutional evil" and "constitutional tragedy" hover over these explorations, and Balkin is particularly critical of lawyerly ways of thinking which might tend to undermine a popular constitutional faith or resist popular movements to redeem constitutional imperfections.
Vidal had a quality, humor, sorely missing these days among American public intellectuals, for whom earnestness and lawyerly caution has become the norm.
But the mild manner, the precise language, the lawyerly demeanor, and the orderly habits--his desk was always clean--hid a ferocious heart.
All of what MacKay and Panetta said is true, in a lawyerly way.
Mary's power lies not in the text itself, or her clever lawyerly reasoning, but it is really over the text--this element may have helped to relieve anxiety in an increasingly legalistic and textually focused world.
After presenting the scientific case with lawyerly precision, Otto Struve explains, "The important thing, however, is not ...
They'll misunderstand and get upset" She explained that the email was too lawyerly and curt.
In her eagerness to play down Stanton's racism, Dudden emphasizes Stanton's lawyerly tendency to argue "in the alternative'--her penchant for trying out different arguments, even conflicting and racist ones, so long as she could gain some ground.
Real estate professionals are astute enough to make a decision when presented with a risk/reward issue; they are not appreciative of protracted lawyerly efforts to cover any conceivable and remote eventuality, which will only unduly prolong the successful consummation of a transaction.
Shapiroas lawyerly emphasis on detail and clarity results in repetition of information that may annoy some alert readers.
Was this lawyerly talk or naivety of British India's most eminent brown sahib?