pettifogger

(redirected from pettifoggers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

pettifogger

a lawyer of little importance and now, impliedly, one who is perhaps dubious and who will make small points more for his own gain or pleasure than that of the client.

PETTIFOGGER. One who pretends to be a lawyer, but possessing neither knowledge, law, nor conscience.

References in periodicals archive ?
Thus might Burkeans of today look askance at the updated "pettifoggers running mad" in Brussels and other EU hubs, who seem to lack the capacity to conserve Europe.
"Petals blow off in the autumn wind,'' sings Keyes, "Seek truth, the light of day/While prima donna pettifoggers take it away/Clear the path, lose the trail/Never gonna learn if you're never gonna fail.''
With equal logic and insight he made it clear that the language of the Constitution conferring powers on the Government of the United States was the language of everyday realism and common sense--the language of good conscience and grand policy--utterly beyond the tight-fisted tests of pettifoggers at law.
(21) Once the litany of virtu figures includes Mussolini, the man of action who would stand up for art and culture even as he swept away the "sloppy and ambiguous language" of the "wanglers and pettifoggers" (Jefferson 77), and who would right the ship of state through brute force, the middle cantos become less an exploration of virtuous statecraft than a host of reasons to support Italian fascism.
Apparently, Wirral Council's Scrooges and pettifoggers decided the tree was too expensive in these straitened times.
A contemporary account termed it "lamentable" that many "poor men are daily abused and utterly undone by sundry varlets that go about the country as promoters, or brokers between the pettifoggers of the law and the common people, only to kindle and espy coals of contention whereby the one side may reap commodity" (Harrison 1994: 175-76).
"Demanding a Voice Among the Pettifoggers: Sojourner Truth as Legal Actor." MELUS 28.1 (2003): 61-86.