pettifogger

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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 ?
But a few minutes' reflection tells us that this pettifoggery is transparently false.
These stereotypes have led to a lack of communication and interaction, even to the belief that the two groups have different psychological profiles--one introspective and incapable of dealing with people, the other extroverted and too large-minded to be bothered with the pettifoggery of cataloging.
The corruption of government life lies in the effects of power and publicity--as Henry Adams put it, an "aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies; a diseased appetite, like a passion for drink or perverted tastes." The corruption of academic life is pettifoggery, captiousness, and preening vanity which differs from but is just as harmful as its governmental counterpart.
Zeligs does acknowledge that before the House Un-American Activities Committee Hiss's "painstaking manner" had "succeeded in giving the appearance of evasiveness and pettifoggery," and that Hiss's "quasi-virtues of perfectionism, deliberateness, and ultra-caution were self-defeating ..." When Alger and Priscilla separate, Zeligs cannot even allow them to have a normal-sounding divorce: instead we are told that "The belated recognition of this marital breach came neither as surprise nor shock.
Persiflage or pettifoggery are not endearing traits, but they are not transgressions meriting summary financial execution.
Now monologues, dialogues, pantalogues, rantalogues, admonitions, sussurations, disquisitions, expositions, prattle, persiflage, pure pettifoggery, but never that achieved caesura which each new percussive aria augurs yet in the end fails to produce!
Spencer fell into confusion, Nietzsche into shameless posturing, Huxley into witticism, and Marx into wardheeling pettifoggery. Whitman, with only the flimsiest conceptualizing apparatus, outlives them all--read today not only with pleasure but with a sense of shared conviction by millions of like-minded people in every part of the world.
But having experienced firsthand the High Priests' obsession with enforcing irrelevant regulations and their zeal for bureaucratic pettifoggery, I've reached an opposite conclusion.
The yearning to return home, even for a brief visit, can be heightened after one's senses have been bombarded--all miserable Chicago-winter long--with those suggestive, libidinous television advertisements inviting the viewer to "Come back to Jamaica.' The implication that there was a recent past (i.e., prior to the assumption of power by the conservative, Reaganbacked Jamaica Labor Party [JLP], under the leadership of Prime Minister Edward Seaga, in October 1980) when visitors chose to stay away is not entirely missed by anyone even vaguely familiar with the pettifoggery of Jamaican politics.