UTA_flyinghigh
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Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:04 pm

What are the exact diffrences between these three professions ?
And are there any more equivalents ?

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cptkrell
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:59 pm

Attorney and lawyer are pretty much synonymous in the U.S., ie: a legally qualified person that acts for or manages representations, prosecutions and defenses of actions of other parties. Actually, the term 'lawyer' may even be a shortened, slang version of 'attorney-at-law'; I don't know.

Solicitor doesn't seem to be regularly used over here, except when referring to only some officers of governments.

The term 'solicitor' in the U.S. is more commonly associated with asking for contributions, peddling, even prostitution (some would argue the last two are appropos) as opposed to the legal field in Great Britain. I'm sure those more knowledgeable than me will be able to further clarify, but that's my take on the terminology. Regards...Jack
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sebolino
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:28 pm

"barrister" is used in the UK.




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Banco
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:36 pm

Barristers and solicitors are both lawyers, but a barrister is the one who will be your advocate in a crown court case. The solicitor will tend to do the legwork.

Attorney is also synonymous with lawyer, and whilst the word tends not to appear in English court cases, the term remains in such cases as Attorney General (same in the UK as US).
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L-188
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:10 pm

So how would a Solicitor compare to a US para-legal?
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Banco
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:13 pm

I'm not a lawyer myself, so I could be wrong, but as I understand it, a para-legal would be equivalent to a legal secretary. A solicitor is a fully fledged lawyer, and represents their client in small cases, whereas a barrister is for major criminal or civil cases. The creme de la creme you might say, except that there is something of a closed shop involved.
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HeyMach
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:16 am

Unlike the US and most of Europe, the UK does not have unified legal profession. As Banco mentioned, we have two branches, namely, solicitors and barristers. Barristers are called to the Bar whilst solicitors are regulated by the Law Society. Often a medical analogy is used. Solicitors are seen as general practitioners and barristers as specialists. If you had a legal issue you would instruct a solicitor to try to resolve the matter. The solicitor may seek specialist advice from a barrister. Usually the barrister receives his instructions from the solicitor and not directly from the client. As mentioned barristers have the right of audience in the courts, although this area is being clouded by recent developments allowing advocate solicitors the right of audience in the higher courts.
 
North County
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:41 am



In the U.S. Solocitor = whore?
 
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:21 am

In the England and Wales, a 'lawyer' could mean either a barrister, solicitor or legal executive.

Traditionally, the profession of a barrister and solicitor have been distinctly seperate: a barrister has had sole rights of audience in all courts, including those deemed superior, i.e. the Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and the House of Lords, while the solicitor has traditionally had rights of audience in the inferior courts, like the County Court and the Magistrates' Court. Nowadays, however, this division is less clear: solicitors can undertake exams to enable them to have rights of audience in the superior courts, too, thus in theory meaning they're on the same level as barristers. This process is aptly known as fusion. If a solicitor does undertake the relevant exams and subsequently acquires the right of audience in higher courts, he or she will wear a gown but not a wig, unlike a barrister, who will wear both.

In terms of work, barristers and solicitors have, traditionally, undertaken seperate types: barristers have traditionally done the most court work while solicitors have done most desk-based work, like probate, conveyancing, etc. But it's not quite as simple as that: solicitors have traditionally been able to appear in the lower courts and barristers also prepare very thoroughly for cases beforehand and draft answers to legal questions and so forth. It's also slightly misleading to say that barristers do "most court work" as it varies depending on the type of law they specialise in: a criminal barrister, for instance, will be in court considerably more than a barrister specialising in, say, petroleum law. In addition, fusion has further blurred the picture: more and more solicitors are undertaking court work.

Banco said: ‘A barrister is the one who will be your advocate in a crown court case. The solicitor will tend to do the legwork.’

A solicitor briefs a barrister – or, more accurately, his or her clerk, who then finds a barrister within the set of chambers who is free to accept the case. Barristers cannot be approached for work directly from members of public, although professionals, like accountants, can occasionally go straight to a barrister and not via a solicitor.

It’s unfair to say that a solicitor ‘tends to do the legwork’: cross-examining and arguing in court can be very tiring and demanding, not to mention the very thorough preparation in advance (it’s not unusual for a senior barrister, who has a substantial practice, to work 10-12 hours per day, 6 days a week). Indeed, it could be justly argued that it’s the other way around: the barrister does the legwork.

There you have it, in a nutshell. It's quite an interesting topic, really. I am two years' away from (hopefully) qualifying as a barrister, so I am especially keen on such threads.  Big grin

[Edited 2004-06-29 00:43:22]
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FoxBravo
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:02 am

In the U.S., attorneys who do the work of barristers in the U.K.--i.e., going to court and arguing cases--are called "litigators" or "trial lawyers."

The rest of us--i.e., those who would be called solicitors in the U.K.--fall into a wide variety of overlapping sub-groups but could generally all be called "transactional attorneys."

There is no distinction in terms of education, qualifying exams, etc.--in any given state, all attorneys take the same bar exam (there is an additional bar exam for lawyers specializing in patents, but that is a very small group). However, as a practical matter, because the necessary skills and practices are so different, most lawyers who do transactional work (like myself) never go near a courtroom, and most litigators do not spend much time drafting contracts, etc.

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jcs17
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:25 am

I think lawyers like Jaysit are called 'paralegals.'
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TACAA320
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:22 am

Can somebody tell me the exact meaning of "esquire". I think it is used in England for attorney. Am I wrong? Thanks.
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:04 am

'Esquire' used to be used as an honourific in its abbreviated form, i.e. Esq., especially after the name of a lawyer, like John Smith, Esq. I put "used" as I'm sure it hasn't been used for many, many years.
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FoxBravo
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:51 am

"Esquire" is still used for attorneys in the U.S. However, it's considered somewhat old-fashioned, not to mention pompous, so most of us tend to use it sparingly. I have only used it (a) on certain official documents and correspondance and (b) as a joke.
Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
 
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:57 am

FoxBravo, Esq. Yes, certainly sounds old-fashioned, pompous, and, frankly, stupid.  Laugh out loud
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FoxBravo
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RE: Lawyers, Attorneys And Solicitors!

Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:03 am

Really? I think it has a nice ring to it...maybe I'll change my username to FoxBravo_Esq.  Smile
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