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Legal Ethics: Basic Definition of Terms

16 Aug

Abogado – Other term synonymous with the title of attorney, counselor-at-law, counsel, and etc. generally appearing, prosecuting, and defending in the courts. (also Boceros)

Advocate – The general and popular name for a lawyer who pleads on behalf of someone else or else’s cause. He is a person learned in the law and duly admitted to practice.

Attorney – The titles given to those who, after having obtained the necessary degree in the study the law and successfully hurdled the bar examinations, have been admitted to practice law.

Attorney ad hoc – He is the person, a lawyer in that sense, named and appointed by the court to defend an absentee defendant in the suit in which the appointment is made.

Attorney-at-Law – Class of persons who are by license, officers of the courts, empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and upon whom peculiar duties, responsibilities and liabilities are developed by law as a consequence.

Attorney-in-fact – He is an agent whose authority is strictly limited by the instrument appointing him. It can be anyone not necessarily a lawyer.

Attorney of Record – The attorney whose name, together with the address, is entered in the record of the case as the designated counsel of the party litigated in the case and to whom judicial notices relative thereto are sent.

Amicus curiae – Literary means a “Friend of the Court” and an experienced and impartial attorney invited by the court to appear and help in the disposition of the issues submitted to it.

Bar Admission – Refers to the process of qualifying a person to be admitted in the Integrated Bar to practice law. It involves among others, the passing the bar, taking of Lawyer’s Oath and signing the Rolls of Attorneys.

Bar Association – An association of the members of the legal profession such as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) where membership is integrated or compulsory.

Barrister – A person entitled to practice law as an advocate or counsel in superior courts.

Boceros – see Abogado.

Counsel – An officer of the court who is associated in the management of a particular case, or who acts as a legal adviser in reference to any matter requiring legal knowledge and judgment.

Counselor-at-Law – One retained by a party in a cause of action to conduct the same on its trial on his behalf.

Champertous contract – It is when the lawyer stipulates with his client that in the prosecution of the case, he will bear all the expenses for the recovery of things or property being claimed by the client and the latter agrees to pay the former a portion of the thing/property recovered as compensation. Champertous contracts are prohibited as they are against public policy and ethics of the profession.

Charging lien – It is the equitable right of an attorney to have fees and cost due to him for services in a particular suit secured by the judgment or recovery in such suit.

Contingent contract – Also referred to as contingent fee contract, is often the only way by which the poor and helpless can have their rights vindicated and upheld, in the sense that the lawyer is being paid on success basis.  Such contract for contingent fee is not prohibited under Article 1491 of the New Civil Code and Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional Ethics.

Counsel de – It may be a “counsel de officio” or “counsel de parte”. The former is an attorney appointed by the court to defend an indigent defendant in a criminal action or to represent a destitute party in a case. The latter is a private counsel, secured by him, without intervention of the government (at his own will and choice).

Of Counsel – An experienced lawyer, usually a retired member of the judiciary, employed by law firms as consultant.

Lawyer – This is a general term for a person trained in law and authorized to advise or represent others in legal matters.

Practice of Law – It is any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training, and experience. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skills. (Cayetano vs. Monsod, 201 SCRA 210)

Retaining lien – It is the right of an attorney to retain possession of a client’s documents, money or other property which comes into the hands of the attorney professionally until a general balance due to him for his professional service is paid.

Solicitor – A government lawyer attached with or is under the Office of the Solicitor General.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Legal Ethics

 

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