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More interesting names

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From the examination of last week’s topic we see that there are many names concentrated in one person and one more is the attorney.

Attorney is a word that is used in a general sense to denote an agent or substitute. An attorney can represent a person in ways other than the law. For example, a person with the power of attorney can represent a person according to the powers given in a particular document. A lawyer is also known as an attorney and the words “at law” are attached to it.

Your attorney is your lawyer and legal practitioner. In SVG the word attorney is rarely used, unlike in the US where it is a popularly used. It is perhaps a matter of preference.

The legal practitioner

Legal practitioner is perhaps the most precise term that defines a lawyer who practices law. The legal practitioner is a person who is licensed to practice law. The emphasis is on the word “practitioner.” A person is licensed to practice law when he is admitted to the bar for that purpose as opposed to a lawyer who does not practice. Black describes a person who is engaged in the exercise of employment of any art or profession as contrasted with one who teaches such.” He or she is called to the bar in a ceremony before a judge of the High Court either in chambers or open court according to his desire. No one can practice law unless he or she is called to the Bar.

The layman is not normally concerned about the fine distinctions. They mostly want to know the difference between a solicitor and barrister. In SVG the majority of lawyers are both barrister and solicitor. You are quite safe if you refer to them as lawyers.

The Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.)

Q.C means one appointed during the reign of a Queen.

K.C. means one appointed during the reign of a King.

The practice of appointing Q.C has been inherited from England. These are senior lawyers, learned in the law who because of their long and distinguished career are chosen for these prestigious positions. This is known informally as taking silk. Applications for these positions are now necessary. A Q.C carries this title behind his name. For example, William Ford, Q.C. To distinguish from ordinary barristers, they wear silk robes, they can charge higher fees and they sit in the front bench in court. A Queen’s Counsel is entitled to have a barrister working as an assistant with him who is regarded as his or her junior counsel.

The Bar

To be called to the bar, to be admitted to the bar are phrases you hear very often. The Bar refers to the legal profession. It is because the courtroom has a bar between the lawyers and the spectators. The bar table is the table around which the lawyers are seated. The Queen’s Counsel sit at the front table and all others sit at the other table. Lawyers must be robed in accordance with the regulations when sitting around the bar table. There is a robing room provided for lawyers to don their robes.

Inner Bar and Outer Bar

The inner bar refers to the Queen’s Counsel and the outer/utter Bar consist of all the other barristers

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law. E-mail address is: exploringthelaw@yahoo.com

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