attorney


attorney
attorney early 14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from O.Fr. atorné " (one) appointed," pp. of aturner "to decree, assign, appoint," from atorner (see ATTORN (Cf. attorn)). The legal Latin form attornare influenced the spelling in Anglo-French. The sense is of "one appointed to represent another's interests." In English law, a private attorney was one appointed to act for another in business or legal affairs (usually for pay); an attorney at law or public attorney was a qualified legal agent in the courts of Common Law who prepared the cases for a barrister, who pleaded them (the equivalent of a solicitor in Chancery). So much a term of contempt in England that it was abolished by the Judicature Act of 1873 and merged with solicitor.
Johnson observed that "he did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney." [Boswell]
The double -t- is a mistaken 15c. attempt to restore a non-existent Latin original. Attorney general first recorded 1530s in sense of "legal officer of the state" (late 13c. in Anglo-French), from French, hence the odd plural (subject first, adjective second).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • ATTORNEY — ATTORNEY, justice américaine L’attorney at law , ou lawyer , est aux États Unis le correspondant de l’avocat français. Mais il n’est pas seulement un auxiliaire de la justice, intervenant moyennant un pourcentage qui peut atteindre 50 p. 100 des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • attorney — at·tor·ney /ə tər nē/ n pl neys [Anglo French atorné legal representative, from past participle of atorner to designate, appoint, from Old French, to prepare, arrange see attorn]: a person authorized to act on another s behalf; esp: lawyer see… …   Law dictionary

  • attorney — at‧tor‧ney [əˈtɜːni ǁ ɜːr ] noun attorneys PLURALFORM [countable] LAW 1. a person who has the legal right to do things and make decisions on someone else s behalf: • He appointed her his attorney. see also power of attorney …   Financial and business terms

  • ATTORNEY — ATTORNEY. Biblical law requires that the two parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests or magistrates (Deut. 19:17), i.e., in person and not by proxy. It was considered essential that the court should hear all… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Attorney — At*tor ney, n.; pl. {Attorneys}. [OE. aturneye, OF. atorn[ e], p. p. of atorner: cf. LL. atturnatus, attornatus, fr. attornare. See {Attorn}.] 1. A substitute; a proxy; an agent. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] And will have no attorney but myself. Shak.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Attorney — auch Attorney at law bezeichnet in zahlreichen Rechtsordnungen der Welt einen Rechtsanwalt. Begriffsgeschichte Historisch hat sich die Bezeichnung im mittelalterlichen England entwickelt: Das Recht und die Gerichte waren dort in Common Law mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Attorney —   [ət ɔːnɪ, englisch], Vertreter, Anwalt, in den USA Rechts (Attorney at law) oder Staatsanwalt (District Attorney). Der Attorney General ist in Großbritannien oberster Kronanwalt (Mitglied der Regierung und ihr Berater in Rechtsfragen), in den… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • attorney — Under Title 11 U.S.C. Section 101: (4) The term attorney means attorney, professional law association, corporation, or partnership, authorized under applicable law to practice law. United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • Attorney — (engl., spr. ättöhrnĭ), früher die Bezeichnung der in den engl. gemeinrechtlichen Gerichtshöfen zugelassenen Anwälte (s. auch Barrister und Solicitor). – Attorney General (spr. dschénnĕräll), erster der beiden engl. Kronanwälte, Vertreter der… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Attorney — At*tor ney, v. t. To perform by proxy; to employ as a proxy. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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