Category Archives: What is an Attorney?

What is an Attorney: Part 5

This continues the series, “What is an Attorney?” (go to that category for prior posts).

“Attorney” means attorney, professional law association, corporation, or partnership, authorized under applicable law to practice law.

(Black’s Law Dictionary, sixth Ed., West Publishing Co., 1990).  This definition begs the question:  what is the applicable law for an “attorney” to be able to practice law?  I’ll follow up on that in a later post, but here are some preliminary comments.

How many Advocates are practicing in Minnesota courts, who have not been admitted to the practice of law?  (See definition of advocate at Part 4 of this series).

“Advocates” are common in domestic-abuse-type courts.  They claim their conversations are privileged (like an attorney-client privilege, I guess), and they argue their client’s cause, even appear in court for them. Has the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility ever investigated any of those Advocates?  Me thinks not. Has any of them ever been investigated for practicing law without a license?  Again – don’t think so.

Is a law license even unnecessary?  Or – are the ‘domestic abuse’ advocates treated more favorably because of their viewpoint?

Do we live in a state where practicing law/advocating a client’s cause without a license is the safest way to go – because then the OLPR cannot claim jurisdiction over you?  This is a sad testament to how sick that system has gotten.  And we, the Public, are entitled to reform government.  See Art. I, sec. 1 of the Minnesota Constitution.

OBJECT OF GOVERNMENT. Government is instituted for the security, benefit and protection of the people, in whom all political power is inherent, together with the right to alter, modify or reform government whenever required by the public good.

We are tired of a system that just protects insiders – and those who cow tow to them. The Public does not want to pay for a sick system where insiders stay in power by vilifying attorneys who POINT OUT PROBLEMS IN THE SYSTEM, and targeting them for a take-down.  The Public, quite simply, does not want to pay for that anymore.

Who would want a law license in Minnesota?  After what I have been through – gosh, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  Apparently, it just paints a target on your chest.

Time for change.

White person holding target

May 15, 2013.  No deriviative works are authorized by copyright holder(s).

What is an Attorney: Part 4

This series has been discussing the various definitions of the word “attorney.”  Here is Black’s Law Dictionary’s definition of Advocate:

Advocate.  One who assists, defends, or pleads for another. One who renders legal advice and aid and pleads the cause of another before a court or a tribunal, a counselor.  A person learned in the law, and duly admitted to practice, who assist his client with advice, and pleads for him in open court.  An assistant, adviser; a pleader of causes.

(Sixth Ed., West Publishing Co., 1990).  Advocate appear in various types of matters including domestic abuse cases (where they are common).

white person with red blindfold holding scales

What is an Attorney: Part 3

This is the third part of a series discussing the important question – what is an attorney?  (See parts 1 and 2, on jillclarkspeaks, and on jillclarkcontinues).

Private Attorney General.  The “private attorney general” concept holds that a successful private party plaintiff is entitled to recovery of his legal expenses, included attorney fees, if he has advanced the policy inherent in public interest legislation on behalf of a significant class of persons.

The above definition is from Black’s Law Dictionary (Sixth Ed., West Publishing Co. 1990).  A private attorney general is different from The Attorney General (of the US, or of a state).

A private attorney general is a  member of the public, otherwise known as a private person or – private attorney general.  A number of state statutes authorize plaintiffs to bring claims in the public interest.

One example is the Minnesota Consumer Fraud act at Minn. Chap. 325F.  Another example is the Minnesota Unlawful Trade Practices Act at Minn. Chap. 325D.  There are other examples, including examples in the federal law.

The idea is that one person who has experienced a wrong can be a voice for the public, to help protect the public from consumer fraud.

So a private attorney general can help to protect the public from fraud.  (Check out my other series being developed at this time, What is Fraud?)


May 11, 2013.  No derivative works are authorized by copyright holder(s).

What is an Attorney: Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts about the definition of “attorney.”  See Part 1 in the series on this blog.

Power of attorney.  The instrument by which authority of one person to act in place and stead of another as attorney in fact is set forth.

Many people use the term ‘power of attorney’ to describe the document that transfers power.  Some use the term ‘power of attorney’ to describe the person (and that is not wrong as long as the meaning is clear), but the term is ‘attorney in fact.’  That term describes the person who accepts the grant of power.

The term ‘attorney in fact’ is often used to differentiate from the term ‘attorney at law.’

The above defintion is from Black’s Law Dictionary (Sixth Ed. West Publishing Co. 1990).  I like to use that reference, because it is a hard-bound book. Sometimes I glimpse a related definition on the same page, and realize its relevance to my search.  That is something we have lost in the digital environment.

You are not required to go to law school to act as an attorney in fact (that is, to exercise the power of attorney).  You are not required to have a state law license or be admitted to any court.

Common uses are a son accepts power of attorney over his aging mother’s finances.  Or perhaps someone has to leave the state for work and does not expect to return for years, and they grant power of attorney to a friend to sell their house.  Each aspect of the control by the one who accepts the power (the attorney in fact), must be described in the power of attorney document.  Those who accept the grant, are required to stay within the boundaries of the grant.

For example, if a mother gave her son authority to sell her house, but not to shut down her businesses, the son must be careful not to affect the businesses in the way he exercises the power.

The leaving friend would not want to learn, for example, that in addition to selling the house, the attorney in fact terminated the lease at the retirement center, a place where the leaving friend felt her father would be safe.

This is an important aspect of the law, one that affects many lives.  Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series.

May 9, 2013.  No derivative works are authorized by copyright holder(s).


What is an attorney: Part 1

This series of posts will discuss the important question – what is an attorney?

Attorney: In the most general sense this term denotes an agent or substitute, or one who is appointed and authorized to act in the place or stead of another.  An agent, one acting on behalf of another.  [Citation omitted.] In its most common usage, however, unless a contrary meaning is clearly intended, this term means “attorney at law,” “lawyer” or “counselor at law.”

Definition from Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Ed. (West Publishing Co. 1990).