lawyer


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a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client

A man who tries to defend himself, rather than hiring a trained lawyer, is a fool. A: "What do you mean, a lawyer? I'm going to represent myself!" B: "Well, just keep in mind that a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client."
See also: fool, lawyer, man, own, who

guardhouse lawyer

One who acts knowledgeable about something one actually knows little about. Stop being a guardhouse lawyer and giving me advice on how to get a job when you've been unemployed for months too!
See also: lawyer

wear (one's particular profession's) hat

To act as one would in one's particular profession while in a different setting. Bobby, I know you're off duty, but can you please wear your doctor's hat for five minutes and tell me what's wrong with my arm? I don't want to have to go to the hospital. My wife was still wearing her judge's hat when she tried to intervene with our neighbor's arguing kids.
See also: hat, particular, wear

Philadelphia lawyer

A shrewd attorney, adept at dealing with legal technicalities, as in It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to get him off. This expression dates from the late 1700s and, as lexicographer Richard H. Thornton observed: "Why members of the Philadelphia bar should be credited with superhuman sagacity has never been satisfactorily explained."
See also: lawyer

jailhouse lawyer

A non-attorney who dispenses legal advice. Properly speaking, a jailhouse lawyer is a prison inmate who, although not a law school graduate (much less a member of the bar), has the requisite skill to assist other prisoners with such legal matters as preparing and filing appeals, writs, and pardon requests. Much of such knowledge came from personal experience. The phrase also applies to any layman, behind bars or not, who offers legal advice, solicited or not.
See also: lawyer

Philadelphia lawyer

An adept attorney. The most probable reason why the City of Brotherly Love became an adjective for astute and skillful lawyers was Andrew Hamilton, whose 1735 defense of printer John Peter Zenger was a milestone of freedom of the press in America. (Lawyer Andrew should not be confused with Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.) Although the Zenger trial was held in New York City, Hamilton was from Philadelphia. Curiously, it took some fifty years for the phrase to appear in print.
See also: lawyer
References in classic literature ?
Jurgis was so grateful that he paid the half dollar the lawyer asked without winking an eyelash, and then rushed home to tell the news to the family.
Our lawyer joggled him, and then he looked up startled, and says, "Take the witness if you want him.
It introduced Gray as the original inventor of the telephone, and ordered its lawyers to take action at once against the Bell Company for infringement of the Gray patent.
He remained gazing after the lawyer until the door closed on both the bearer and the mysterious packet, when he returned slowly to the dwelling, and endeavored to forget his curiosity in the usual avocations of his office.
Now, mistress," says the lawyer, tapping the key hastily upon the chimney-piece.
You might have brought friends," the lawyer suggested.
can speak positively," said Lady Lydiard, with her eyes on the lawyer.
That man was the lawyer who had already undertaken the defence of the Countess.
to tell the truth), strongly influenced my resolution to consult the Edinburgh lawyer.
My first thought was that it had served Jackson right for getting such a lawyer.
The letter is from Bellario recommending a young lawyer named Balthazar to plead Antonio's cause.
Vanborough--passing close behind him and whispering as he passed--stopped the lawyer before he could say a word more.
You will hear what the lawyer thinks, if you come with me.
I remembered the name as being that of the lawyer to whom Mrs.
The next day Sir Joseph Graybrooke, Sir Joseph's lawyer, Mr.