lawyer

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Related to Lawyers: yellow pages

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, astute, and very skilled attorney. I don't mind paying taxes every year, but I wish it didn't take a Philadelphia lawyer just to understand how to fill in your return!
See also: lawyer

jailhouse lawyer

Someone who has not formally studied law but knows enough about it to be able to help others with legal issues (as a prison inmate experienced in dealing with the law might). Despite the name, this phrase can be used in settings other than jail or prison. Talk to Sal before your court appearance—he's a real jailhouse lawyer.
See also: lawyer

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

Philadelphia lawyer

An extremely shrewd attorney. This term dates from the eighteenth century. In 1734 John Peter Zenger, a printer, was charged with libel for printing an exposure of a corrupt New York governor, William Cosby. Zenger did not write the article, but his print shop could be attached for damages, whereas the writer was poor. Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia came out of retirement to defend the action, and to everyone’s surprise, his eloquent argument for freedom of the press not only won Zenger acquittal but established a precedent in American law, that a true statement was not libel. As the story proliferated, however, Hamilton was made out to be a legal trickster who collected a large fee (even though he had argued honestly and charged no fee at all), whence the current definition of a Philadelphia lawyer. The Salem Observer of March 13, 1824, stated, “The New England folks have a saying, that three Philadelphia lawyers are a match for the very devil himself.”
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 ?
The lawyer was a little, squat, bald man, with a dark, reddish beard, light-colored long eyebrows, and an overhanging brow.
"Pray walk in," said the lawyer, addressing Alexey Alexandrovitch; and, gloomily ushering Karenin in before him, he closed the door.
In the morning before office hours, at noon when business was plenty, and time scarce, at night under the face of the fogged city moon, by all lights and at all hours of solitude or concourse, the lawyer was to be found on his chosen post.
The lawyer, looking forth from the entry, could soon see what manner of man he had to deal with.
Wires were strung; stock was sold; and the enterprise looked for a time so genuine that when the Bell lawyers asked for an injunction against it, they were refused.
Fifty or more of the most eminent lawyers of that day tried to demolish these arguments, and failed.
"Not quite so bad as that, I trust, Sir Wingrave," the lawyer protested.
Sir Joseph on one side, and the lawyer on the other, were both appealing to him, and both regarding him with looks of amazement.
But to-day -- eh, Mungo?" And he turned again to look at the lawyer.
"Which affect the dead and the living both," answered the lawyer. "Circumstances, I grieve to say, which involve the future of Mr.
'Why, there you're rather fast, Lawyer Lightwood,' he replied, in a remonstrant manner.
The lawyer explained that the rental was a form--the property was said to be merely rented until the last payment had been made, the purpose being to make it easier to turn the party out if he did not make the payments.
"Look here," said Old Sharon; "I give you an opinion for your guinea; but, mind this, it's an opinion founded on hearsay--and you know as a lawyer what that is worth.
Not perceiving his drift yet, and thinking it always desirable for the sake of peace and quietness to be on the lawyer's side, I said I thought so too.
Vanborough--passing close behind him and whispering as he passed--stopped the lawyer before he could say a word more.