Bar (law)

In law, the bar is the legal profession as an institution. The term is a metonym for the line (or "bar") that separates the parts of a courtroom reserved for spectators and those reserved for participants in a trial such as lawyers.

In this courtroom in Worcester, Massachusetts (United States), the bar is represented by a physical barrier (with swinging gate doors), separating the benches reserved for spectators from the judge's bench and lawyers' tables

Courtroom division

Bokrijk, Ancien Régime lawcourt
The wooden bar in front of the magistrate's bench in an 18th-century outdoor courtroom from Belgium

The origin of the term bar is from the barring furniture dividing a medieval European courtroom, similar to the origin of the term bank for the bench-like location of financial transactions in medieval Europe. In the USA, Europe and many other countries referring to the law traditions of Europe, the area in front of the barrage is restricted to participants in the trial: the judge or judges, other court officials, the jury (if any), the lawyers for each party, the parties to the case, and witnesses giving testimony. The area behind the bar is open to the public.[1] This restriction is enforced in nearly all courts. In most courts, the bar is represented by a physical partition: a railing or barrier that serves as a bar.[2]

License and certification

The bar may also refer to the qualifying procedure by which a lawyer is licensed to practice law in a given jurisdiction.

U.S. procedure

In the United States, this procedure is administered by the individual U.S. states. In general, a candidate must graduate from a qualified law school and pass a written test: the bar examination. Some states use the Multistate Bar Examination, usually with additions for that state's laws. The candidate is then admitted to the bar. A lawyer whose license to practice law is revoked is said to be disbarred.

British procedure

In the United Kingdom, the practice of law is divided between barristers (advocates in Scotland) and solicitors. It is usually the former who appear in an advocacy role before the court. When a lawyer becomes an advocate or barrister, he/she is called to the bar. In Britain the bar is differentiated between the inner bar (for Queen's counsel) and the outer bar (for Junior barristers).

The legal profession

The bar commonly refers to the legal profession as a whole. With a modifier, it may refer to a branch or division of the profession: as, for instance, the tort bar—lawyers who specialize in filing civil suits for damages.

In conjunction with bench, bar may differentiate lawyers who represent clients (the bar) from judges or members of a judiciary (the bench). In this sense, the bar advocates and the bench adjudicates. Yet, judges commonly remain members of the bar and lawyers are commonly referenced as Officers of the Court.

The phrase bench and bar denotes all judges and lawyers collectively.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Garner, Bryan, ed. (2004). Black's Law Dictionary, Eighth Ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing. pp. 157–8. ISBN 0-314-15199-0.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Walker, David (1980). Oxford Companion to Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 112, 123. ISBN 0-19-866110-X.
American Bar Association

The American Bar Association (ABA), founded August 21, 1878, is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of academic standards for law schools, and the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession. The ABA has 410,000 members. Its national headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois; it also maintains a significant branch office in Washington, D.C.

Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses

The Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses are state judicial facilities located in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. They face each other in the 100 block of North Calvert Street, between East Lexington Street on the north and East Fayette Street on the south across from the Battle Monument Square (1815-1822), which held the original site of the first colonial era courthouse for Baltimore County (third county courthouse after previous locations / county seats in old Baltimore village on the Bush River and later Joppa) and Town, after moving the Baltimore County seat in 1767 to the burgeoning port town on the Patapsco River established in 1729-1730.

The first courthouse in Baltimore Town was built in 1767 and also later housed briefly for a decade the new United States federal courts in the city, after the ratification and operation of the new Constitution in 1789. On July 28th, 1776/it was the site for the public reading of the Declaration of Independence, just previously approved by the Second Continental Congress on behalf of the Thirteen colonies, now United States of America, meeting at the old Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) three weeks earlier in Philadelphia and read out loud to a gathering of Baltimore Town citizens. It was undercut in 1784 by local builder/contractor Leonard Harbaugh with a pair of arched stone/brick arched piers and raised stone foundation to permit extension of Calvert Street to the north by passing traffic underneath at a lower level. This town/county courts structure was torn down around 1800, leaving an empty small square for fifteen years.A second city / county courthouse of Georgian and Federal style architecture in red brick and limestone trim with a cupola was constructed to the west of old Courthouse Square (later renamed Battle Monument Square in honor of the monument raised for remembering local casualties from the British attack in September 1814 during the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812). It was sited on the southwest corner of North Calvert and facing north towards East Lexington Street, completed in 1805. This second City/County Courthouse (which also served the small federal district court and judges chambers for 15 years until 1820, when they were relocated into one wing of the huge massive H-shaped Merchants Exchange building capped with a low dome at South Gay and East Lombard Streets, designed and completed that year by famous British-American architect Benjamin Latrobe) was partially burned on 13th February 1835 during a spate of mysterious arson fires in the city during the bank riots that year, but it was soon repaired. An adjacent Egyptian style masonry building to the west along Saint Paul Street was constructed for a Records Office. It was razed around 1896 along with the other structures on the block to its south and west.A third and current courthouse, was built 1896–1900, on the entire city block west of the 1815-1822 Battle Monument. It is bounded by North Calvert Street on the east, East Lexington Street on the north, East Fayette Street on the south and St. Paul Street on the west.

A small federal district courthouse and United States Post Office of white marble and limestone was constructed on the northwest corner of East Fayette and North Street (later renamed Guilford Avenue) in 1860 for the federal offices relocated from the one wing of the 1820 Merchants Exchange and was dedicated by 15th President James Buchanan and served only 29 years until 1889.

Then it was replaced by a much larger structure with a clock tower and eight massive chimneys facing to the west on Calvert Street and the Battle Monument, occupying the rest of the entire block between Calvert, Lexington, North (Guilford) and Fayette Streets.

That Federal courts and central city Post Office on Calvert Street was replaced after only forty years of use in 1932, during the administration of 31st President Herbert C. Hoover which served for the next four decades until replaced by the current Edward A. Garmatz U.S. Courthouse at West Lombard and South Hanover / Liberty Street/Hopkins Place structure adjacent to the 1960s era Charles Center downtown redevelopment project. The old Hoover era federal courts and post office was then transferred to the city by the federal government in 1977 for its use and renovated with being renamed Courthouse East. Today the two historic main structures of the Maryland state judicial system in the City of Baltimore are the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse of 1896-1900 and Courthouse East (the former Baltimore Post Office and U.S. Courthouse of 1932).

Together they house the 30 judges of the 8th Judicial Circuit for the State of Maryland (Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City). In addition to the criminal, civil and family (formerly orphans court) courts, these two courthouses also contain the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City, the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the historic Baltimore City Bar Law Library, the City Sheriff's Office, the recently established Baltimore Courthouse and Law Museum (in the former Orphans Court chambers), the Pretrial Release Division of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, several pretrial detention lockups, jury assembly rooms, land records, court medical offices and Masters hearing rooms.

Bar association

A bar association is a professional association of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both. In many Commonwealth jurisdictions, the bar association comprises lawyers who are qualified as barristers or advocates in particular, versus solicitors (see bar council). Membership in bar associations may be mandatory or optional for practicing attorneys, depending on jurisdiction.

Bench (law)

Bench in legal contexts means simply the location in a courtroom where a judge sits. The historical roots of that meaning come from judges formerly having sat on long seats or benches (freestanding or against a wall) when presiding over a court. The bench is usually an elevated desk area that allows a judge to view the entire courtroom.

The word also has a broader meaning in the law – the term "bench" is a metonym used to describe members of the judiciary collectively, or the judges of a particular court, such as the Queen's Bench or the Common Bench in England and Wales, or the federal bench in the United States. The term is also used when all the judges of a certain court sit together to decide a case, as in the phrase "before the full bench" (also called "en banc").The bench was a typical feature of the courts of the Order of St. John in Malta, such as at the Castellania, where judges and the nominated College of Advocates sat for court cases and review laws.The term is used to differentiate judges ("the bench") from attorneys or barristers ("the bar"). The phrase "bench and bar" denotes all judges and lawyers collectively.

Call to the bar

The call to the bar is a legal term of art in most common law jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar". "The bar" is now used as a collective noun for barristers, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their briefs.

Like many other common law terms, the term originated in England in the Middle Ages, and the call to the bar refers to the summons issued to one found fit to speak at the 'bar' of the royal courts. In time, English judges allowed only legally qualified men to address them on the law and later delegated the qualification and admission of barristers to the four Inns of Court. Once an Inn calls one of its members to its bar, they are thereafter a barrister. They may not, however, practise as a barrister until they have completed (or been exempted from) an apprenticeship called pupillage. After completing pupillage, they are considered to be a practising barrister with a right of audience before all courts.

England and Wales and some other jurisdictions distinguish two types of lawyers, who are regulated by different bodies, with separate training, examinations, regulation and traditions:

Barristers primarily practise in court and generally specialise in advocacy in a particular field of law; they have a right of audience in all courts of England and Wales.

Solicitors do not necessarily undertake court work, but have a right of audience in the lower courts (magistrates' courts and county courts). They are admitted or enrolled as a solicitor, to conduct litigation and practise in law outside court, e.g., providing legal advice to lay clients and acting on their behalf in legal matters.A solicitor must additionally qualify as a solicitor-advocate in order to acquire the same "higher rights" of audience as a barrister. In other jurisdictions, the terminology and the degree of overlap between the roles of solicitor and barrister varies greatly; in most, the distinction has disappeared entirely.

Conrad Bitzer

Conrad Bitzer (1853 – 1903) was a lawyer and politician in Ontario, Canada. He served as mayor of Berlin in 1892.Bitzer was born in Preston, Ontario, the son of immigrants from Germany. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1881 and set up practice in Berlin, the first German-speaking lawyer to practice in the area. He was a member of the local Board of Trade. Bitzer was nominated as the Liberal candidate for the Waterloo North seat in the Canadian House of Commons for the 1900 general election but withdrew before the election date.

Correspondence law school

A correspondence law school is a school that offers legal education by distance education, either by correspondence or online by use of the internet, or a combination thereof.

Earl C. Michener

Earl Cory Michener (November 30, 1876 – July 4, 1957) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Michener had German ancestry. He was born near Attica in Seneca County, Ohio. He moved with his parents to Adrian, Michigan in 1889 and attended the public schools there. During the Spanish–American War, he served in the U.S. Army as a private in Company B, Thirty-first Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, from April 26, 1898 to May 17, 1899. He studied law at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1901 and 1902, and graduated from the law department of Columbian University (now George Washington University), Washington, D.C., in 1903 where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He was admitted to the bar (law) the same year and commenced practice in Adrian. He served as assistant prosecuting attorney for Lenawee County from 1907 to 1910 and prosecuting attorney from 1911 to 1914.

In 1918, Michener defeated incumbent Democrat Samuel W. Beakes to be elected as a Republican from Michigan's 2nd congressional district to the 69th United States Congress. He was subsequently re-elected to the following six Congresses, serving from March 4, 1919 to March 3, 1933. In 1926, he was one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives to conduct the impeachment proceedings against George W. English, judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois.

Michener was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1932, losing to Democrat John C. Lehr. Two years later he defeated Lehr, to be elected to 74th Congress and was subsequently re-elected to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1935 to January 3, 1951. He served as chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary in the 80th Congress, and introduced the resolution that ultimately became the Twenty-second Amendment. He was not a candidate for re-election in 1950.

Earl C. Michener maintained law offices in Adrian, until his death there. He was interred in Oakwood Cemetery.

Expert witness

An expert witness, in England, Wales and the United States, is a person whose opinion by virtue of education, training, certification, skills or experience, is accepted by the judge as an expert. The judge may consider the witness's specialized (scientific, technical or other) opinion about evidence or about facts before the court within the expert's area of expertise, referred to as an "expert opinion". Expert witnesses may also deliver "expert evidence" within the area of their expertise. Their testimony may be rebutted by testimony from other experts or by other evidence or facts.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Hebrew: הַאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה הַעִבְרִית בְּיְרוּשָׁלַיִם, Ha-Universita ha-Ivrit bi-Yerushalayim; Arabic: الجامعة العبرية في القدس‎, Al-Jami'ah al-Ibriyyah fi al-Quds; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second oldest university, established in 1918, 30 years before the establishment of the State of Israel. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J. Safra Givat Ram campus.

The university has 5 affiliated teaching hospitals including the Hadassah Medical Center, 7 faculties, more than 100 research centers, and 315 academic departments. As of 2018, a third of all the doctoral candidates in Israel were studying at the Hebrew University.

The first Board of Governors included Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber, and Chaim Weizmann. Four of Israel's prime ministers are alumni of the Hebrew University. As of 2018, 15 Nobel Prize winners, 2 Fields Medalists, and 3 Turing Award winners have been affiliated with the University.

Laws in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is part of the common law jurisdiction. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The legal system of Bangladesh has its roots in the laws of British India. Since independence in 1971, statutory law enacted by the Parliament of Bangladesh has been the primary form of legislation. Judge made law continues to be significant in areas such as constitutional law. Unlike in other common law countries, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has the power to not only interpret laws made by the parliament, but to also declare them null and void and to enforce fundamental rights of the citizens. The Bangladesh Code includes a compilation of all laws since 1836. The vast majority of Bangladeshi laws are in English. But most laws adopted after 1987 are in Bengali. Family law is intertwined with religious law. Bangladesh has significant international law obligations.

During periods of martial law in the 1970s and 1980s, proclamations and ordinances were issued as laws. In 2010, the Supreme Court declared that martial law was illegal, which led to a re-enactment of some laws by parliament. A Right to Information Act has been enacted. Several of Bangladesh's laws are controversial, archaic or in violation of the country's own constitution. They include the country's special powers act, blasphemy law, sedition law, internet regulation law, NGO law, media regulation law, military justice and aspects of its property law. Many colonial laws require modernization.

According to the World Justice Project, Bangladesh ranked 103rd out of 113 countries in an index of the rule of law in 2016.

President's Counsel

President's Counsel (postnominal PC) is an eminent lawyer who is appointed by the President of Sri Lanka to be one of the "President's Counsel learned in the law". The term is also recognized as an honorific which replaced the practice of appointment of Queen's Counsel (QC) which ceased when Sri Lanka became a republic in 1972. It is equivalent to the appointment of Queen's Counsel in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth jurisdictions and derives the same privileges such as the privilege of sitting within the Bar of court.

President's Counsel is a professional rank and status, conferred by the President under the Article 33 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka which is recognised by courts. It does not entail the title holder to be a state prosecutor or employed by the state or part of the office of the President. Appointments are made from Attorneys-at-Law who have practiced as counsel in original and appellate courts for many years either in the official or unofficial bar. When a holder of the title of President's Counsel is appointed to the judiciary he does not lose the title.

Robert N. Scola Jr.

Robert N. Scola Jr. (born October 30, 1955) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

State Bar of California

The State Bar of California is California's official attorney licensing agency. It is responsible for managing the admission of lawyers to the practice of law, investigating complaints of professional misconduct, and prescribing appropriate discipline. It is directly responsible to the Supreme Court of California. All attorney admissions and disbarments are issued as recommendations of the State Bar, which are then routinely ratified by the Supreme Court.The State Bar was legally established on July 29, 1927, when the State Bar Act went into effect. The State Bar of California is the largest in the United States, with 253,306 living members as of February 2015, of whom 183,763 are on active status. It is headquartered in San Francisco, with branch offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

Stephen Hale Anderson

Stephen Hale Anderson (born January 12, 1932) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada, the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts. Its decisions are the ultimate expression and application of Canadian law and binding upon all lower courts of Canada, except to the extent that they are overridden or otherwise made ineffective by an Act of Parliament or the Act of a provincial legislative assembly pursuant to section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the "notwithstanding clause").

Yoram Danziger

Yoram Danziger (Hebrew: יורם דנציגר‎, born 1953) was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel who served on the Court from 2007 to 2018. Formerly he was managing partner and co-founder of a Ramat Gan-based law firm founded in 1984 named Danziger, Klagsbald & Co.

Born in Israel, Danziger served in the Israeli army from 1972 until 1975. He received his LL.B. degree with honors from Tel Aviv University in 1980, and his LL.M. Degree with honors from the same University in 1981. In 1983 he earned his PhD in law (take-over bids/tender offers) from the London School of Economics.Danziger served as co-editor of the Israeli Bar Law Review. He taught Commercial Law at the Tel Aviv University and at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. Danziger was a board member of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. He published numerous legal articles in Israel and in the United Kingdom, focusing primarily on corporate law. In 2000 he published a book entitled 'The Right to Information about the Company'.Danziger, who was a top commercial lawyer along with his partner Avigdor Klagsbald, was appointed with no opponents on the Judicial Appointments Committee. The appointment of a private sector attorney to the Supreme Court of Israel is not a common event.

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