Exploring the Attorney Client Relationship

*All defintions are from Black’s Law Sixth Edition unless otherwise stated*

 Attorn. To turn over; To agree to recognize a new owner of a property or estate and promise payment of rent to him.

 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.


 What is an attorney’s duty and to whom is it to?

 Most might automatically assume that the attorney’s first duty is to the court. I did, until I began questioning things in life as they were told to me. Once I entered the rabbit hole and saught out information I discovered that an attorney’s first duty is not to the client but to the court and that as a defendent having hired an attorney, that defendent becomes a ward of the court. I had read this in the writings of others, in essays and chat forums but had not come across a source for it although it didn’t surprise me that this would be case since I was discovering a slew of other truths that were rocking my world and challenging everything I thought I knew.

 According to the latest Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.) legal encyclopedia, volume 7, section 4, It informs the reader that an attorney’s first duty is to the courts and the public; not the client: It says;


 His first duty is to the courts and the public, not to the client, and wherever the duties to his client conflict with those he owes as an officer of the court in the administration of justice, the former must yield to the latter. The office of attorney is indispensable to the admninistration of justice and is intimate and peculiar in its relation to, and vital to the well being of, the court. An attorney has a duty to aid the court in seeing that actions and proceedings in which he is engaged as counsel are conducted in a dignified and orderly manner, free from passion and personal animosities, and that all causes brought to an issue are tried and decided on their merits only.


Here is a bit more:


 If one appears before any court in the interest of another and moves the court to action with respect to any matter before it of a legal nature, such person appears as an “advocate”, as that term is generally understood. The phrase “as an advocate in a representative capacity”, as used in a statute regulating the practice of law, implies a representation distinct from officer or other regular administrative corporate employee representation.


In England and her colonies a “barrister” is a person entitled to practice as an advocate or counsel in the superior courts. A “solicitor” is a person whose business it is to be employed in the care and management of suits depending in courts of chancery. In the great majority of the state of the Union, where law and equity are both administered by the same court, it has naturally come about that the two offices of attorney at law and solicitor in chancery have practically been consolidated, although in federal equity practice the term “solicitor” is in general use; but in some states the office solicitor in chancery is a distinct and separate office from that of attorney at law.


A client is one who applies to a lawyer of counselor for advice and direction in a question of law, or commits his cause to his management in prosecuting a claim of defending against a suit in a court of justice, one who retains the attorney, is responsible to him for this fees, and to whom the attorney is responsible for the management of the suit, one who communicates facts to an attorney expecting professional advice. Clients are also called “wards of the court” in regard to their relationship with their attorneys.


What is ward of the court?

 Wards of court. Infants and persons of unsound mind placed by the court under the care of a guardian.


What is Unsound mind?

 Non-legal term referring to one who from infirmity of mind is incapable of managing himself or his affairs. The term, therefore, includes insane persons (see insanity). It exists where there is an essential deprivation of the reasoning faculties, or where a person is incapable of understanding and acting with discretion in the ordinary affairs of life…see also capacity.


Infirmity. Disability; feebleness. see also incapacity

 Incapacity. Inefficiency, incompetency, lack of adequate power. The quality or state of being incapable, want of capacity, lack of physical or intellectual power, or of natural or legal qualification; inability, incapability, disability, incompetence.


Having an attorney admits the client to the jurisdiction of the court as inferred from the definition of In propia persona.

 In propia persona. In one’s own proper person. It was formerly a rule in pleading that pleas to the jurisdiction of the court must be plead in propia persona, because if pleaded by attorney they admit the jurisdiction, as an attorney is an officer of the court, and he is presumed to plead after having obtained leave, which admits the jurisdiction.

Sui juris. Of his own right; possessing full social and civil rights; not under any legal disability, or the power of another, or guardianship. Having capacity to manage one’s own affairs; not under legal disability to act for one’s self.