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Advocate

advocates, law, orator, roman, word, pleading and fee

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ADVOCATE, from the Latin advo calus. The origin of advocates in Rome was derived from an early institution, by which every head of a patrician house had a number of dependants, who looked up to him as a protector, and in return owed him certain obligations. This was the relation of patron and client ( patro nus, cliens). As it was one of the prin cipal and most ordinary duties of the patron to explain the law to his client, and to assist him in his snits, the relation was gradually contracted to this extent In earlyperiods of the Roman republic the profession of an advocate was held in high estimation. It was then the prac tice of advocates to plead gratuitously ; and those who aspired to honours and offices in the state took this course to gain popularity and distinction. As the an cient institutions were gradually modified, the services of Roman advocates were se cured by pay. At first it appears that presents of various kinds were given as voluntary acknowledgments of the gra titude of clients for services rendered. These payments, however, gradually as sumed the character of debts, and at length became a kind of stipend periodi cally payable by clients to those persons who devoted themselves to pleading. At length the Tribune M. Clueing, about n.c. 204, procured a law to be passed, called from him Lex Cincia, prohibit ing advocates from taking money or gifts for pleading the causes of their clients. In the time of Augustus, this in tended prohibition seems to have become inefficient and obsolete ; and a Senatus consultum was then passed by which the Cincian law was revived, and advocates were made liable to a penalty of four times the amount of any fee which they received. Notwithstanding these restric tions, the constant tendency was to recur to a pecuniary remuneration ; for in the time of the Emperor Claudius we find a law restraining advocates from taking exorbitant fees, and fixing as a maximum the sum of 10,000 sesterces for each cause pleaded, which would be equivalent to about 80/. sterling. (Tacit. Ann. xi. 5, 7.) Though the word Advocate is the term now generally used to express a person conversant with the law who manages a or defendant's case in court, this is not exactly the meaning of the Roman work advocates. The word Advocates,

as the etymology of the word implies (advocate, to call to one's aid), was any person who gave another his aid in any Witness, as a witness for instance, or otherwise. It was also used in a more restricted sense to signify a person who gave his advice or aid in the management of a cause ; but the Advocates of the re publican period was not the modern Ad vocate. He who made the speech for plaintiff or defendant was termed Orator or Patrons. Ulpian, who wrote in the second century A.D., defines Advocates to be one who assisted another in the con duct of a suit (Dig. 50, tit. 13) ; under the Empire indeed we find Advocates sometimes used as synonymous with Orator. As the word Advocates must not be confounded with Orator, so neither must Advocates nor Orator be confounded with Jurisconsultus, whose business it was to know the law and to give opinions on mess. The Emperor Hadrian established an Advocates Fisci, whose functions were to look after the interests of the Fiscus, or the Imperial revenue.

In still later periods these restrictions upon the pecuniary remuneration of ad vocates, which must always have been liable to evasion, disappeared in prac tice ; and the payment of persons for con ducting causes in courts of justice resem bled in substance the payment of any other services. In form, however, the fee was merely an honorary consideration (quid dam honorarium), and was generally pre numerated, or paid into the hands of the advocate before the cause was pleaded. It was a ride that, if once paid, the fee could never be recovered, even though the advocate was prevented by death or accident from pleading the cause : and when an advocate was retained by his client at an annual salary (which was lawful and usual), the whole yearly pay ment was due from the moment of the re tainer, though the advocate died before the expiration of the year. (Heineccius, Elementa Juris p. 182.) Traces of this practice exist in all countries into which the Roman law has been intro duced ; and are also clearly discernible in the rules and forms respecting fees to counsel at the present day in England.

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