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Counsel

paid, bar, fees and court

COUNSEL, an abbreviation of coun sellor. In England a counsellor is a bar rister [BARRISTER], or one who has kept twelve terms at one of the four inns of court, and has been called to the bar. After keeping his terms a man may act as a conveyancer, special pleader, or equity draftsman, without being called to the bar, but he must take out a certificate under 9 Geo. IV. c. 49. The word counsel has no plural number, and is used to denote either one or more counsel. The duty of counsel is to give advice in questions of law, and to manage causes for clients. They are styled common-law, equity, or chamber counsel, according to the nature of the business they transact. They are sup posed to work for nothing, but in fact they are paid. But, according to Mr. Justice Bayley, 1 Chit. R. 351" they are to be paid beforehand, because they are not to be left to the chance whether they shall ultimately get their fees or not, and it is for the purpose of promoting the honour and integrity of the bar that it is expected all their fees should be paid when their briefs are delivered. That is the reason why they are not permitted to maintain an action for their fees." Though it is expected that all their fees should be paid before the work is done, this is very far from being the general practice ; and sometimes the payment is de ferred, and sometimes it happens that it is never made. The counsel is paid by the attorney or solicitor of the person whose business he does. Coun

sel may be retained generally, that is, to advocate any cause in which the re taining party may be engaged, or spe cially with reference to a pending cause ; and generally speaking, a counsel cannot refuse a retainer : there are certain rules, however, by which their practice is regu lated.

Counsel in a cause may urge and argue upon anythibg which is contained in their instructions, and is pertinent to the matter in question, md it is not considered to be their business to inquire whether it be true or false : they are also at liberty to make comments on the evidence adduced on that part of the case to which they are opposed, and to cross-examine the wit nesses of the opposite party.

Formerly, in cases of felony, counsel for the prisoner were not allowed to address the jury on his behalf : they might, however, examine and cross examine the witnesses, and argue points of law ; but now by star 6 & 7 Wm. IV. c. 114, all persons tried for felony may make full answer and defence by counsel.

Counsel are punishable by stat. West. 1. 3. Ed. I., c. 28, for deceit or collusion, and are so far under the jurisdiction of the judges, that in the event of malprac tice they may be prohibited from address ing the court : there are also certain rules established by each court for the regula tion of its own practice, to which counsel are subject.