BARRISTER ( earlier harester, int rrustre, from harre, bar). The.distinctive name by which the advocates at the English and Irish bars are known. (See BAR.) They are admitted to their (Mice under the rides and regulations of the Inns of Court, and they are entitled to exclusive audience in all the superior courts of law and equity, and generally in all courts, civil and criminal. presided over by a superior judge. In the county courts attorneys are allowed to prac tice without the assistance of counsel ; also at petty sessions, though at the quarter sessions where four counsel attend, the justices always give them exclusive audience. In Scotland the same body are styled advocates, and they have the same exclusive privileges that barristers enjoy in England and Ireland. Of barristers there are various ranks and degrees, and among each other they take precedence accordingly, the general name, 'counsel,' being, in the practice of the court, common to them all. But they may be divided into two leading gronps—ba•risters and King's counsel. The ancient order of sergeants at-law, formerly a well-marked third group, was distinguished by the coif and other peculiarities, but has now ceased to exist. (See SERJEANT-AT LAW.) Besides these three orders or gradations of rank at the English bar, the Crown sometimes grants letters-patent of precedence to such bar risters as his ?lajesty may think proper to honor with that mark of distinction, whereby they are entitled to such rank and pre-audienee as are assigned to them in their respective patents. Persons who desire to become barristers must secure admission to one of the Inns of Court, and, after keeping a prescribed munber of 'terms,' must pass a 'call examination' successfully, and thns entitle themselves to be called to the bar.
The fees which the candidate must pay on being called, before signing the roll of barristers in the King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, are quite onerous, ranging from £90 to £100. He remains subject to the discipline of his Inn, which has the pouter to 'disbar' him upon criminal conviction or for gross professional misconduct.
The professional ethics, or etiquette, of the bar is carefully and accurately defined. Its principal rules are as follows: "(1) That fees are divided between a leader (who ought to lie a King's counsel, a sergeant, or a barrister with a patent of precedence) and a junior in the proportion of three-fifths to the former'and two-tifths to the latter; (2) that no barrister accepts business upon a circuit to which he does not belong, ex cept for a special fee; (3) that all litigious business must come through a solicitor, though a barrister may advise a client, directly and per sonally, as to non- litigious matters (such as making his will, or a settlement of his prop erty) ; (4) a barrister's fee is an honorarium, not recoverable by legal process." As a barrister cannot enforce payment for his services, the law exempts him from liability for negligence in the performance of his professional services.
There is no distinct order of counsel corre sponding to barristers in the United States, the functions of counsel, or advocate, and of attor ney, or solicitor, being performed by the same person.