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What’s the Difference Between: A Lawyer, Solicitor, Advocate, Barrister, Counselor, and an Attorney?

Have you ever wondered where all these somewhat confusing terms came from? Well the answer is they are all types of Lawyers originated from various legal systems. Some of the terms are from the English legal system, some are from Scotland and some from the American legal system.

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An Attorney is somebody legally empowered to represent another person, or act on their behalf.

A Lawyer is somebody who can give legal advice and has been trained in the law.

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Are Attorney and Lawyer are synonyms? Basically yes, but they are not necessarily Interchangeable terms, you cannot for instance say I give you the Power of a Lawyer, but you definitely might say I give you the power of Attorney…

Look again at the above definitions, does it now make any sense? Off course it does.

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An attorney in fact is an agent who conducts business under authority that is controlled and limited by a written document called a letter, or power, of attorney granted by the principal. An attorney at law is an officer of a court of law authorized to represent the person employing him (the client) in legal proceedings.

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A Solicitor– One that solicits, especially one that seeks trade or contributions. The chief law officer of a city, town, or government department but does not act as an advocate in court, as opposed to the Attorney who pleads in court. (English Law).

A Barrister(Called Advocate in Scotland) presents the case in court. Most senior and distinguished barristers are designated King’s (Queen’s) counsel.

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Most lawyers are found in private practice, where they concentrate on criminal or civil law. In criminal law, lawyers represent individuals who have been charged with crimes and argue their cases in courts of law. Attorneys dealing with civil law assist clients with litigation, wills, trusts, contracts, mortgages, titles, and leases. Other lawyers handle only public-interest cases–civil or criminal–which may have an impact extending well beyond the individual client.

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These issues might involve patents, government regulations, and contracts with other companies, property interests, or collective-bargaining agreements with unions.

Other lawyers work for legal-aid societies–private, nonprofit organizations established to serve disadvantaged people. These lawyers generally handle civil, rather than criminal, cases. A relatively small number of trained attorneys work in law schools.

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The real life situations have created “specialties” according to business profitability. This is how terms like Vioxx Lawyer, DUI Lawyer, Lemon Law Lawyer , Structured Settlements Lawyer and others came about.

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When a company or an individual is unable to repay a loan, the individual or the company is considered to be bankrupt. Sometimes companies incur heavy financial losses. For example, a printing firm gets 80 percent of its total income from a single publisher. If the publisher diverts its order to a different company, the printer loses a large portion of its total income. The printing firm becomes bankrupt.

Bankruptcy involves two parties: the debtor and the creditor. The debtor is the party in debt, who owes money to the creditor. A debtor can be a company or an individual. The creditor is an organization or individual to whom the debtor owes money. Most bankruptcy cases involve several creditors. There are basically three types of bankruptcy.

After this, on the direction of the court, the trustee sells all of debtor's non-exempt assets for the benefit of the creditors. Finally, the debtor is discharged and all debts, with some exceptions, are written off. http://www.floridabar.org, the official web site of the Florida Bar Association (the regulatory body of all practicing lawyers in the state), publishes several pamphlets, including one entitled `Bankruptcy,' for the general public. The website also has a lawyer referral service to locate Bar-Certified bankruptcy lawyers in Florida.

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According to a report released by the National Bankruptcy Research Center, personal bankruptcy filings are up 34 percent in January 2009 as compared to January 2008. Compared to the previous month, December 2008, filings were up 4.5 percent.

These increases are no doubt a consequence of the current economic crisis. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reports that the United States' economy entered recession in December of 2007.

Traditionally, recession has been defined as two quarterly declines in gross domestic product, but the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the NBER has taken a more comprehensive approach to defining recession. "A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income, and other indicators."

In 2006, predictably, bankruptcy filings crashed. Two effects were causing downward pressure on filings. First, filing demand had been cannibalized because many of those who would have, in the absence of the reform act, waited to file in 2006 were motivated to file in 2005 to avoid the restrictive new laws. Second, the restrictive new laws simply made many who previously were eligible to file ineligible.

What the credit card lobby took away through the Bankruptcy Reform Act, the tanking economy has given back. Many more United States citizens are now eligible to file bankruptcy, though no doubt, they're not happy about it.

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