A special pleader was a historical legal occupation. The practitioner, or "special pleader" in English law specialised in drafting "pleadings", in modern terminology statements of case.
Up to the 19th century, there were many rules, technicalities and difficulties in drafting pleadings and claims and defences could be dismissed for trivial errors. As an extreme instance, a learned judge in the 19th century challenged a pleading for putting the year without adding A.D., on the ground that " non constat that A.D. might not be intended".
Some practitioners made it their business to frame pleadings, rather than to appear in court or to write legal opinions, and were called special pleaders. They were not necessarily barristers, but might be licensed to practise under the bar. At one time it was usual to practise for a time as a special pleader before being called to the bar. The system had largely fallen into disuse as a speciality by the beginning of the 20th century,although it continues to exist in India.
A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counselor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying the law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services. The role of the lawyer varies greatly across different legal jurisdictions.
In law as practiced in countries that follow the English models, a pleading is a formal written statement of a party's claims or defenses to another party's claims in a civil action. The parties' pleadings in a case define the issues to be adjudicated in the action.
In English law, the benefit of clergy was originally a provision by which clergymen could claim that they were outside the jurisdiction of the secular courts and be tried instead in an ecclesiastical court under canon law. Various reforms limited the scope of this legal arrangement to prevent its abuse, including branding of a thumb upon a first use, to limit number of invocations for some. Eventually the benefit of clergy evolved into a legal fiction in which first-time offenders could receive lesser sentences for some crimes. The legal mechanism was abolished in 1827 with the passage of the Criminal Law Act 1827.
Death by crushing or pressing is a method of execution that has a history during which the techniques used varied greatly from place to place, generally involving the placement of intense weight upon a person with the intent to kill. This form of execution is no longer used by any government.
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. There are four Inns of Court – Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple.
A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer called supplication.
A demurrer is a pleading in a lawsuit that objects to or challenges a pleading filed by an opposing party. The word demur means "to object"; a demurrer is the document that makes the objection. Lawyers informally define a demurrer as a defendant saying "So what?" to the pleading.
The Judicature Acts are a series of Acts of Parliament, beginning in the 1870s, which aimed to fuse the hitherto split system of courts in England and Wales. The first two Acts were the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 and the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875, with a further series of amending acts.
Assumpsit, or more fully, action in assumpsit, was a form of action at common law used to enforce what are now called obligations arising in tort and contract; and in some common law jurisdictions, unjust enrichment.
A form book is a tool used by attorneys in the United States to aid in the filing of pleadings, motions and other legal documents with a court or similar decision-making body. A form book may be a bound volume or binder containing loose-leaf pages, containing forms, clauses and model documents that the attorney might use when preparing a legal document or court pleading.
Barristers in England and Wales are one of the two main categories of lawyer in England and Wales, the other being solicitors. Barristers have traditionally had the role of handling cases for representation in court, both defence and prosecution.
William Ventris Field, 1st Baron Field PC was an English judge.
A free warren—often simply warren—is a type of franchise or privilege conveyed by a sovereign in medieval England to an English subject, promising to hold them harmless for killing game of certain species within a stipulated area, usually a wood or small forest. The sovereign involved might be either the monarch or a marcher lord.
Legal English is the type of English as used in legal writing. In general, a legal language is a formalized language based on logic rules which differs from the ordinary natural language in vocabulary, morphology, syntax, and semantics, as well as other linguistic features, aimed to achieve consistency, validity, completeness and soundness, while keeping the benefits of a human-like language such as intuitive execution, complete meaning and open upgrade. However, Legal English has been referred to as a "sublanguage", as legal English differs from ordinary English. A specialized use of certain terms and linguistic patterns governs the teaching of legal language. Thus, "we study legal language as a kind of second language, a specialized use of vocabulary, phrases, and syntax that helps us to communicate more easily with each other".
Thomas Chitty was an English lawyer and legal writer who was pupil master to a generation of eminent lawyers and played a significant role in documenting the legal reforms of the 19th century.
Joseph Chitty was an English lawyer and legal writer, author of some of the earliest practitioners' texts and founder of an important dynasty of lawyers.
The Pleading in English Act 1362, often rendered Statute of Pleading, was an Act of the Parliament of England. The Act complained that because the Norman French language was largely unknown to the common people of England, they had no knowledge of what was being said for or against them in the courts, which used Law French. The Act therefore stipulated that "all Pleas which shall be pleaded in [any] Courts whatsoever, before any of his Justices whatsoever, or in his other Places, or before any of His other Ministers whatsoever, or in the Courts and Places of any other Lords whatsoever within the Realm, shall be pleaded, shewed, defended, answered, debated, and judged in the English language, and that they be entered and inrolled in Latin".
The legal profession has its origins in ancient Greece and Rome. Although in Greece it was forbidden to take payment for pleading the cause of another, the rule was widely flouted. After the time of Claudius, lawyers could practise openly, although their remuneration was limited. A skilled and regulated profession developed gradually during the late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire: advocates acquired more status, and a separate class of notaries (tabelliones) appeared.
Legal practice is sometimes used to distinguish the body of judicial or administrative precedents, rules, policies, customs, and doctrines from legislative enactments such as statutes and constitutions which might be called "laws" in the strict sense of being commands to the general public, rather than only to a set of parties.