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bitrament of war, title by conquest- our laws,) under its barbarous deriva. is treated among the most sublime and tive, “advowson.” sacred of the diplomatic gravities of our In this usage the church was speedily sages and statesmen! Short-sighted man! followed by the towns, and then the prov. when will you come to discern,
or to avow, inces, of France. As general society prothat what you commonly call your rights, gressed, the analogous wants of the pubas they were originally all acquired by, lic produced another description of these so do they ultimately rest upon, might and law-agents, differing from the former in truth alone.
being devoted to no clientage in particuBut to apply the result of this disserta- lar, but like their modern successors, at tion to its more immediate object, it is the call of the first comer, or the highest clear that under the summary procedure bidder. These got the significant name, described, there would be little demand clamatores, from the Celtic clam, or claim, for the profession of the advocate; or if says M. Fournel:* or may it not have been it existed under any form, it should be the plain Latin, according to Cicero's confound wielding other arms than oratory, tradistinction between clamator the spoutamong a race so warlike as the Franks. er, and orator, the accomplished advocate ? Accordingly, in Gaul, where the trial by In the Institutes (Etablissements) of St. combat had now become the common Louis (1270), the ancient term advocates mode of decision, a party unwilling to is again employed; but probably in a fight himself might employ a champion; generic sense: for, while rules (by the by, and this championship had become a regu- admirable) are prescribed (Chap. 14) for lar profession, for the use more especially the discipline of the profession, no special of the clergy and the women. Here is mention is made of the pleaders of the the germ of knight-errantry and chivalry. Parliament. We also remark, about this Thus was dispatched the litigation of the period, an educational improvement in the barons. And as to the people, they had fawyers, as seems to be indicated in their nothing which could give occasion for li- receiving the title of doctors, that is, tigation—not only possessing no property, learned ; though we own the inference but being themselves, in general, the pro- might be fallacious in other tiines and perty of the lords.
countries. Another sign of their advance. But as the kingdom, or at least the ment in consideration was, investing them church, of Christ enlarged its dominion, with knighthood, chevaliers de loi. Hence and the cathedrals and monasteries kept a the legitimate right of the lawyers to the proportionate pace in the contemptible addition“esquire;”a title which, however, wealth and profane possessions of this ours at least have the liberality to share world, to manage these temporalities” with a client, even though he should be a a description of men came to be employ- cartman or a green-grocer.
We have al. ed, called at the time advocati, (from the ready seen a Roman emperor, with the similarity of function doubtless,) but tor- view of propping the dignity of the protured afterwards into the French avoués, fession, ordain the rank of the advocate to (still in use, in the sense of our attornies,) be equal to that of ihe soldier. How low and whom we now call proctors, in Eng must it have sunk,or how much been mis. lish parlance and law. These—who were conceived, to be deemed honored by either to be laymen-seem, however, to have comparison! But the military profession been a sort of general agents, of whose was the “hobby” of Roman vanily, as manifold attributions it was but the prin knighthood was of that of the middle cipal to defend the judicial rights of the ages. And such is the principle of most church and abbey. The office in process the titles conferred by men and by states. of time---aided perhaps by the proverbial It may not be without use also to observe savoir-faire of the lawyer generation in this connection, that titles are conferred came to be hereditary, by one of those and assumed the most prodigally where queer transformations which are the veins the things they are supposed to signify are most valuable and least explored of the wanting. For example, in our own free history of social institutions. The avoué country, one meets a general or a major came to have in the benefice a qualified in
third tavern-keeper and country property, or fief, which was termed attorney. Not a strolling lecturer, upon avouerié- not unfamiliar to our all subjects or none, from the “ mystic lawyers, (though, happily, foreign to dance” of the planetary systems down
* Histoire des Avocats au Parliment et au Barreau de Paris.
through the American “sciences” of liberative part in the proceedings; and phrenology, mesmerism, laughing-gas, came finally, by a succession of events and that diapason of the learned scale, not necessary to detail, to supplant or the art and mystery of dog.dancing, but survive their lazy associates, bishops, pompously dubbs himself “
professor.” barons, peers and all. In distinction from There is much meaning in all this, if only the military and ecclesiastical judges, the people had eyes. We do not find the law members were known by the name Roman jurisconsults get or take the of Magistrates. This is the source of that titles of clarissimi, or doctores, or chev. judicial order, peculiar in some respects aliers-ès-lois, in the glorious days of to ancient, to ante-revolutionary France, Labeo, or Gaius, or Papinian. The and which, all vendible though it became, title of marshal was not very com like the profession of the advocate itself, mon among tavern-keepers and tailors through the necessity or cupidity of cerunder the empire of Napoleon. Nor is tain of her kings, has produced a succes. that of professor wont to be travestied in sion of as accomplished and virtuous the country where La Place, Cuvier, judges as ever administered and adorned Comte and Guizot have been professors. the judicature of any age or country,
However, a new era dawned upon the And if it be true that, unlike the English bar in France with the creation of the fa- and other judges, they bought their office, mous Parliament of Paris. This, which, it is no less true that, unlike too many like all institutions of spontaneous origin, them, they never, or rarely, sold it. is of uncertain date, was not what the The increase of civil business which name would suggest to the English or naturally followed upon this more comAmerican reader. We may trust Voltaire, petent constitution of the Court, in. in his sensible but superficialt history of creased the employment and enhanced it, that it was neither a continuation, nor the services of the advocates. Those any connection, of the ancient Parlia- attached to the Parliament when it was ments, better known as the States-Gene- made sedentary, settled down with it at ral. It was the royal and supreme court Paris. Its first term of the year 1344, of justice, composed of a certain number opened with an ordinance in regulation of bishops and barons, with, subsequent of their functions—to the end, says the ly, some peers, after the institution of that preamble, that they may be exercised order. It was nearly the jurisdictions, with honor to the Profession and utility united, of the original King's Bench and to the public. This ordinance provides the House of Lords of England. for a registration, and prescribes the
This Parliament, at first ambulatory, qualifications, of the advocates. It reclike the English tribunal just named, was ognizes the division into Pleading advofixed at Paris, in 1302, by Philip the cates and Counseling advocates, consiliFair, who gave the palace of the earlier arii-whence the English Counselors. kings for its place of session. Here the It enjoined several other rules concerning courts are still held, we believe; and Pleading, Practice and Professional dehence the word palais has got a general meanor. This seems to have been the acceptation among French lawyers, in earliest organization of the society which like manner as “ the Hall” has with the still styles itself in France, The Order of New York Bar. A tribunal of the mate. Advocates. rials described had naturally to call to its These regulations, most of them, un. aid the legal knowledge of the advocates. derwent subsequently various modificaThese, at first, were merely kept in a tions. The fundamental condition of separaie apartment, for occasional con unsullied character, as well as attested sultation ; and a remnant of the institu- qualification, remained, however, always tion in this primitive stage may be still unchanged. And that it was not (as seen in the train of “clerks” that wait elsewhere at the present day) an empty upon the Exchequer, Rolls court, and pretence, is well evinced by the signal other feudal tribunals of England. In instance of the Chancellor Poyet, who, France they were soon promoted to a de- being displaced for official misconduct,
* Not many months back, in the interior of this State, the newspapers announced a Professor somebody, we forget the name, who was to teach dogs, we also forget in how few lessons, the “ Science of Dancing!"
A motto for most of what he ever wrote.
sought to return, for a livelihood, to the character, as well as regard for the interbar whence he had been promoted, but ests of clients, in undertaking any busiwas refused admittance by his profes- ness of consequence during this period. sional brethren, on ground that he had This is to observe the sound maxim of disbonored the “ Robe.” There are sev
in foro discere, sed docti eral such examples, in even those early in forum venire. During this species of times, of the scrupulous honor_which novitiate, these catechumens of the church has always distinguised the Bar of France, of Themis were called Advocati audientes and which should everywhere character- (listening advocates), in distinction from ize the Profession.
the two complementary classes, of AdvoThe conditions of admission to the cati proponentes and Advocati consiliarii. French Bar were these : Age, 17, as at These classes were signalized by the Rome; but in this case certainly, mean seats assigned them in Court, the order ing the entrance upon professional studies. of precedence commencing from the The period of these studies ranged, suc Bench. cessively, from four years to so low as We are to note, in conclusion, that the
But, in all cases, the candidate body of Advocates were always distinct must be a graduate in one of the“ celebra- in association as different in function ted” Universities, in at least either of the from the procureurs ad lites, who correCanon and Civil laws—in altero jurium. spond to our attornies. These seem to Ecclesiastics were receivable, and, in be of a much later origin in France, being those times, composed in fact a large ma- first, we believe, made mention of in the jority of the Profession ; so that the old Institutes of St. Louis ; whereas, the English adage was equally applicable to Advocates were introduced with the France, whence, probably, it was im- monarchy, and borrowed, we have seen, ported : nullus clericus nisi causidicus. from Rome. The Procureurs, however, Women were excluded ; but were (as while they have their separate society, they still are) allowed to plead for them. always have been subject to the general selves. The studies thus completed and supervision of the “Council of Discicertified, the remaining ceremony was pline” of the Bar. the oath; which was administered in Such is a hasty outline of the career open court, on the presentation of the and the character of the Profession in candidate by an Elder (ancien) of the France, down to the abolition of the OrProfession, who prayed that the Court der of Advocates, in 1790, by the Conwould be pleased to receive the oath of vention. This in some respects unparthe advocate, such a person, graduate of alleled event is, we believe, much such a University : adding, that his cre misunderstood—where it is known of at dentials had been duly inspected-que all-by our readers. And as, moreover, Messieurs les gens du roi ont vu ses lettres. the true account of it is honorably char
But the French " young lawyer ” had acteristic of the Profession we vindicate, (and has still) to spend the three succeed- and may furnish some timely hints to ing years—termed temps de stage or de Pa- those members of our own Convention lais-in attendance on the Courts, for the who seem inclined to meddle in the same purpose of familiarizing himself with the matter, we will transcribe the whole rules of practice and the general style of proceeding in nearly the words of Fourproceeding, as well as in deepening and nel; upon whom, as also Boucher d’Armaturing his legal studies. Of this we gis, we take this occasion to acknowhave a faint remnant ourselves in the term ledge, once for all, that we have drawn requisite to have elapsed between the largely for the facts of this sketch—using, admission as attorney and as counselor. however, our own judgment in interpretBut the imitation is merely in the time; ing and applying them. for the French lawyer, though equally While the Committees were engaged entitled to practice, would be deemed in the organization of the Judiciary, and wanting in a proper respect for his own after the Parliaments and Courts of Ap
* Many of our readers, acquainted with only the English and American judiciary systems, may not be aware that this was not commonly, but very rarely, the case in France ; the judges being there, as in ancient Rome, a separate class from the lawyers. And this is decidedly the better arrangement, where the laws and jurisprudence are of reasonable intelligibility. But where, as in England, they are an occult science, the Judges must be drawn from the number of the initiated. Hence the usage accordingly, here as in England; for it rests upon no positive law in either country.
peal had been abolished, the question that would degrade it; but exterminate arose, what was to become of the Order ourselves the object of our affection, of Advocates. Several of the Committee rather than surrender it to outrage and were for maintaining it unaltered, and infamy. transplanting it into the new system “ The members of the committee, (adds with all its pristine prerogatives and the historian,) moved to tears by this herights. But others were disposed to roic self-sacrifice, not unworthy of an. dissolve the “ Order,” and abolish even cient Rome, embraced unanimously the the name.
same opinion, and a few days after de. But you must know, says our author- creed the annihilation of the name of ity, this latter proposition proceeded Advocate, the suppression of the Order, from no hostile intention, but on the and the interdiction of its costume to contrary from a chivalrous devotion (de- whatever description of men should vouement exalté) to the glory and memo thenceforth fulfill its functions." ry of the Profession.
And“ heroic” this memorable resoluThis singular idea, having created tion must undoubtedly be esteemed, our much division in the Committee, was degenerate days considered. It could communicated to a number of the prin- have been taken but by a profession of cipal Advocates of Paris ; who, after which-still more than of Montesquieu's revolving the subject in all its bearings, Monarchy-honor is the essential and the declared unanimously for absolute aboli- distinctive principle. And even in this tion.
profession, it could, perhaps, have ocWeare (they reasoned) to be considered curred at the present day, but in the under the two-fold aspect of Advocates, French Bar ; than whom a body of men and Advocates of the Parliament. The of more delicacy, disinterestedness and dissolution of the Parliaments deprives honor probably does not now exist. us of the latter quality. With regard to Let us justify this high eulogy by a the other, it would be valueless where single circumstance. In France, it is the there should be no superior tribunals usage (founded on the principle that the whereinto to transfer our titles, our advocate's sole duty is to vindicate truth attributions and privileges. But none and justice) for the opposite counsel to such are left by the new judiciary ar communicate to one another every docurangement, which consists of but pitiful ment in their possession (se commuprimary tribunals. By these tribunals it niquer leurs sacs) touching their respective is that the quality of advocate would be cases, and this, whether to be produced conferred; but each of these countless or not on the trial. These documents courts, spread over the surface of France, - bonds, bills, title-deeds—are taken will thus become the centre of a new home for days, without acknowledgbar.
ment for, or inventory of, the most preThese bars will be crowded by a mul. cious deposite. Yet it is matter of histitude of men who, without an idea of tory that from the earliest record of the the principles or the discipline of the bar to this day, there has not occurred a Profession, will degrade its ancient char- single instance, not only of any gross acter and prostitute its honorable func- abuse, but of even an illiberal use, of this tions. Yet these persons will insist up. sublime confidence. And this fact speaks on dubbing themselves with the title of a volume for disciplinary organization Advocates; and will be—they too, for- of the Profession. But we should also sooth !—for constituting an Order. The add, that there is much in appealing to public will be deceived by the name, and that principle in man which has never besides, in its natural malignity prone to been enough regarded perhaps by legisgeneralize its imputations, will confound lators and moralists. Honor- not the designedly those advocates de circom- vulgar, the bastard thing commonly so stance, with those of the ancient Order. called, but that deep, self-sustained conThe sole way of escaping this disreputa: sciousness of moral and manly dignity, ble posterity'is at once to suppress the called sometimes conscience, sometimes denomination, the order and the depend- self-esteem, sometimes pride, according ent attributes of our body. Let there be to the creed or the character of the deno more Advocales, since we cannot pre- nominator—this sentiment, we are perserve unsullied the dignity of the title. suaded, well-directed and developed, Sole depositories of this noble Profession, might be made to govern the world. let us not suffer that it pass into hands But it is not in nature that the office of
the advocate should long remain sup- tice in Gaul must be equally true of the pressed. The miserable system of “small neighboring island, which was under the courts” organized by the Convention, same Druidical regime. Some traces of having of course brought the administra- the Roman usages also probably retion of justice into contempt, was remod- mained in this province, as in the others. eled by Napoleon, who on elevating the In fine, with most others of the civil incharacter of the courts also revived the stitutions of France, the forms of the Order of Advocates. Not, however, quite Legal profession too were, in large part, to the former discipline and privileges, transplanted, at the “conquesi,” into which were absolutely republican ; but, England; superseding or suppressing as it was expressed by themselves, he such of the native usages as refused to emperialized it. This control was far- coalesce with them through the common ther aggravated by an Ordinance of Roman affinity. So that we have Louis XVIII., which, though a subject of given effectually the history of the Eng. unremitted remonstrance by the bar, re lish Bar in the sketch especially of the mains, we believe, still unremoved— French “ Order." even by the Citizen King.
This influence, we are aware, is denied
indignantly by the English, and the deLast in order, though not in interest, nial is re-echoed by those who are concomes the British Bar, the model andthe tent to take the testimony of the woundmother of our own;-or rather, the step- ed vanily and morbid resentment of a mother, to judge from the distorted and conquered people, in its own cause. But ill-favored condition of the child. Here interrogate that less equivocal wit. we are left absolutely without historical ness, the nomenclature of our institumaterials. We are not aware of a soli. tions and judicial procedure-of which tary treatise on the subject of the Pro we have taken occasion, not without a fession in our language, while we know purpose, of presenting some specimens, of at least four in France. Not so by the way. Or peruse, among other much as a prefatory memoir from any of French books, (do not touch an English our numerous writers about Law Studies; one on the subject,) Thierry's History of though the examples of the distinguish the “Conquest;" but especially, Bered lawyers of the past with some account nardi, Sur la Legislation—a work which, of the principles that actuated, and the though written with exclusive reference discipline that formed, them should, one to the jurisprudence of France, we do would think, be as pertinent to the occa not hesitate to affirm contains, to a resion and as efficient of the object as the flecting reader, a profounder Commenta“thrilling” declamation of Samuel War. ry than Blackstone's, on The Laws of ren—who rants and rhapsodizes through England. Nay, we go so far as to say, a brace of volumes without giving, per- that our institutions, to be studied thorhaps without having, the least idea of oughly, philosophically, must be traced the origin, the history, the organization, in the civil history of ancient France. or the discipline of the institution of For the rest, it is not denied that some of which, however, he has constituted him- these institutions may not have improved self teacher.
accidentally by the transplantation. But But however discreditable to English among any such cannot, most assuredly, law writers and retarding to the progress be reckoned the character, discipline or of the English Bar itself, this neglect is learning of the Legal Profession. probably not of so great consequence as This will be gainsayed by no man of ihe loss of the histories of Livy and competent intelligence and impartiality. Varro; as the fullest detail would be The English Bar and Bench-among chiefly of negative value, would pre- many members who have done honor to sent us rather what was to be avoided their noble occupations-record examthan what was to be imitated. But this ples without number of the meanest serfair side has been anticipated in our ac. vility and the most mercenary profligacy. count of the French and Roman Bars. Of Why has Hale been deified ? he never the other there is enough remaining—"in made an act of resistance to power or to all conscience”—to stimulate us to reform. pelf that is not the strictest duty of a Our introductory reflections on the gen- village Justice. Why, unless that a judge eral origin of the Profession apply of of merely negative virtues was a moral: course to early Britain. Besides, what monster, a demigod, in his day and counwe related of ihe administration of jus. try. Besides independence and probity,