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Scope of the Attorneys


SCOPE OF THE ATTORNEY'S An attorney-at-law is defined to be "an officer of a court of justice who is qualified to conduct the cause of a litigant therein." He is an officer of the court, and is quite generally' required to have certain qualifications as a prerequisite to practicing- his pro fession. Thus, in most States he is required by statute to pass an examination upon the various branches of law and show himself qualified by' attaining a certain average grade therein. Other qualifications are, full age, good moral character, citizenship in the State. and, in some instances, it is held that onl yr male persons can qualify, as attorneys.

I3eing officers of court and amenable thereto, attor neys-at-law in relation to the conduct and management of their client's suits, have a wide range of implied au thority, and so long as their acts are in good faith, and are not fraudulent or collusive, they bind the client, though prejudicial to his interests. (Beck v. Bellamy, 93 N. C. 129; Boulton v. Barker, its Mass. 36.) The express authority given an attorney may be as broad or limited as the client desires, but a general au thority to manage a cause for the client as his attorney of record implies many incidental powers, and these are classified by Professor Mechem in his valuable work as follows: "To make such affidavits as are required in the pro gress of the cause, when the facts are within his knowl edge. To waive a verification. To serve, and accept service of, all necessary and proper papers, notices, etc., during the progress of the cause. To waive formal no tice of proceedings in the cause. To waive or extend the time fixed for any motion or proceeding. To con sent to a reference of the cause. To submit the cause to arbitrators. To dismiss or discontinue the action. To consent to a non-suit. To appeal the case. To ad mit facts for the purpose of trial, either on the trial or before. To stipulate as to the issues to be tried. To waive informalities and technicalities. To release an attachment lien before judgment. To stipulate that judgment in the cause be the same as in another cause then pending involving the same questions. To get necessary briefs printed at client's expense. To bring a new action after a nonsuit. To agree that upon judg ment being entered for his client, he will suspend the issue of execution. To remit damages after a verdict." The same author has also summarized the authorities as to what an attorney-at-law, employed to manage a suit, has not implied power to do; thus, such an attor ney has no implied power: "To admit or accept service of original process, by which the court acquires original jurisdiction for the first time of the person of his client. To confess or con sent to judgment against his client. To enter a re traxit when it is a final bar. To stipulate that the dis missal of an action shall bar an action for malicious prosecution. To compromise the claim of his client. To release his client's cause of action. To stipulate not to appeal or move for a new trial. To release the prop erty of the defendant from the lien of a judgment, or from the levy of an execution. To release his client's security without payment. To discharge or release a surety or endorser. To discharge a defendant in cus tody on a ca. sa., without the plaintiff's consent or without satisfaction. To agree to suspend proceedings on a judgment. To release a garnishee from the at tachment of money or property in his hands. To re lease the interest of parties so as to make them com petent as witnesses. To give an extension of time on the demand. To assign or transfer the demand or suit to a third person. To consent to stay the execution if lien will be lost. To waive the right to an inquisition. To give up the demand and take other security. To employ counsel at client's expense. To stipulate that case shall not be tried during certain periods. To un dertake journeys on client's behalf and at his ex pense." An attorney-at-law may employ subordinates as clerks, stenographers, etc., to assist in the employment, but has no authority to delegate his duty to others, as the relation is pre-eminently one of trust and confi Bence. (Antrobus v. Sherman, 65 Ia. 230; Danley v. Crawl, 28 Ark. 95.) Whether an attorney has implied authority to exe cute bonds in the name of his client depends upon the circumstances. If such bonds are required to be under seal, he must have similar authority. But where a seal is not required, and the bond is necessary to protect the client's interests and fulfill the purpose of the employ ment, the attorney may sign a bond in the name of the principal, but he is under no obligation to do so. (Me chem on Agency, Sec. 816; citing, Fulton v. Brown, so La. Ann. 25o; Schoregge v. Gordon, 29 Minn. 367; Foulks v. Falls, 91 Ind. 315.) The attorney has authority to receive payment of a claim given him to collect, but he cannot receive part in satisfaction of the whole, or grant extensions or in dulgences. Payment to the attorney will discharge the debtor, hut if the payment is made on account of a writ ten security, the debtor must see that the attorney holds the security. (Smith v. Kidd, 68 N. Y. 13o.) The au thority extends to receive and enforce payment after judgment, and payment to the attorney of record will satisfy the judgment. (Miller v. Scot, 21 Ark, 396.) But the payment to release the judgment must be in money and for the full amount. (Herriman v. Shomon, 24 Kans. 387.)

judgment, client, attorney, payment and release