See M. Mayer, Lawyers (1967); K. L. Hall, ed., The Legal Profession (1987).
Authorization to act as agent or attorney for another. Many of the general powers of attorney important in civil-law countries come under the powers of trust in common-law countries (see civil law, common law). Durable power of attorney becomes effective when the principal becomes unable to manage his or her affairs; general power of attorney authorizes the agent to carry on business for the principal; special power of attorney authorizes the agent to carry out a particular business transaction.
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Chief law-enforcement officer of a state and legal adviser to the chief executive. The office dates to the Middle Ages but did not assume its modern form until the 16th century. In the U.S., the position dates to the Judiciary Act of 1789. Head of the Department of Justice and a member of the cabinet, the attorney general oversees all the government's law business and acts as the president's legal adviser. Every U.S. state also has an attorney general.
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