Exercise 12. Legal job titles. Work with the dictionary to find out the meanings

judge clerk advocate prosecutor notary

lawyer detective attorney sheriff barrister

solicitor juror (jury) in-house counsel / corporate lawyer

Exercise 13.Match appropriate activities to the legal job titles.

1. … is a person who has legal background and does research in a legal
area or history of law, he writes articles or books on legal issues.

2.... presides in courtroom and administers justice, resolves disputes be­tween the parties, decides the case during the trial, directs the jury and gives the judgment. Не/she either awards relief, in civil cases, or determines the guilt, in criminal cases.

3. ... investigates a criminal case, aims to discover the criminal, collecting
evidence and tracing him.

4. ..., ..., ..., or ... advises the clients on legal matters, prepares a case
documents, briefs a case, presents the case in a law court, acts and speak, for the client, mediates a case, defends or pleads the client’s case, brings an action when somebody breaks law, drafts legal documents.

5. ... usually initiates a criminal case and conducts criminal proceedings,
presents the evidence of the committed crime.

6. ... are elected community members who during the court proceedings
carefully see into the evidence, determine the facts of the case, then accept the law given by the judge and apply that law when reaching a verdict.

7. ... supports and counsels the business he works for, provides expertise in corporate, commercial, tax, insurance and other legal issues, drafts documents and contracts, acts for the company in negotiations, deals and lawsuits, and files lawsuits or brings a legal action against those who break law.

8. ... keeps law and order in a community or a region protecting the citizens
from law-breakers; he is ready to find and arrest the criminal.

9. ... is a court officer who files papers and keeps records of court pro­ceedings.

10. ... is a public officer who certifies the document’s or its copy’s authenticity and witnesses official acts: wills, commercial papers, etc.

Exercise 14.Read the dialogue to find out the difference between the professions of a so­licitor, a barrister and an attorney. Learn it by heart.

A.: I have some problems and need to consult a lawyer. Can you tell me where to find a good attorney?

В.: Attorney? You see, here, in London, we have solicitors or barristers.

A.: Solicitors and barristers... Which one is better to approach?

В.: A solicitor will help you from the start. But solicitors can’t represent you in court. This lawyer deals with clients, advises them and prepares legal docu­ments. Barristers speak for clients in court. Solicitors do most of paper work for them.

A.: I see. In America counseling and advocacy in law court is performed by attor­neys.

В.: What is your problem? Anything serious?

A.: Yes, rather. I think of bringing the action to court. So, I’d like to find a good bar­rister.

В.: We’d better visit my solicitor first. He will have an interview with you, look into the matter and then introduce you to a barrister, if necessary.

A.: Of course it will be necessary!

В.: Is it a criminal case?

A.: No, why?

В.: Because barristers speak in higher courts. Solicitors can speak for their clients in lower courts. Minor civil cases are decided in lower courts.

A.: I see. Then we’d better make arrangements with your solicitor as soon as possi­ble.


solicit – ходатайствовать, хлопотать.

So, solicitor is a lawyer who solicits for the client.


bar – 1) барьер, за которым находится суд;

2) суд в полном составе;

3) коллегия адвокатов.

So, barrister is a lawyer who is a member of the bar and who can speak before the bar.


attorn – передавать кому-либо права, поручать.

So, attorney is a lawyer whom a client attorns the case, or transfers the right to deal with the case.

Unit 2. The system of court in Britain.

Exercise 15. Read and translate the texts.

The court system

A. Civil courts

Both criminal and civil courts in England and Wales primarily hear evidence and aim to determine what exactly happened in a case. Broadly speaking, the lower courts decide matters of fact and the upper courts normally deal with points of law. In England, simple civil actions, for example family matters such as divorce, are normally heard in either the Magistrates’ Courts or the County Courts.

Judges have different titles depending on their experience, training, and level. A single stipendiary magistrate or three lay magistrates sit in the Magistrates’ Court. There’s no jury in a Magistrates’ Court. Family cases may go on appeal from the Magistrates’ Court to the County Courts. The County Court also hears complex first instance civil cases, such as contract disputes, compensation claims, consumer complaints about faulty goods or services, and bankruptcy cases. Claimants or plaintiffs may seek a legal remedy for some harm or injury they have suffered. There are circuit judges and recorders who sit in the County Courts, usually without a jury. Juries are now rare in civil actions, so normally the judge considers both law and fact.

More complex civil cases are heard in the High Court of Justice, which is divided into three divisions: Family, Chancery and Queen’s Bench. The court has both original, that is, first instance, and appellate jurisdiction. From the High Court cases may go on appeal to the civil division of the Court of Appeal, which can reverse or uphold a decision of the lower courts. Its decisions bind all the lower civil courts. Civil cases may leapfrog from the High Court to the House of Lords, bypassing the Court of Appeal, when points of law of general public importance are involved. Appellants must, however, apply for leave to appeal. Decisions of the House of Lords are binding on all other courts but not necessarily on itself. The court of the House of Lords consists of twelve life peers appointed from judges and barristers. The quorum, or minimum number, of law lords for an appeal hearing is normally three, but generally there is a sitting of five judges.

Note: A stipendiary is a full-time paid magistrate who has qualified as a lawyer.

A lay magistrate is unpaid and is an established member of the local community.

A circuit is a geographical division for legal purposes; England and Wales are divided into six.

A recorder is a part-time judge with ten years standing as a barrister or solicitor.

B. Criminal courts

About 95% of all criminal cases in England and Wales are tried in the Magistrates’ Courts, which deal with petty crimes, that is, less serious ones. In certain circumstances, the court may commit an accused person to the Crown Court for more severe punishment, either by way of a fine or imprisonment. Except in cases of homicide, children under 14 and young persons – that is, minors between 14 and 17 years of age – must always be tried summarily, meaning without a jury, by a Youth Court. A Youth Court is a branch of the Magistrates’ Court. Indictable offences, that is, more serious ones such as theft, assault, drug dealing, and murder, are reserved for trial in the Crown Court. In almost all criminal cases, the State, in the name of the Crown, prosecutes a person alleged to have committed a crime. In England and Wales, a jury of twelve people decides whether the defendant is guilty of the crime she or he is charged with. The Crown Court may hear cases in circuit areas. From the Crown Court, appeal against conviction or sentence lies to the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. If leave to appeal is granted by that court, cases may go on appeal to the House of Lords.