At one time the highest rank of English barrister at the bar; it was abolished in the late 19c. Working in the court of common pleas, the serjeants-at-law had a monopoly on pleading cases. They were appointed by the king after 16 years of study and practice. Justices of the court of common pleas were chosen from their ranks. The title is a corrupt version of serviens ad legem, i.e. a law servant. They were serjeant-counters, i.e. pleaders who would frame the counts or charges involved in a case. Though similar in origin to 'sergeant', the spelling today of the word when referring to a law officer always uses a 'j'; however, use of a 'j' does not necessarily signify a law officer. In Chaucer's lifetime there were rarely more than 20 such officers. -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • serjeant at law — In English legal history, an elite order of attorneys who had the exclusive privilege of arguing before the Court of Common Pleas and also supplied the judges for both Common Pleas and the Court of the King s Bench. Dictionary from West s… …   Law dictionary

  • Serjeant-at-law — (postnominal SL [cite web | url=http://www.burkes s.asp | title=Abbreviations (S), Burke s Peerage | accessdate=2006 12 07] ) was an order of barristers at the English or Irish bar. Serjeants at law ( servientes ad… …   Wikipedia

  • Serjeant at law — (engl.), soviel wie Sergeant at law (s. d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • serjeant-at-law — [sär′jəntat lô′] n. pl. serjeants at law any of a former group of high ranking British barristers * * * …   Universalium

  • serjeant-at-law — [sär′jəntat lô′] n. pl. serjeants at law any of a former group of high ranking British barristers …   English World dictionary

  • serjeant at law — (Brit.) special type of British lawyer …   English contemporary dictionary

  • serjeant at law — Sergeant Ser geant, n. [F. sergent, fr. L. serviens, entis, p. pr. of servire to serve. See {Serve}, and cf. {Servant}.] [Written also {serjeant}. Both spellings are authorized. In England {serjeant} is usually preferred, except for military… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serjeant-at-law — noun an English barrister of the highest rank • Syn: ↑serjeant, ↑sergeant at law, ↑sergeant • Hypernyms: ↑barrister …   Useful english dictionary

  • serjeant-at-law — Same as serjeant …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • serjeant-at-law — noun (plural serjeants at law) Usage: British Date: 1503 a member of a former class of barristers of the highest rank …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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