Caveat Jurista! (Let the Lawyer Beware And Welcome ABA Journal Readers)

Maybe someone that knows Latin can help me. I’m looking for the proper way to write “Let the Lawyer Beware!” much the way the buyer must beware (caveat emptor). An online dictionary tells me that consultus is the Latin for legal expert, and from which consultant is derived; though jurista seems like a possibility and it also looks and sounds better.

So this post has nothing to do with being afraid of lawyers, but rather, as a warning to those with the juris doctorate.

Frankly, I’ve always hated the use of Latin phrases in the law, as it always seemed pretentious. My usage is usually de minimis, limited to res ipsa loquitor and a few other well known phrases. But if using Latin helps save someone from outsourcing their marketing (and ethics) to others, it will be a good thing.

Why write on this again? Because I’m featured in the ABA Journal this week, in an edition that deals with online activities, Wired! The article is part of The Business of Law section, entitled Search and Deceive, and dedicated to comment spam and the problems hiring marketers for law firms. (Kevin O’Keefe is featured also, and as you can see from the picture they used, he’s clearly more photogenic than yours truly.)

Their piece is inspired by Martindale-Hubbel’s use of comment spam that I wrote about late last year (Martindale-Hubbell Apologizes For Blog Spam; Suspends Spammer; Promises to Answer Questions)

The essence of the article is this:

With the proliferation of social media forums and fly-by-night legal directories, lawyers need to be even more cautious when they enlist the services of outside sales and marketing firms to improve website traffic and search engine rankings.

The many problems with FindLaw, of course, equally apply, but the FindLaw postings occurred after the original article was written.

It’s good to see these problems now leaking out of the legal blogosphere to mainstream legal publications.

But I still need that Latin phrase. Though I’ll accept Middle French, Middle English and any other dead language. Anyone? Bueller? (Yeah, I know, like he’d ever know Latin…)


One Response Leave a comment

  • ouij 2010.11.24 at 19:54 | Quote

    “Jurista” works, and is the most general term for a member of the legal profession, whether a judge (judex), public prosecutor (fiscalis), barrister (advocatus), or legal counselor (jurisconsultus).

    “Consultus” would mean “counselor” in the general sense–even if that counselor were not engaged in what we’d now call the practice of law. An attorney in his role as legal counselor would be a “jurisconsultus” (legal counselor; solicitor [British usage]), but that might be a big awkward for your use.

    Once a lawyer has entered an appearance for a client before a tribunal, however, he becomes an “advocatus” (advocate; barrister).

Comments are closed.

The New York Personal Injury Law Blog is sponsored by its creator, Eric Turkewitz of The Turkewitz Law Firm. The blog might be considered a form of attorney advertising in accordance with New York rules going into effect February 1, 2007 (22 NYCRR 1200.1, et. seq.) As of July 14, 2008, became an advertiser, as you can see in the sidebar. does not control the editorial content of the blog in any way.

Throughout the blog as it develops, you may see examples of cases we have handled, or cases from others, that are used for illustrative purposes. Since all cases are different, and legal authority may change from year to year, it is important to remember that prior results in any particular case do not guarantee or predict similar outcomes with respect to any future matter, including yours, in which any lawyer or law firm may be retained.

Some of the commentary may be become outdated. Some might be a minority opinion, or simply wrong. No reader should consider this site (or any other) to be authoritative, and if a legal issue is presented, the reader should contact an attorney of his or her own choosing for advice.

Finally, we are not responsible for the comments of others that may be added to this site.