Cottonwood Diction
Learned in the Law

"Of all the nation's officials, the solicitor general is the only one required by statute to be “learned in the law.” He is the chief courtroom lawyer for the executive branch and serves in the Justice Department, but he also has chambers at the Supreme Court. The fact that he keeps offices at these two institutions underscores his special role, which is summed up in his informal title as the “tenth justice.”

Council Learned in the Law

"The Council Learned in the Law was a highly controversial tribunal of Henry VII of England's reign.

The brainchild of Sir Reginald Bray, the Council Learned was introduced in 1495 to defend Henry’s position as a feudal landlord[1]. It dealt with the king's fiscal matters and enforced payments of debts. It proved to be much more efficient than the Exchequer."

"Henry also relied on educated professionals, especially lawyers, as advisors. Because he was exploiting Crown lands to a much greater extent, Henry needed men trained in auditing, property law and administrative skills. Because men skilled in these areas were so valuable to Henry, he had little care from what social class they came from – only their ability mattered to him.

The Council Learned in the Law – usually referred to simply as the Council Learned – was a small and highly professional legal committee. It was introduced in 1495 to defend Henry’s position as a feudal landlord. It initially dealt with the Duchy of Lancaster and the Chancellor of the Duchy was put in charge of the Council Learned. However, its went on to deal with all Crown lands and kept up-to-date records of wardship, marriage and relief of all the king’s tenants and the collection of feudal dues that were owed to him."

All Attorneys swear an oath to the Court, not the United States. So if they are not required to be "learned at the law" then what exactly are they practicing?


WARD. [Merriam Online Dictionary]

Pronunciation: \'wo?rd\

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English weard & Anglo-French warde, garde, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German warta act of watching, Old English warian to beware of, guard, wær careful — more at guard, wary

Date: before 12th century

1 a : the action or process of guarding b : a body of guards
2 : the state of being under guard; especially : custody
3 a : the inner court(starr chamber) of a castle or fortress b : a division (as a cell or block) of a prison c : a division in a hospital; especially : a large room in a hospital where a number of patients often requiring similar treatment are accommodated
4 a : a division of a city for representative, electoral, or administrative purposes b : a division of some English and Scottish counties corresponding to a hundred c : the Mormon local congregation having auxiliary organizations (as Sunday schools and relief societies) and one or more quorums of each office of the Aaronic priesthood
5 : a projecting ridge of metal in a lock casing or keyhole permitting only the insertion of a key with a corresponding notch; also : a corresponding notch in a bit of a key
6 : a person or thing under guard, protection, or surveillance: as a : a minor subject to wardship b : a person who by reason of incapacity (as minority or mental illness) is under the protection of a court either directly or through a guardian appointed by the court —called also ward of court c:a person or body of persons under the protection or tutelage of a government
: a means of defense : protection

UNSOUND MIND. Non-legal term referring to one who from infirmity of mind is incapable of managing himself or his affairs. The term, therefore, includes insane persons. (seeInsanity). It exists where there is an essential privation of the reasoning faculties, or where a person is incapable of understand and acting with discretion in the ordinary affairs of life. But, eccentricity, uncleanliness, slovenliness, neglect of person and clothing, and offensive and disgusting personal habits do not constitute unsoundness of mind. See also Capacity. [Blacks Law 5th Edition page 1380]

CAPACITY. Legal qualification (i.e. legal age), competency, power or fitness. Ability to understand the nature and effects of one own acts. The ability of a particular individual or entity to use, or be brought into, the courts of a forum. [Johnson v. Helicopter & Airplane Services Corp.,D.C.Md., 404 FSupp. 726, 729][Blacks Law 5th Edition]

INSANITY. The term is a social and legal term rather than a medical one, and indicates a condition which renders the affected person unfit to enjoy liberty of action because of the unreliability of his own behavior with concomitant danger to himself and others. The term is more or less synonymous with mental illness or psychosis. In law the term is used to denote that degree of mental illness which negates the individual’s legal responsibility or capacity. [Blacks Law 5th Edition page 714]

ATTORN [e-'tern] Anglo-French aturner to transfer (allegiance of a tenant to another lord), from Old French atorner to turn (to), arrange, from a- to + torner to turn: to agree to be the tenant of a new landlord or owner of the same property.Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996.


ATTORN, v.i. [L. ad and torno.] In the feudal law, to turn, or transfer homage and service from one lord to another. This is the act of feudatories, vassels or tenants, upon the alienation of the estate.  -Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.


ATTORN. To turn over, to transfer to another money or goods; to assign to some particular use or service. To consent to the transfer of a rent or reversion. To agree to become tenant to one as owner or landlord of an estate previously held of another, or to agree to recognize a new owner of a property or estate and promise payment of rent to him. [Blacks Law 5th Edition page 117]

RULE, n. [L. regula, from rego, to govern, that is, to stretch, strain or make straight.] 1. Government; sway; empire; control; supreme command or authority. 6. In monasteries, corporations or societies, a law or regulation to be observed by the society and its particular members-Webster’s 1828 Dictionary


RULE n. 1 [C] a statement about what must or should be done, (syn.) a regulation.

REGULATION n. 1 [C] a rule, statement about what can be done and what cannot. 2 [U] the general condition of controlling any part of human life. -Newbury House Dictionary ©1999.


CODE n. 1 [C;U] a way of hiding the true meaning of communications from all except those people who have the keys to understand it. 2 [C] a written set of rules of behavior. 3 [C] a formal group of principles or laws. -v. coded, coding, codes to put into code, (syn.) to encode.   ENCODE v. 1 to change written material into secret symbols. -Newbury House Dictionary ©1999.

COURT, n. 3. A palace; the place of residence of a king or sovereign prince. 5. Persons who compose the retinue or council of a king or emperor. 9. The tabernacle had one court; the temple, three-Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.  

COURT n. 2 the place where a king or queen lives or meets others. -The Newbury House Dictionary ©1999.

CROWN, n. 4. Imperial or regal power or dominion; sovereignty. There is a power behind the crown greater than the crown itself. Junius. 19. A coin stamped with the image of a crown; hence, a denomination of money; as, the English crown. -- Crown land, land belonging to the crown, that is, to the sovereign. -- Crown law, the law which governs criminal prosecutions. -- Crown lawyer, one employed by the crown, as in criminal cases.  v.t. 1. To cover, decorate, or invest with a crown; hence, to invest with royal dignity and power-1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.


COLONY, n. 1. A company [i.e. legal corporation] or body of people transplanted from their mother country to a remote province or country to cultivate and inhabit it, and remaining subject to the jurisdiction of the parent state; as the British colonies in America or the Indies; the Spanish colonies in South America.-Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.

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