(A) An agent is the person who is authorized by another person (the principal) to deal with third parties and has the power to enter binding contracts for the principal and also create liability for the principal if the agent harms another person while performing within the scope of his or her duties. (Source: TheLaw.com) (B) international law. One who is employed by a prince to manage his private affairs, or, those of his subjects in his name, near a foreign, government. (C) practice. An agent is an attorney who transacts the business of another attorney. 2. The agent owes to his principal the unremitted exertions of his skill and ability, and that all his transactions in that character, shall be distinguished by punctuality, honor and integrity. Lee’s Dict. of Practice. (D) contracts. One who undertakes to manage some affair to be transacted for another, by his authority on account of the latter, who is called the principal, and to render an account of it. 2. There are various description of agents, to whom different appellations are given according to the nature of their employments; as brokers, factors, supercargoes, attorneys, and the like; they are all included in this general term. The authority is created either by deed, by simple writing, by parol, or by mere employment, according to the capacity of the parties, or the nature of the act to be done. It is, therefore, express or implied. Vide Authority. 3. It is said to be general or special with reference to its object, i.e., according as it is confined to a single act or is extended to all acts connected with a particular employment. 4. With reference to the manner of its execution, it is either limited or unlimited, i.e. the agent is bound by precise instructions, or left to pursue his own discretion. It is the duty of an agent, 1, To perform what he has undertaken in relation to his agency. 2, To use all necessary care. 3, To render an account. 5. Agents are either joint or several. It is a general rule of there common law, that when an authority is given to two or more persons to do an act, and there is no several authority given, all the agents must concur in doing it, in order to bind the principal. 6. This rule has been so construed that when the authority is given jointly and severally to three person, two cannot properly execute it; it must be done by all or by one only. But if the authority is so worded that it is apparent, the principal intended to give power to either of them, an execution by two will be valid. This rule applies to private agencies: for, in public agencies an authority executed by a major would be sufficient. 7. The rule in commercial transactions however, is very different; and generally when there are several agents each possesses the whole power. For example, on a consignment of goods for sale to two factors, (whether they are partners or not,) each of them is understood to possess the whole power over the goods for the purposes of the consignment. 8. As to the persons who are capable of becoming agents, it may be observed, that but few persons are excluded from acting as agents, or from exercising authority delegated to them by others. It is not, therefore, requisite that a person be sui juris, or capable of acting in his own right, in order to be qualified to act for others. Infants, femes covert, persons attainted or outlawed, aliens and other persons incompetent for many purposes, may act as agents for others.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
One who represents and acts for another under the contract or relation of agency, q. v. Classification. Agents are either general or special. A general agent is one employed in his capacity as a professional man or master of an art or trade, or one to whom the principal confides his whole business or all transactions or functions of a designated class; or he is a person who is authorized by his principal to execute all deeds, sign all contracts, or purchase all goods, required in a particular trade, business, or employment. See Story, Ag.