1. A partition or railing running across a court room, intended to separate the general public from the space occupied by the judges, counsel, jury, and others concerned in the trial of a cause. In the English courts it is the partition behind which all outer barristers and every member of the public must stand. Solicitors, being officers of the court, are admitted within it; as are also queen’s counsel, barristers with patents of precedence, and Serjeants, in virtue of their ?anks. Parties who appear in person also are placed within the bar on the floor of the court 2. The term also designates a particular part of the court room; for example, the place where prisoners stand at their -trial, whence the expression “prisoner at the bar.” 3. It further denotes the presence, actual or constructive, of the court. Thus, a trial at oar is one had before the full court, distinguished from a trial had before a single judge at nisi prius. So the “case at bar” is the case now before the court and under its consideration; the case being tried or argued. 4. In the practice of legislative bodies, the bw is the outer boundary of the house, and therefore all persons, not being members, who wish to address the house, or are summoned to it, appear at the bar for that purpose. 5. In another sense, the whole body of attorneys and counsellors, or the members of the legal profession, collectively, are figuratively called the “bar,” from the place which they usually occupy in court They are thus distinguished from the “bench,” which term denotes the whole body of judges. 6. In the law of contracts, “bar” means an impediment, an obstacle, or preventive barrier. Thus, relationship within the prohibited degrees is a bar to marriage. In this sense also we speak of the “bar of the statute of limitations.” 7. It further means that which defeats, annuls, cuts off, or puts an end to. Thus, a provision “in bar of dower” is one which has the effect of defeating or cutting off the dower rights which the wife would otherwise become entitled to in the particular land. 8. In pleading, it denoted a special plea, constituting a sufficient answer to an action at law; and so called because it barred, i.e., prevented, the plaintiff from further prosecuting it with effect, and, if established by proof, defeated and destroyed the action altogether. Now called a special “plea in bar.” See Plea in Bar.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
(A) actions. A perpetual destruction or temporary taking away of the action of the plaintiff. In ancient authors it is called exceptio peremptorid. Co. Litt. 303 b Steph. Pl. Appx. xxviii. Loisel (Institutes Coutumieres, vol. ii. p. 204) says, Exceptions (in pleas) have been called bars by our ancient practitioners, because, being opposed, they arrest the party who has sued out the process, as in war (une barriere) a barrier arrests an enemy; and as there have always been in our tribunals bars to separate the advocates from the judges, the place where the advocates stand (pour parler) when they speak, has been called for that reason (barreau) the bar. 2. When a person is bound in any action, real or personal, by judgment on demurrer, confession or verdict, he is barred, i.e. debarred, as to that or any other action of the like nature or degree, for the same thing, forever; for expedit reipublicae ut sit finis litim. 3. But there is a difference between real and personal actions. 4. In personal actions, as in debt or account, the bar is perpetual, inasmuch as the plaintiff cannot have an action of a higher nature, and therefore in such actions he has generally no remedy, but by bringing a writ of error. 5. But if the defendant be barred in a real action, by judgment on a verdict, demurrer or confession, he may still have an action of a higher nature, and try the same right again. Also the case of Outram v. Morewood, 3 East, Rep. 346-366; a leading case on this subject. (B) practice. A place in a court where the counsellors and advocates stand to make their addresses to the court and jury; it is so called because formerly it was closed with a bar. Figuratively the counsellors and attorneys at law are called the bar of Philadelphia, the New York bar. 2. A place in a court having criminal jurisdiction, to which prisoners are called to plead to the indictment, is also called, the bar. Vide Merl. Repert. mot Barreau, and Dupin, Profession d’Avocat, tom. i. p. 451, for some eloquent advice to gentlemen of the bar. (C) contracts. An obstacle or opposition. 2. Some bars arise from circumstances, and others from persons. Kindred within the prohibited degree, for example, is a bar to a marriage between the persons related; but the fact that A is married, and cannot therefore marry B, is a circumstance which operates as a bar as long as it subsists; for without it the parties might marry.