Benefit of counsel

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Benefit of counsel means to have guidance from legal counsel in court, negotiations, or other legal matters. The term often appears in challenges to decisions made by a party without benefit of counsel because the party agreed to unacceptable terms. When an average person would not understand the terms of a contract or know when a plea bargain is unacceptable, there may be times when public policy argues for not recognizing agreements when made without benefit of counsel. 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]