Mouthpiece

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Mouthpiece is a slang term for a lawyer, especially a criminal defense lawyer. The term stems from the view of lawyers as being the spokesperson for their client. That being said, the term is not a positive one when applied to lawyers. This is outlined in The Lawyer; Leader or Mouthpiece by Robert H. Jackson in which he remarks upon the “underworld’s scornful estimate of the lawyer as ‘the mouthpiece.’” In this context, the lawyer is thought of as lacking integrity, unscrupulously representing criminal clients without caring for justice to be served. As stated in Rudin v. Dow Jones & Co., mouthpiece when used to describe a lawyer can be synonymous to “puppet, cat’s paw, tool, instrument; operative, front, mercenary, servant, hireling, henchman” and “calls into question the lawyer’s sense of professional responsibility.”

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]