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1) To serve as one’s agent

2) To serve as one’s attorney. An attorney can represent a client in litigation proceedings, settlement negotiations, or in transactional negotiations. 

3) A close alignment of litigants’ interests in class actions, which enables courts to treat all litigants as present in the litigation, even if not all were. For example, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23 refers to the litigating parties as “representative parties” of the other affected but non-litigating class members. 

4) In certain jurisdictions, to serve as an executor of an estate—i.e. an individual charged with managing and distributing decedent’s assets. For example, Wisconsin statute Chapter 857 lays out the “power and duties of personal representatives” in managing decedent’s estate. 

5) In republican systems of government, a member of a legislative body elected by the citizens of a fixed geographic area who legislates on their behalf. The elected member is referred to as a representative. Contrast with direct democracy or referendums, where all the citizens vote on legislative or constitutional measures. 

6) To manifest something as a fact, either through words or conduct. For example, an individual could represent that “there are no pending lawsuits against my business.” Compare with misrepresent

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