Philadelphia lawyer

Philadelphia lawyer

noun
a lawyer of outstanding ability at exploiting legal fine points and technicalities.

Origin:
1780–90, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Philadelphia lawyer
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

Philadelphia lawyer

A shrewd attorney, adept at dealing with legal technicalities, as in It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to get him off. This expression dates from the late 1700s and, as lexicographer Richard H. Thornton observed: "Why members of the Philadelphia bar should be credited with superhuman sagacity has never been satisfactorily explained."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature