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At Rome, under the Republic, a competent friend who gave his advice in a lawsuit and came into court in person, not to speak (the patronus causae did that), but to support the cause by his presence. Under the Empire the term was applied to the counsel who pleaded in court in the presence of the parties, for doing which he was allowed, after the time of Claudius, to take a fee. See Judicial Procedure; Patronus.

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