Council vs. Counsel

Though the terms, counsel and council share similar pronunciations, they have distinctly different meanings.

The term council is a noun only and most commonly means a group of persons brought together to deliberate on a particular issue; or a body of people elected or appointed to serve as administrators, legislators or advisors.

“Members of the council are appointed for a period of three years.”

The term counsel can be used as a noun or a verb. The noun denotes a legal advisor or advisors who commonly conduct(s) a case in court (the noun can be used in both the singular and plural forms). The verb means to give advice to someone (for example, a lawyer to a client).

“A counsel was appointed for the defendant by the court.”

“The lawyer counseled her client on the matter brought to her attention.”

Gregory M. Poehler, B.A., J.D. Born: Boston, MA (USA). Admitted to the New York and Massachusetts Bars and the United States Federal Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Practiced in two large law firms in New York City with a specialization in intellectual property law, including trademark, copyright and patent litigation and domain name dispute resolution. Masters in European Intellectual Property Law, Stockholm University (2006). LANGUAGES: ENGLISH, SWEDISH

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