Trusty Friends, Next Friends & Friends Who Are Actually Kinfolk

 
 
 

 

15 January 2014

We've seen the terms in many civil documents: A man gives power of attorney to "my trusty friend." Or a man appears in court saying he is the "next friend" of a married woman who wants to sue the rascal she's married to. Our eyebrows may even arch a bit here, wondering just why that other guy was involved.

Both phrases are standard legal language. In both cases, the "friend" may actually be a relative and in many cases they are just that. In plain English, the terms mean only mean "a person who has been entrusted to carry out the wishes of those who cannot legally act for themselves."

If you're also wondering about "friendly societies," "friendly suits," or "friendless men," check out Black's Law Dictionary. The time-honored 2d edition is online free at http://thelawdictionary.org/.

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