Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary


When a lawyer comes to court and responds when a client's case has been called, that lawyer has appeared on behalf of the client. When an attorney makes a "general appearance," the lawyer will represent the client in all aspects of the case. An attorney may instead make a "special appearance" when the lawyer is appearing only for the purpose of what is before the court that day, as long as the judge is told of the limited nature of the appearance.