What your friends say is just silly. However, the legal systems of all states within the United States, except Louisiana (and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico), are "common law" legal systems, meaning their origins and methods come originally from the courts of England. But "allegiance to Britain" and "under the rule of the Queen"? No way.

"Bar" is not an abbreviation. In courtrooms there is a physical barrier, a "bar," between the portion of the courtroom in which the public is permitted and the portion of the courtroom limited to lawyers and their clients. A lawyer who has been "admitted to the bar" can go on the other side of the bar, into the restricted section of the courtroom.

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Common law courts may sometimes look for guidance to old English cases when deciding modern controversies. States may have "reception statutes" which provide that the law of the state will "receive" the common law decisions of England into their own law. Many cases decided in the eighteenth and nineteenth century cite old King's Bench or Queen's Bench cases from England. American courts still cite old English cases in their opinions, but it is much rarer nowadays than a century ago.

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Finally, I am licensed to practice law in three states. Not once was it requested or was I required to swear allegiance to Britain or her queen or some British corporation. I am posting the attorney's oath that is used for the State of Maine. Please note that the oath specifically mentions the Constitution of the United States and includes a standard of conduct for attorneys. I personally find it inspiring and I strive to conduct my practice accordingly.

Note: We have 184 other definitions for BAR in our Acronym Attic

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"I do swear that I will support the constitution of the United States of America and the State of Maine, so long as I shall continue to be a citizen thereof.

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