The Role of the Advocate
Advocate: A person appointed by a party to defend his or her point of view before the court. Thus, both Petitioner and Respondent may have an advocate. Ordinarily, if both’ parties agree on the petition, it is sufficient that there be only one advocate to represent both. Each party before the court, whether as Petitioner or Respondent, has a right to an advocate. Ordinarily the advocate will argue for the position of the “client.” However, in ecclesiastical procedure, the advocate is an officer of the court and his or her obligation is the service of truth. Thus, the direction given by Pius XII to defenders is applicable also to advocates, that is, they are not obliged, nor should they advance spurious arguments in favor of their client’s position but, rather, strive to insure that the court arrives at the truth.