This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol1 Introduction To The Study Of Law Legal History", by Albert H. Putney. Also see: Popular Law-Dictionary.
A very unusual source of laws which grew into prominence during the period of the early empire is found in the jus respondendi of the jurisconsults. The jurisconsults, were leading lawyers to whom the Emperor as a recognition of their ability, gave the right of having their replies on legal questions cited in court as authority on the questions involved. Perhaps at no other time in the history of the world were the honors which could be won by lawyers, through scholarship and ability in their profession, so great as during the period of the Roman Empire, but the highest of all honors open to the members of this profession was that of the jus respondendi.
1 Lee's Historical Jurisprudence.