“Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? – professional courtesy.”

“What’s the difference between a dead dog in the road and a dead lawyer in the road? – there are skid marks in front of the dog.”

Many of you may agree but remember there is such a thing as the noble defender. So it’s time to pay tribute to that great barrister, Sir Edward Marshall Hall who died in the 1920s and is forgotten by most except perhaps a diligent law student fascinated by the art of advocacy. There’s a reference to him in my book Wig Begone by Charles Courtley at page 110.

Sir Edward was defending a prostitute charged with murder in 1894 and uttered these immortal words on behalf of his wretched client; downtrodden since birth.

Look at her, gentlemen of the jury, look at her! God never gave her a chance – won’t you?
Which they did: He duly saved her from being hanged.

Charlie, the lead character in the book, once saved someone too, admittedly not from the gallows but still a spell behind bars, so the same principle applies.

In a car ringing case at the Old Bailey, he says this to the jury at the conclusion of his closing address (see page 111).

‘ Ladies and gentlemen, a miasma of suspicion droops over this case like a cloud. But, as the poet Tennyson said –
There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.

‘ So, as the case against my client requires there to be proof beyond all reasonable doubt, you must acquit!’
Poetic huh? And it worked – the jury did exactly that.

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