• Publication Date: November 23, 2012
  • EAN: 9781862878907
  • 288 pages; 6" x 8⅝"
Filed Under: Legal History

Lawyers Then and Now

An Australian Legal Miscellany


Product Description

This book, loosely modelled on Robert Megarry’s Miscellany at Law, presents thematically true stories drawn from the spread of Australian legal history and case law. Discover:

who was Australia’s youngest judge

instances of extreme rudeness in court and between judges

which judges served the longest and shortest terms in office

the barriers facing women who wanted to practise law and when they were scaled

which judge was tried and acquitted of murder and which law officer was convicted of murder and sentenced to hang

and, learn about humor of all sorts in the profession as well as amusing aspects of Australian law’s interface with religion, art, sport, gambling and literature.

Lawyers Then and Now focuses on the quirkiness of the law and the humanity of the people of the law. Highlighted are the recurring constancies and changes in our legal culture with concentration on aspects of legal culture that are accepted in one generation and condemned in another.

The book’s final chapter Fallible All recapitulates the theme that lawyers are far from perfect even as (most of them) struggle to perform at their best.

Old Law, New Law: A Second Australian Legal Miscellany follows this volume. Please click to view details.

Part One: Beginnings


Part Two: People of the Law

Just Folks
Squabbling Jurists
Judicial Appointments and Disappointments
Judicial Shenanigans
Judges: The Good, the Bad and the Sacked
Lawyers with Attitude
Layfolk in the Law
Legal and Judicial Academics

Part Three: Law and the Wider World

Literature and the Law
Law and the Artist
Law and Religion
Law and Sports

Part Four: Epilogue

Fallible all

Bibliography/ Table of Cases/ Table of Names/ Index

“Mason carries the book well, with charming wit and erudition. … This book exceeds expectations in almost every respect and will delight most lawyers who love the endearing absurdities of the profession.” Read full review… – Joseph Sampson, Law Society Journal, May 2013

“A work of this nature is long overdue. There are myriad legal anecdotes which have arisen in the course of Australian legal history which ought to be shared with the present generation of legal practitioners and, thanks to the defamation laws not protecting the reputation of those who have passed on, many can now be told with relative impunity. … For when they are collected, sorted, categorised and published they provide a focus for inner reflection as to the persona of this country’s legal profession as a whole and many a laugh as well.

Lawyers Then and Now is a worthy addition to any collection of legal miscellanies. It can easily stand on an equal footing besides Robert Megarry’s five similar works. Like all well written books of this genre it is a ‘good read’ and a wonderful source of legal anecdotes. No doubt those tales will re-surface in after dinner speeches at Bar Dinners for many years to come. However, Mr Mason’s work is more than merely a book of humorous and curious legal anecdotes. As the title suggests, it shines a light on Australian legal culture, both as it was and as it is.” Read full review… – Roger Derrington QC, Queensland Law Yearbook, 2012

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