The Federation Press

Lawyers Then and Now

An Australian Legal Miscellany


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.

Table of Contents

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

Table of Cases
Table of Names

Of interest...