Dickens, Whish-Wilson and loud lawyers
Two of the books I'm reading now note this vocal brand of lawyerly self-love. Charles Dickens' Bleak House tells us that the deliciously named Chancery lawyer Conversation Kenge
"appeared to enjoy beyond everything the sound of his own voice. I couldn't wonder at that, for it was mellow and full and gave great importance to every word he uttered."And this, from Line of Sight, by David Whish-Wilson, about a lawyer's son who takes after Pop:
"The same class as Cooper [a lawyer] too, no doubt, western suburbs all the way. A consideration in the speaking; a pleasure in hearing the sound of your own voice. ... Cooper himself came from an old settler family, whose generations had increased their wealth and power despite bouts of bankruptcy and madness and the occasional imprisonment for fraud."Bleak House is all about a legal case of infernal length and is thus full of gibes at lawyers and their profession:
"...that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar."and
"This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means."and
"I expect a judgment. Shortly. On the Day of Judgment."I can pay Charles Dickens no higher compliment than to say that he gives lawyer jokes a good name. But, as advertisers like to say, it's all about you. What are your favorite fictional depictions of loud or self-important lawyers? How about your (least) favorite real-life loud or self-important lawyers?
© Peter Rozovsky 2012