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
- 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
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
Duellers and brawlers_extract in Bar News, Winter 2012
This extract is in PDF Format see below for instructions regarding PDF.
Review, Law Society Journal_May 2013