An entertaining diversion for lawyers and others, Twenty Famous Lawyers focuses on household names and high profile cases. Contains valuable insights into legal ways and means and looks at the challenges of advocacy, persuasion and the finest traditions of the law.
With a backdrop of famous cases and personalities, Twenty Famous Lawyers is a kaleidoscope of information about the world of lawyers. To the fore are 20 individuals selected by John Hostettler as representative of those who have left their mark on legal developments. Ranging across countries, cultures and time these are people who helped raise (or in some cases lower) the law’s values and standards. From high politics to human rights to legal loopholes, manipulation, pitfalls and downright trickery, the book is also a celebration of the contribution made by lawyers to society and democracy — often by those pushing boundaries or challenging injustice or convention. The book’s ‘supporting cast’ includes such diverse personalities as Julius Caesar, Oscar Wilde, Gilbert and Sullivan, the Prince Regent and Lily Langtry. It covers trials for treason, murder, terrorism and even regicide, visiting courts from the Old Bailey to the Supreme Court of the USA to those of Ancient Rome. With chapters on: Clarence Darrow, Edward Carson, William Howe and Abraham Hummel, Matthew Hale, Marcus Cicero, Henry Brougham, John Adams, Helena Kennedy, Norman Birkett, Jeremy Bentham, Geoffrey Robertson, Abraham Lincoln, Edward Coke, Thomas Jefferson, Shami Chakrabati, James Fitzjames Stephen, Edward Marshall Hall, Gareth Peirce, Lord Denning and Cesare Beccaria.
‘A wealth of anecdote, not to mention entertainment for lawyers everywhere and indeed anyone interested in the inspiring and often startling and controversial history of the law’: Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers.
From the Text
[Henry Brougham] first made a name … as a lawyer by his defence of the brothers John Hunt and John Leigh Hunt in two prosecutions for seditious libel in their newspaper, The Examiner. The first trial, on 22 January 1811, arose from an article entitled “One Thousand Lashes!!” which attacked flogging in the army. As William Cobbett had only recently been fined and sent to prison for two years for criticising army flogging in his Political Register the verdict against Hunt could hardly be in doubt. Nevertheless, Brougham secured a brilliant acquittal [after a speech] which was remarkable for “great ability, eloquence and manliness.”
John Hostettler is one of the UK’s leading legal biographers, having written over 20 biographies and other books on legal history, including Garrow’s Law (2012), Waterside Press.