UofT Law faculty authors: 

Simon Stern, Imprudent Jurisprudence (review of Kenneth Smookler, Farr & Beyond), 62:4 McGill Law Journal 1281-84


In lieu of an abstract, here is the first paragraph: 

The shelf of books devoted to legal humour is a capacious one, and the titles range across a variety of forms. Theobald Mathew's Forensic Fables, and A.P. Herbert's Misleading Cases(n2) satirize the habits of lawyers and judges by offering up imaginary cases, and this has tended to be the preferred approach, sometimes focusing on the forensic activities surrounding
these disputes (as with Mathew's fables) and sometimes producing the judgements themselves (as in Herbert's bemused jurisprudence). The latter genre also includes Alexander Pope's celebrated decision in Stradling v. Stiles,(n3) the case of the "black and white [h]orses"(n4) taken from Scriblerus's Reports. Another common tactic is to see what lies in the existing legal
record. John B. McClay and Wendy L. Matthews' Corpus Juris Humorous (n5) is based entirely on actual cases, while R.E. Megarry, in his three volumes of legal miscellanea, collects cases, doctrine, and lore.(n6) Somewhere in between are the imaginary dialogues of litigants in real cases, as in Sir George Hayes' argument for pleading reform, embellished from the
materials in Crogate's Case.(n7) Indeed, arguments for procedural reform have spawned a whole subgenre of legal poetry, including most notably John Anstey's poem The Pleader's Guide,8 which went through eight editions in thirty years.


online at: http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/mcgil62&div=43&start... (requires subscription)

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