Thursday, 2 October 2014

Pettifoggers revealed

Andrew Lemon on the left and Simon Smith on the right with the new book.
.."and it is because of a set of meddling pettifoggers have been permitted unmolested to stir up ingredients with their vile "chop sticks" that the working thereof have become unbearable."

Pettifoggers have always had bad press, but now they have Simon Smith peering at a sample of early legal practitioners and poking them with their own "chop sticks" to see what would happen.  In his new book, Barristers Solicitors Pettifoggers, Simon Smith introduces us to some very appealing characters, such as the hapless Sidney Stephen, who was struck off  in Van Diemen's Land and was then refused admittance to the Bar in Port Phillip - he was cleared by the Privy Council and  went on to become acting Chief Justice of NZ;  and James Erskine-Murray whose splendid double-barrelled name was no hindrance when he decided to give up lawyering and take up piracy. Irascible judges, sugar plantation slave-owners, and ladies of dubious reputation all make an appearance on these pages.

Young friends of the author provided a little frivolity to the occasion with their paper wigs.
After being welcomed by current RHSV President Associate Professor Don Garden, the book was launched on Tuesday evening by RHSV Past President, Dr Andrew Lemon before an appreciative crowd.

The book is available at the RHSV for $39.95 plus postage.

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