The Legal Mind

WHY may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? — Hamlet, Act V, Scene I

I

MY lay friends are all perfectly familiar with the legal mind. In my arguments with them, whatever the subject under discussion and however remote its connection with the law, I am frequently met with the objection that my contentions are ‘legalistic,’ that, while they may possess an appearance of reason, they have no grip on the healthy mind of the layman, and that their only appeal could be to one like myself, whose mind has been crooked and warped in the study of legal science. It was perhaps a smouldering resentment against these lay jibes which led me, as a lawyer, to become introspective about my profession and its mental traits. The first result of my reflections was a realization that the layman’s conception of the legal mind involves some decidedly contradictory notions.

The lawyer is pictured as the rationalizer par excellence, as the man who can find a reason for anything and everything. Yet we find it charged that he is cold and indifferent to the appeal of reason, content to stand behind the letter of the law, and prone to resort to that most unreasonable of reasons, ‘It is the law.’ Fiat justitia, ruat cœlum. The lawyer is said to delight in distinctions; the ’taking of differences’ is with him an ingrained mental habit reaching the pathological stage. Yet we encounter the criticism that his view of the world makes no allowance for its real differences, that the lawyer, looking down from the arid heights of his abstractions, is unable to perceive the distinctions which control the daily affairs of life. Anatole France it was who said with truly crushing irony, ‘The Law in her majestic equality forbids both the rich and the poor to sleep under bridges.’ We find attributed to the legal mind a tendency to spin its own intricate web ever finer and finer, and the lawyer is blamed for the entangling network of statutory law which our legislatures throw out under our feet every year. In the next breath it is charged that the legal mind is wedded to a single system of law, the ‘common law,’ and the mental inertia and prejudice bred of this union are supposed to make the lawyer an implacable enemy of every attempt to reform the law by statute.

Now I would not for a moment contend that, because these criticisms of the legal mind embody discordant elements, this is proof of their untruth. It is quite conceivable that the legal mind is so twisted and warped that it is able to contain within itself faults of a most heterogeneous sort. But at least this situation indicates that in discussing the legal mind some discrimination is imperative. I shall attempt to trace what seem to me to be the necessary distinctions.

II

Let us first examine the contention that the lawyer makes too extensive and reckless a use of his logical faculties — that the legal mind is a reasoning machine which seems through some oversight to have been unprovided with brakes.

No lawyer would, I suppose, deny that this criticism contains an element of truth. What is the origin of this quality of the legal mind? It is usually supposed that it comes from the lawyer’s experience as an advocate. He is called on to represent all sorts of causes — good, bad, and indifferent. This necessarily, it is supposed, develops in him a capacity for inventing ‘reasons,’ and the ingenuity thus stimulated carries over into his thinking in other fields.1 This is, in my opinion, a mistaken explanation. The tendency to rationalization is found among lawyers who have never appeared in the courtroom. Indeed, it appears in its most violent form in the fledgling attorney at the time of his graduation from law school. It suffers generally a progressive deterioration from that time on.

The explanation for the tendency is rather, I think, to be found in the position of the judge. It is the judge who sets the style of legal thinking, not the advocate. The advocate must bend his thought and language to fit the expectations of the judge; the judge is under no reciprocal obligation. Furthermore, the judge is the author of our largest body of legal literature, the reported decisions. These decisions exercise an enormous influence over the formation of the lawyer’s mind. The legal mind grows up in the atmosphere of the judging process, even when it is remote from it physically.

Now it must be remembered that the essential nature of the judge’s business consists in an interference in the lives of his fellow men, and that this interference takes place in an arena of conflicting human wills. Anyone who has been called upon to settle a heated dispute can testify that this is not a pleasant business. It is perfectly obvious that it is a task which begets a tendency to rationalization. No one, short of an absolute autocrat, can decide a dispute without feeling an impulse to explain why he decides as he does.

Primitive society seemed with an instinctive tact to realize the plight of the judge and provided him with a procedure which relieved him from the necessity of explaining his decisions. He was permitted the rather transparent fiction that the case was not decided by him at all, but by Providence, and that he was merely a passive interpreter of the divine will. An age less inclined to merciful pretenses has cut him off from this escape. The judge has been directed to take over the rôle of Providence. But an obligation has been imposed on him which man has never been so unreasonable as to impose on his deities. He must explain everything he does.

The actual processes of decision in the mind of the judge may be vague, unanalyzable, inarticulate. But he must find ‘objective’ grounds for his judgment. Somewhere, somehow, he must find ‘reasons’ — though in the welter of his actual thought he discovers, not ‘reasons,’ but hypotheses, inarticulate convictions, intuitions of justice. Out of such amorphous stuff he must forge syllogisms. Sometimes it must seem a hopeless undertaking. But, like the person suddenly placed in a position of physical danger, the judge develops hidden and unsuspected capacities. His powers of ratiocination seldom prove unequal to the task.

When we remember that all of the lawyer’s activities lie, as it were, in the shadow of the judging process and take their color from it, the lawyer’s abnormal facility in ratiocination is at least an understandable and forgivable sin. But is it really a sin at all? I think, on the contrary, that it possesses a profound social utility. This becomes evident when the layman, who lacks the lawyer’s skill in casuistry, is called upon to judge. He feels, even more than the law judge, the discomfiture incident to the process of decision. But this discomfiture has a much more pernicious effect with him than with the law judge. It generally leads him to sidestep the pangs of decision altogether by a compromise, by ‘splitting the difference.’ Anyone acquainted with the decisions of non-lawyers acting as judges (commissioners and arbitrators, for example) knows how general and how iniquitous this procedure is. It leads litigants to make exorbitant demands knowingly with a view to the inevitable compromise. It renders the whole process of decision a solemn farce. And yet there seem to be only two ways of escaping it. We must either hide the lay judge under the anonymity of numbers, as in the case of the jury, or turn the judging process over to those whose training makes them strong enough to resist the comfortable evasion of compromise. The judge’s legal mind, his skill in finding ‘reasons,’ helps to set him free from this temptation. It is, from that point of view, a social virtue.

The tendency to seek for reasons has other values. Leibnitz was impatient with those who were not willing to search for the reasons underlying the axioms of Euclidean geometry. He felt that even ‘obvious’ things, such as the proposition that two parallel lines will never meet, should be proved if possible. Perhaps this was the influence of Leibnitz’s legal training. At any rate, it should be remembered that it was a later preoccupation with these ‘obvious’ maxims which led to the discovery of the non-Euclidean geometries which have so revolutionized modern science. There is nothing so obvious that it does not pay to examine the reasons underlying it. This may lead us to the insight that it is not obvious at all. To the extent that legal training creates an inquiring mind, a mind which does not even balk before the ‘obvious,’ its effect is wholly beneficial.

III

Does the lawyer actually reason too much? I don’t think the layman really believes that. Perhaps I can assist the layman to clarify the nature of his objection. The truer criticism of the lawyer is, not that he reasons too much, or that he insists on reasoning about the obvious, but that he seems to have a predilection for a particular type of reason. The lawyer is apt to prefer articulate, easily stated reasons, even though they be specious or superficial, to ‘real’ reasons, which are often difficult to express and too elusive for categorical statement. The ‘real’ reasons underlying most principles of law are complex and vague at the same time. They seem peculiarly resistant to concise statement. It was this inescapable vagueness of its fundamental postulates which led the psychologist and philosopher Wundt to declare the law to be the most perplexing and difficult of all sciences.

Yet the lawyer, or the judge, must have reasons which he can express and put his finger on. This is understandable in the light of what we have said about the psychology of the judging process. Perhaps an illustration may give further clarity to the point.

A grocer has advanced credit to a railway worker and has taken as security an assignment of the workman’s future wages. The workman’s employer, the railway, finds that assignments of this sort are a nuisance, and, in an effort to break up the practice, refuses to pay the wages over to the grocer. The grocer sues the railway. The decision goes against the grocer. Let us picture the judge as rendering a typical ‘legal’ decision. He will say something like this to the disappointed grocer: ‘You lost your case because a man cannot assign what is not yet in existence. When you took the assignment from this workman he had not yet earned these wages. They were not then in existence, or, as we say in law, they were not then in esse. There was nothing to assign. The assignment is therefore void. Nemo dat qui non habet.’

This is a ‘legalistic’ line of reasoning. But how much more convincing it is than if the judge were to attempt to explain the ‘real’ reasons for his decision. If that were required of him, he would have to embark on a discussion with the grocer of the injurious effects on the working classes of this sort of assignment, and of the necessity of weighing this consideration against another desideratum, that of preserving liberty of contract; he would have to explain what things influenced him in the case at hand to strike the balance in favor of the principle that a man may not ‘pledge his future’ and against the principle of freedom of contract, with sundry observations by the way concerning the inconvenience to employers of these assignments and the abuses possible at the hands of unscrupulous tradesmen. This is precisely the sort of thing the layman does not want to hear from the judge, because he feels himself as competent as the jurist to decide the case when it is put in those terms. As a brilliant Austrian legal writer, Wurzel, has said, ‘[To the layman] a decision of that sort would not be a legal decision at all. The parties would simply reply, that is not what we have asked you to tell us.’

This is not to imply that judges do not frequently write decisions of the second type. Indeed, both the decisions I have used in my illustration are paraphrases of opinions which have been written by courts in actual cases. But the point is that it takes courage for a judge to write such an opinion. It takes courage because this sort of reasoning has a hypothetical, inconclusive sound which is in painful contrast to the cutting reality of the judgment itself. It is not the kind of thing the layman expects of the judge. He expects the judge’s reasons to have the same peremptory and indisputable quality that he attributes to the law generally.

The criticism that the lawyer and the judge reason too much is unsound, or, perhaps we should say, is misstated. We need have no fear that the legal mind will consume itself in reasoning about the obvious. There is no danger in the search for reasons so long as we emulate the honest fisherman who, when the catch fails, returns emptyhanded instead of stopping at the market on his way home. It grieves me to confess that the lawyer all too often procures his fish from the markets maintained by those who write books of legal maxims. He can only plead in extenuation of his offense the same circumstance which so often mitigates the offense of the fisherman in actual life. Those who were waiting for him at home had built their hopes too high. When they have learned not to demand so much, we may expect to see him returning honestly empty-handed, or with his own small catch — for we must not expect the catch to be large. The streams in which he fishes are not plentifully stocked, and we still await the day when a new social and ethical science shall succeed in replenishing them.

When this happy millennium has arrived, the lawyer will be in a position to understand and apply the injunction of the French jurist: Ne raisonnons pas trop dans le Droit.

IV

The law, along with every other profession and trade from carpentry to theology, has its jargon, its words of art. The lawyer, however, can claim the special distinction for his jargon that it seems to excel all others in its capacity for irritating the layman.

What is the source of this irritation? I suspect that it lies in the layman’s conviction that the law deals with very simple and obvious things. The layman has no quarrel with the physician’s Latin names for diseases, because diseases are very mysterious things. They ought to have mysterious names. The engineer, the chemist, and even the plumber deal with objects which remain ‘uncategorized’ for most of us. But the lawyer deals with automobile accidents, debts, the ownership of bicycles — matters which fall within the experience of the commonest citizen. Must these things be converted into ‘torts,’ ‘unilateral contracts,’ ‘rights in rem’?

Of course the lawyer has some company in this matter of renaming the commonplace. The psychologist and sociologist are perhaps closest to him in this respect. But no one thinks of becoming seriously aroused over the grotesque vocabularies of these sciences. They occasion at most a tolerant amusement. The reason is obvious. The layman regards these sciences as a form of academic trifling, having nothing to do with the important affairs of life. But the lawyer talks in a strange language about ordinary and important things. When the layman hears the lawyer and the judge in a discussion about ‘rights in personam,’ ‘res gestæ,’ and ‘contingent remainders,’ he has the discomforting realization that some poor devil’s life and property may depend on the outcome of their wordy skirmish. It is this feeling that his most intimate interests may be frittered away in a language which he does not understand that causes the layman to resent the lawyer’s technical language.

Why does the lawyer need a special jargon? Why can’t he speak the language of the streets? Bentham, who saw a conspiracy behind every human stupidity, was certain that the objects of legal jargon were ‘(1) to mystify and impress, and (2) to repel.'

Of course the lawyer likes to mystify and impress the layman with his legal Latin, his ‘estoppels,’ his ‘executory devises,’ and all the rest of it. He would not be human if he did not. But to contend that, because he delights in displaying his linguistic equipment, it has no other excuse for existence is as absurd as the contention (which, to be sure, has not lacked supporters) that, because man finds in dress an opportunity for the expression of his vanity, clothes are worn for no other reason.

Bentham was more ingenious, but even less convincing, in his second explanation of legal jargon. The lawyer foresees the danger that the layman may interfere with his dark science, and he erects the ‘heaps of filth, moral and intellectual,’ of which legal jargon is composed, to keep the unseasoned and squeamish layman out of the forbidden field. Bentham goes so far as to draw an analogy from early prison conditions, where, he says, reform was retarded because things were so indescribably bad that the prospective reformer could not stomach the necessary inspection.

Bentham was so busy discovering sinister and clandestine purposes behind the lawyer’s jargon that he never had time to consider whether it had any legitimate utility. Has the lawyer any real need for a special vocabulary? The answer is clear as to legal language which merely duplicates ordinary speech. There is, for example, little reason for the lawyer to call a ‘single woman’ a ‘feme sole’ when the concept indicated by the two terms is exactly the same. It cannot be denied that a good deal of legal language is of this sort. But at least it can be asserted that there is improvement over the ‘good old days’ when, to quote Bentham again, ‘the fate of Englishmen was disposed of in French, and in a something that was called Latin.’2

While it is foolish for the lawyer to duplicate the work of the generations who have made our everyday language, the matter stands on an entirely different footing when the lawyer constructs, not merely new names, but new concepts. For example, the word ‘tort’ is not merely a new label for an old idea. It stands for a concept unfamiliar to the layman, and includes such apparently heterogeneous things as shootings, slanderous statements, and the failure of railways to maintain flagmen at crossings.

Does the lawyer need special concepts? I think he does, but I despair of being able to prove this without an excursus into the intricacies of legal science sufficiently thorough to frighten off the layman whose mental processes are, to use Lord Coke’s famous phrase, ‘unillumined by the gladsome light of Jurisprudence.’ Perhaps it will suffice to say this: the law deals with ordinary things under an extraordinary aspect. Every science which pursues special ends finds itself compelled to rearrange the materials of life into a conceptual system of its own, differing from the conceptual system implied in ordinary speech. The purposes of the law overlap with those of everyday life, with those of economics, sociology, psychology, and the other social sciences. But there is a residuum of specifically juristic ends which are foreign to the other fields mentioned. This not only justifies, but makes inevitable, a special vocabulary.

V

Still another and more serious charge is made against the legal mind, and this time, again, it has to do with words. It is charged not only that the lawyer is guilty of introducing strange and unwholesome creatures into our linguistic family, but that he is also guilty of leading our familiar members astray. He is a perverter of ordinary speech.

In April 1932, the Atlantic Monthly published an article entitled ‘Humpty Dumpty’s Rule in Law.’ Many illustrations were given of the tendency of the legal mind to pervert ordinary words, and cases were cited in which courts had declared such incredible things as that a jackass is a horse, a bicycle is an animal, snakes are ‘tools of trade,’ a radio is not a ‘musical instrument,’ a fence, a tent, and a corncrib are all ‘buildings.’ The writer of the article was able to reach no more charitable conclusion than that ‘the prejudices and predilections of the courts determine the meaning of words.’ But he overlooked the most striking case of word perversion. According to newspaper accounts, a Brooklyn traffic court in 1927 decided that a hearse is a pleasure vehicle!

How could a court reach such a grotesque conclusion? What unspeakable ‘prejudices and predilections’ of the judge led to such a disingenuous and garbled interpretation? The case was very simple. The shortsighted drafter of an ordinance had provided that all traffic on a certain street should be divided between two lanes, one assigned to ‘pleasure vehicles,’ the other to ‘trucks and other commercial vehicles.’ The court preferred to put the funeral cortège among the picnickers and sight-seers, instead of among the garbage wagons and furniture vans. If we were to investigate the cases in which the startling results mentioned above were reached, we should find in each the same explanation: legislative shortsightedness had to be cured by somewhat temerarious interpretation.

Let us for the moment engage in a little adventure of our own in legislative drafting and interpretation. The mechanic’s lien statute will serve as a convenient object on which to practise. This statute gives the man (the carpenter, let us say) who has performed work on a ‘building’ a lien for his wages. The lien protects the workman whose employer fails to pay him. Obviously the purpose of a statute creating such a lien is broader than ‘buildings’ in the strict sense. The man who erects a fence, for example, ought to have a lien for his wages by the same right as the man who shingles a roof. Let us exercise the proper legislative foresight and draft our own statute broadly so as to give the lien to anyone who has performed work upon ‘any building, structure, or any other erection of any kind whatsoever.’ This sounds not only inclusive, but positively ‘legal.’ Let me ask the reader to stop at this point and reflect whether he can think of any proper case which would not be covered by this statute. A good many of our statutes have been phrased in this way, and it is unlikely that those who drafted them conceived that there was any possibility of the phraseology proving too narrow.

But unfortunately our statute is not broad enough to cover literally all the cases it should cover. Our thoughts have been on too elevated a plane. We have forgotten the well-digger. There is no good reason for denying a lien to him. But our statute says ‘building, structure, or any other erection.’ Does this include a well? Some of our courts have been courageous and sensible enough to declare that a well is a ‘structure’ within the meaning of such a statute. But other courts have lacked the necessary temerity. Let us picture the workings of the mind of the judge faced with this problem. He sees that the general purpose of the statute obviously includes the well-digger, and he feels an acute distaste for any distinction which would exclude him. But, as he begins to incline toward a decision in favor of the well-digger, there looms up in his mind the dim picture of some such headline as this mocking him from the news stands: ‘Isn’t law wonderful? Judge says hole in ground is structure.’ So he resigns himself and does what the unimaginative layman wants him to do. He applies the law ‘as it is written’ and denies a lien to the well-digger. The result is that some states have been forced to add a page to the immense bulk of their written laws and now have a special ‘well-digger’s lien,’ And, for aught I know, there is a welldiggers’ lobby to keep the statute on the books.

VI

Let me give another illustration of the sort of difficulty which our courts face in interpreting statutes and contracts. Everyone knows what an accident insurance policy is. What is meant by the word ‘accident’ in these policies? The peculiarity here is that we do not have, as in the case of most contracts and statutes, a ‘general purpose’ in the light of which we must interpret (and perhaps pervert) the meaning of the word. The only purpose of the word is to limit the liability of the company. It would seem that if there were any case in the law where we could have a straightforward, literal application of a word, this would be it.

Now obviously the word ‘accident’ as used in these policies would generally exclude death due to disease. No one would suppose, for example, that a case of death from tuberculosis would be included. On the other hand, the word is not confined in its meaning to violent events, such as automobile wrecks and the like, but includes such things as the unintentional swallowing of poison.

We are now ready for an actual case. A workman, who has taken out a policy of accident insurance, is employed in a place where two kinds of water are supplied. One supply is for drinking purposes, the other is for cleaning. Taps supplying the cleaning water are placarded with warnings that the water is unsafe to drink. Certain repairs are made in the plumbing of the building and a careless plumber so connects the pipes that the cleaning water is diverted into the pipes supplying the drinking water. The workman takes a drink from the usual tap, contracts typhoid fever, and dies. His widow sues the insurance company. Can she recover?

If you feel that this was an ‘accident’ and therefore fell within the terms of the policy, consider the following question: Is not typhoid fever always an ‘accident’? This disease is kept in control by a complicated system of preventive measures, and when it appears it is usually due to a breakdown in this system, to an ‘accident.’ And is this not true to some extent of all diseases? In short, what criterion have we for distinguishing between accidents and diseases? I shall not inform the reader how the case was decided; I want him to suffer some of the torture of indecision which is the lawyer’s daily lot. And if he finds no great difficulty in disposing of the particular case, does he find it equally simple to give an articulate ‘reason’ for his decision? Can he lay down a ‘general principle’ which will govern this type of case? For he must remember that this is another demand which he makes on our judges.

John Locke explained many years ago why it is that among laymen the lawyer is known as a perverter of words. It is because the layman himself has so little experience with the complex problem of meaning. ‘There being no writings we have any great concernment to be very solicitous about the meaning of, but those that contain either truths we are required to believe, or laws we are to obey,’ we are generally not at all ‘anxious about the sense of other authors.’ But the business of the lawyer compels him to be ‘anxious about the sense’ of the words he reads. In this way he arrives at an insight which is denied to most laymen. He is forced to discover what slippery, faithless things words are.

The layman likes literal interpretations, whatever may be the inconvenience produced by them. This is because he can understand them in cases where he would not have the patience to trace out the reasons justifying a less literal interpretation. Then, too, literal interpretations fit into his ideal of ‘a government of laws, not of men,’ and remove from his mind the disquieting suspicion that judges exercise too much power over their fellow men. But until the layman is willing to grant the judge greater freedom in interpretation, he must not complain too bitterly about the volume and complexity of our laws.

VII

I have left unmentioned so far what is regarded as the most damaging accusation against the legal mind. It is conservative. No one denies this, least of all the lawyer. And this bent of the legal mind is explained without difficulty. It lies in the very nature of law itself. That the study of the science which has for its object the preservation of order in society should incline one toward conservatism is scarcely an occasion for wonder. And of course, as is so often pointed out, the lawyer’s personal associations, at least if he is successful, tend to be confined to the more conservative branches of society. It is quite understandable that he should be influenced by these associations.

There is, however, another explanation for the conservatism of the legal mind which is less obvious to the layman, and which, if it were known to him, might lead him to be somewhat more charitable toward the lawyer’s conservative bent. The lawyer deals with mishaps and misunderstandings, with plans gone awry. He is generally called in only when intentions have miscarried and expectations have been disappointed. But even in his office work, in his prophylactic activities, he is seeking to anticipate and avoid mishaps. Everything about his business serves to stimulate his capacity for foreseeing trouble. It is perfectly understandable that this should tend to make him conservative. The man who looks too often before he leaps is likely to end by not leaping at all. It is the lawyer’s business to look before his client leaps. In the language of modern psychology, he is likely to become ‘fixated’ upon looking and against leaping.

Another characteristic of the legal mind seems to be seldom commented on in the lay diatribes. I refer to the fact that the study of the law seems to predispose one to an individualistic social philosophy. It would lie beyond the scope of my purpose here to attempt to analyze in detail the effects of this individualistic philosophy on legal thinking, or to venture an explanation for the paradoxical fact that the law, which came among men to limit the egoistic impulses of the individual in t he interest of society, should convert so many of its devotees into ardent and uncompromising partisans of the individual in his struggle to prevent further limitations on his activities.

It need not be mentioned, perhaps, that throughout this discussion I have placed the principal emphasis on the supposed vices of the legal mind at the expense of its admitted virtues. For example, I have been wholly silent concerning the lawyer’s commendable caution about making unqualified assertions — a reticence on my part which may be attributed to a suspicion that this particular virtue of the legal mind is not strikingly exemplified in the present essay.

Before I close I should, in justice to my profession, remind the layman of a thing which he seems often to forget — that the law is not the only calling which fosters a distinct professional ‘mind.’ For example, I am thoroughly convinced that there is such a thing as the ‘engineering mind.’ My personal opinion is that it is a much more baneful thing than the legal mind. While I should have some difficulty in giving a precise definition of the engineering mind, I may say, speaking very generally, that it seems to display the following qualities: a certain ruthlessness and lack of social consciousness, a disbelief in the possibility of expertness in any field not directly touching material things, an exaggerated respect for ‘facts,’ a total lack of historical perspective. This list is undoubtedly incomplete and probably does not begin to exhaust the perfidies of the engineering mind. Perhaps some engineer will fill it out for us laymen.

  1. BOSWELL. ‘But, Sir, does not affecting a warmth when you have no warmth, and appearing to be clearly of one opinion, when you are in reality of another opinion, does not such dissimulation impair one’s honesty? Is there not some danger that a lawyer may put on the same mask in common life, in the intercourse with his friends?’
  2. JOHNSON. ‘Why no, Sir. Every body knows you are paid for affecting warmth for your client; and it is, therefore, properly no dissimulation: the moment you come from the bar you resume your usual behavior. Sir, a man will no more carry the artifice of the bar into the common intercourse of society, than a man who is paid for tumbling upon his hands will continue to tumble upon his hands when he should walk on his feet.’ — AUTHOR
  3. The following is a reporter’s note to a case decided in 1631: ‘Richardson, ch. Just, de C. Banc al Assises at Salisbury in Summer 1631. fuit assault per prisoner la condemne pur felony que puis son condemnation ject un Brickbat a le dit justice que narrowly mist, & pur ceo immediately fuit Indictment drawn per Noy envers le prisoner, & son dexter manus ampute & fix al Gibbet sur que luy mesme immediatement hange in presence de Court.’ In another case the dissent of one judge was inferred by the reporter ’car il shake son capit.’ — AUTHOR