Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A judge long-winded but respected

Dr. Clitheroe was a distinguished lawyer respected beyond the borders of his native Derbyshire, and accordingly regarded s an asset to the bench despite his garrulity which arose from a belief that the validity of a judgement was in proportion to the length of time spent in arriving at it. Every nuance of a case with which he was concerned was scrutinised in meticulous detail, previous cases researched and discussed and the relevant law propounded. And if the dictates of an ancient philosopher—particularly Plato or Socrates—could be seen as adding weight to the argument, they were produced. But despite the circuity of the journey, his eventual decision was invariably reasonable and there were few defendants who would not have felt unfairly discriminated against if Dr. Clitheroe had not paid them the compliment of at least one hour's incomprehensible dissertation when they appeared before him. 
P. D. James, Death Comes to Pemberley (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011), p. 79

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