A country survives its legislation. That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical. For it means that public policy can enlarge its scope and increase its audacity, can try big experiments without trembling too much over the result. This nation could enter upon the most radical experiments and could afford to fail in them.
A fox may steal your hens, Sir, a whore your health and pence, Sir, your daughter rob your chest, Sir, your wife may steal your rest, Sir, a thief your goods and plate. But this is all but picking, with rest, pence, chest and chicken; it ever was decreed, Sir, if lawyer's hand is fee d, Sir, he steals your whole estate.
A good lawyer is a bad neighbor.
A judge is a law student who grades his own papers.
A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
A jury too often has at least one member more ready to hang the panel than to hang the traitor.
A lawyer is a gentlemen that rescues your estate from your enemies and then keeps it to himself.
A lawyer starts life giving $500 worth of law for $5 and ends giving $5 worth for $500.
A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.
A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.
A lawyers dream of heaven; every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.
A successful lawsuit is the one worn by a policeman.
All breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure unchangeable law.
All that makes existence valuable to any one depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people.
Amongst the learned the lawyers claim first place, the most self-satisfied class of people, as they roll their rock of Sisyphus and string together six hundred laws in the same breath, no matter whether relevant or not, piling up opinion on opinion and gloss on gloss to make their profession seem the most difficult of all. Anything which causes trouble has special merit in their eyes.
An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for years or months. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.
Anybody who thinks talk is cheap should get some legal advice.
Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.
As soon as you begin to say ''We have always done things this way — perhaps that might be a better way,'' conscious law-making is beginning. As soon as you begin to say We do things this way — they do things that way — what is to be done about it?'' men are beginning to feel towards justice, that resides between the endless jar of right and wrong.