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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

HIRSCH RULES FOR RUMPOLE

 With all do respect to his learned colleague Judge De La O (a phrase sure to send Mr. Markus and his cohort Judge De La O into a paroxysm),  Judge Milt Hirsch writes an opinion for Rumpole in his battle for the soul  of the legal profession. 

As you may know, Judge De La O weighed in on Twitter, ruling for Mr. Markus. We had no idea the case had been assigned to him. But the battle is not over. As Judge Hirsch has written an opinion as well and we include it here. Judge Hirsch could have been recused. For a period of time he shared space with Mr. Markus. But we trust his judgment and filed no motion.

De La O wrote:  Comes now the Court to rule. You are a great lawyer, Rumpole. You put up a strong fight in a losing battle. O'Marcus is not only right, he made his case succinctly. You were more entertaining, but he wins handily.

Judge Hirsch responds with his own (brilliant) opinion in the matter: 

On “opinion day,” some Supreme Court justices read their opinions aloud from the bench.  
That wasn’t Chief Justice Earl Warren’s practice.  
He just filed his opinions with the clerk, and that was that.

Except on May 17, 1954.  

On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Warren read aloud to a packed and hushed courtroom
 every word of his opinion in a case called Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.
  nd he read with particular emphasis the four words appearing at the end of that opinion:

“It is so ordered.”

Of course those four words add nothing to the content of the opinion.  They do not alter or 
add to its import or analysis.  In that sense – and only in that sense – they could be dismissed
 as the sort of “legalese” the value of which the two of you are debating.  

But to anyone who has, as the two of you do, a sense of history;
 an ear for rhetoric; and a feeling for that indefinable but invaluable thing called 
“the majesty of the law,”  those four words sounded forth the trumpet that can 
never call retreat.  They were a clap of silent thunder that we still struggle to hear.

Of course you’re right: there are few judges of the stature of Warren, and few cases of the
 stature of Brown.  
Bad judges lard their orders, and bad lawyers lard their motions, with “legalese” in an 
effort to compensate for a lack of scholarship and prose style.  
But that is not a criticism of the language of the law.  
It is a criticism of the work-product of the judges and lawyers.

Rumpole says: It's now 1-1. Who will cast the deciding vote? 

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