Lawyers’ obituaries / Juristennachrufe

Obituaries in the Times Online.

Thomas Blanco White:

bq. Always a robust individualist, when he became a bencher of Lincoln’s Inn he was the first to arrive in leathers and Doc Martens. His powerful mind was untempered by any element of the common touch, nor did he ever cultivate a bedside manner. … He was a man of very diverse abilities with a good knowledge of Russian and German. A great gardener, he grew many rare plants and shrubs, and translated Russian works on irises. His technical ability led him to make his own hi-fi equipment and many sophisticated pieces of electronic apparatus.

Lord Ackner:

bq. Ackner sometimes allowed his language to become florid. When speaking in the High Court for two thalidomide victims, he chose to quote from Richard III, describing his clients as “cheated of feature by dissembling nature, deform’d, unfinish’d”.

Justice Mella Carroll (Ireland):

bq. She was immensely popular and blended effortlessly with her male colleagues who regarded her as one of the boys. She exuded no dissatisfaction with how things were. … For ten years Miss Justice Carroll was content to be addressed as “my lord” by barristers in her court. Only in 1990, after she was appointed chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women, did she announce that she would prefer to be called “judge”, rejecting peremptorily the suggestion of an elderly senior counsel that he should address her as “madam”. …Mella Carroll never married. She was, she claimed with a characteristic twinkle, an unclaimed treasure.

Judge Angelica Mitchell:

bq. Lucky were the nights that you could reach her directly on the telephone. “The person you are calling knows you are waiting”, was the sound you heard most often when you rang. … Any money she ever had was spent on holidays, often in the company of five or six other families. She was a demon at tennis and no mean bodysurfer.

1 thought on “Lawyers’ obituaries / Juristennachrufe

  1. An interesting selection. It’s a pity there’s no reference in the stuffy obituary to the swimming prowess of Lord Ackner whose Fitness to Plead talk to Holborn Law College Students in Fulham I went to in the last Millennium. As a keen crawler of lengths, he used to go swimming every morning and used diving metaphors in some of his judgments.

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