X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In his controversial recent book, “Law Without Values: The Life, Work, and Legacy of Justice Holmes,” University of Chicago law professor Albert Alschuler meticulously debunks the great Ollie Wendell. In his exhaustively researched polemic (1,348 footnotes!), Alschuler reveals that the brilliant jurist — revered for opinions favoring social welfare legislation and First Amendment freedoms — was actually a nasty near nihilist who sneered at loving one’s neighbor, supported the killing of genetically inferior newborns, and once wrote that he “loathe[d] the thick-fingered clowns we call the people.” Holmes is hardly the only prominent legal figure to have a secret dark side. OTHER RECENT “DISCOVERIES”: When Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took their historic slavery debates on the road during the 1858 Senate race, the two men routinely unwound at night in local taverns. Getting swiftly blotto, the normally dignified duo would actually swap positions on the Great Issue, reciting each other’s arguments at dizzying speeds and punctuating their orations with hand-in-armpit sound effects. Whenever either one spoke the words “this great union,” they’d do a shot. The game would go on until one man shouted “A stand divided cannot house!” Then they’d both pass out. Clarence Darrow lost only one client to the death penalty, but his method of psyching himself up for capital cases took a toll on associates. He insisted that his law clerks dress up in hooded Grim Reaper outfits — even in the worst of Chicago’s summer heat. As one associate wrote to a friend, “He pauses from preparations only long enough to pummel us about our cloaked and sweat-soaked heads, all the while shouting ‘Yo, Reapster! I’m gonna whup your candy butt!’ “ Many know trial lawyer F. Lee Bailey as the famed defender of the rich and notorious — Dr. Sam “the Fugitive” Sheppard, Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson. But few are aware that he’s not an attorney at all but merely a lucky paparazzo. “During the Sheppard appeal, I’d worked my way up front and was reloading film when the judge mistook me for the doc’s attorney,” Bailey writes in his recently discovered unpublished memoir, ‘The Defense Is Ready for Its Close-up.’ “I blurted out some garbage about pretrial publicity, and — bang! — it became the basis for Sam’s appeal to the Supreme Court.” Top dog 19th-century appellate advocate Daniel Webster argued some 200 cases before the Supreme Court. But the silver-tongued orator was also a compulsive womanizer. “ Gibbons v. Ogden was hardly Danny Boy’s only winning brief in support of Congress,” Chief Justice John Marshall once quipped. In the Senate, Webster’s colleagues were baffled at how a balding guy with side flaps of hair like beagle ears could “insert so many amendments.” Rejected Reagan Supreme Court nominee and strict constitutional constructionist Robert Bork was once the front man (Brillo pad hair, satanic beard) for the influential proto-punk death metal band Borkicide (formerly Judicial Restraints). Deeply disdainful of today’s “liberal, interpretive” punk bands — “They push their ideological agenda by finding shadows and penumbras in original punk intentions” — Bork is said to haunt today’s hardcore scene in search of a prot�g�. He recently wrote a friend: “Almost outed at Friday’s Korn concert, but luckily the dude mistook me for Koop. He wanted quit-smoking info. Search continuing …” This article originally appeared in the September 2001 issue of JD Jungle.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.