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Dunning And Lord Mansfield

Jests Home

WHILST the celebrated Mr. Dunning, afterwards Lord Ashburton, was at the
bar, he by his conduct did much to support the character and dignity of
a barrister, which was frequently disregarded by Lord Mansfield, at that
time Chief Justice. The attempts of the Chief Justice to brow-beat the
counsel were on many occasions kept in check by the manly and dignified
conduct of Mr. Dunning. Lord Mansfield possessed great quickness in
discovering the gist of a cause, and having done so, used to amuse
himself by taking up a book or a newspaper, whilst counsel was
addressing the court. Whenever Mr. Dunning was speaking, and his
Lordship seemed thus to hold his argument as of no consequence, the
advocate would stop suddenly in his address, and on his Lordship
observing, Pray go on, Mr. Dunning, he would reply, I beg your
pardon, my Lord, but I fear I shall interrupt your Lordship's more
important occupations. I will wait until your Lordship has leisure to
attend to my client and his humble advocate.

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