Arizona Attorney October 2008, where we got courts and judges

Back in October 2008, Arizona Attorney covered the history of courts and judges.

Sometimes, a good image is all you need to get you through the day.

And on this Change of Venue Friday, I’m operating on that principle. Occasionally, an image is so gripping, so arresting, that its appearance can transform your day from *yawn* to Wow. Kind of like:

cat flip-flop tumblr_nrgrapQ4ZE1s2yegdo1_400

Thank you to Dianna Náñez and Kerry Lengel for the great pic.

But no, that’s not the image I want to share. Today’s legal blog post is connected to judges and the ways they dress. It’s related to a post I wrote a few weeks ago about a crackdown on judge-robe-variety by the Florida Supreme Court. The post allowed me to recall Chief Justice Rehnquist’s golden chevrons.

After that post, I heard from Nedra Brown, a former State Bar of Arizona colleague. An attorney herself, she is now the Registrar (regulator) for the Ontario Association of Architects. And she reminded me about the amazing sartorial choices of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Here they are, in all their glory:

Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

Judges of the Supreme Court of Canada

Who’s in the picture? Nedra explains:

Top Row L-R: The Honourable Clément Gascon; The Honourable Andromache Karakatsanis; The Honourable Richard Wagner; The Honourable Suzanne Coté

Bottom Row L-R: The Honourable Thomas Albert Cromwell, The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella; The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada; The Honourable Marshall Rothstein; and the Honourable Michael J. Moldaver.

Nedra also provided me a list of what you have to wear to be admitted, the “Required Court Apparel For Call.” She explained, “Every candidate for call to the bar must appear before Convocation in full court apparel, which consists of:

  • black shoes
  • black or dark grey socks or black, dark grey or natural hose
  • black, dark grey or dark grey striped trousers or skirt
  • black gown vest
  • black gown
  • white shirt with stiff wing collar and white tabs”

I’ve never argued before any Supreme Court (never say never!), but I think the Supreme Court of Canada is now in my Top Two.

More closeup detail about what barristers have to wear to court is here, via Imperial Robes.

And if you’re in need of legal garments, Harcourts may be your haberdasher.

Thank you, Nedra! And everyone, enjoy your weekend—bewigged or not.

legal sized Great White paper

So the paper that lawyers like to use comes emblazoned with a … shark? Ouch.

Boyoboy, I sure feel sorry for you. I had planned a really substantive, weighty and significant topic to cover today. My goal was to round out the blog week with something akin to majesty.

Though you would have enjoyed that, instead I have opted to present a slight and light view into a quizzical topic. On this Change of Venue Friday, the substantial has been shouldered aside by the goofy.

And for that, I apologize.

The oddity came my way via the Pacific Northwest (surprising absolutely no one). And that unique question is: Where the hell did legal-sized paper come from?

Do you ever see one of those queries and wonder how you had never come to ask it? But when you see the question, you’re all, “Whoa, good question!”? That’s where the paper question took me.

I heard about the topic via one of my favorite legal blogs. In the NW Sidebar (from the Washington State Bar), I was pointed toward a blog by librarians (natch) of the Seattle University Law Library (on Twitter here).

Here is how library intern Jason Giesler opens his detective blog post:

“Necessitating larger file cabinets, failing to fit in standard binders, and a real pain in the neck to copy and scan, one wonders, what are the origins of 8 1/2″ x 14” sized legal paper?”

“There are several historical stories relating to the adoption of legal sized paper. According to one story, during the time of Henry VIII, paper was printed in 17″ x 22” sheets because this was the largest size of mold that papermakers could carry. These large sheets were known as foolscap. Legend has it that lawyers would simply cut the foolscap in half and use the sheets for official documents. Lawyers liked longer paper so that they could take more notes than would fit on a normal page.”

That’s rich. “Lawyers liked longer paper so that they could take more notes than would fit on a normal page.”

Seattle U Law Library iconLawyers. Librarians. Henry VIII. They all crack me up.

When I decided to seek an image to run with this post, I was taken aback by the appearance of a leading brand of legal-sized paper. There it is above, clear as day: The lawyers’ paper of choice comes with … sharks on it.

Hmmm. Snarky, much? I’m sure the Hammermill Company would say the name is a reference to the “Great White” paper, but I’m prepared to stage a protest if readers want.

In any case, you should keep reading the results of Jason’s research here.

And, joyfully, he would seem to be one of those librarians who has never shushed anyone in his life. And so he ends—as I do today—with this video of an “IT cat.” Which would make this the debut of cat videos for my own blog (causing me to think I should re-examine things—I’ll do that this weekend).

Enjoy, and stay away from copier machines. Here’s da cat: