February 20, 2009

Rumpole of the Bailey

Paul B. Bergman, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, has published "Rumpole and the Bowl of Comfort Food," in Lawyers in Your Living Room (Michael Asimow ed.; ABA Press, 2009). Here is the abstract.

Rumpole of the Bailey was a delightful British television series based on the life and courtroom exploits of John Mortimer's fictional curmudgeonly barrister, Horace Rumpole. Rumpole was a zealous if eccentric criminal defense lawyer. He was equally skilled in the arts of cross examining police officers and plucking appropriate quotes from the Oxford Book of English Verse. The stories' gentle satires of British traditions and justice make viewers feel as comfortable as Rumpole usually was as he sat in Pommeroy's Pub after a hard day in the Old Bailey, drinking a glass of the cheap house wine that he affectionately called Chateau Thames Embankment or Chateau Fleet Street. Chambers Meetings were a regular feature of the Rumpole shows.

This essay creates a transcript of a mock Chambers Meeting to explore Rumpole's character, his courtroom strategies, and the judges and other barristers whose idiosyncrasies were never-ending sources of conflict and amusement for Rumpole.

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