Charles Dickens wrote often about lawyers and trials.  In this passage from The Pickwick Papers (1836-37), he has Pickwick’s solicitor, Mr. Perker, disclose a secret to jury selection:

"Highly important–very important, my dear Sir," replied Perker.  "A good, contented, well-breakfasted juryman is a capital thing to get hold of.  Discontented or hungry jurymen, my dear sir, always find for the plaintiff."

Apparently the jurymen in Pickwick’s case hadn’t eaten well.  They found for the widow Mrs. Bardell on her claim that Pickwick broke a promise to marry her.

Barry Barnett

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