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A SCENE IN COURT.

To the Editor.

Sm, —I have read in this morning’s “ Guardian” a paragraph describing a scene which took place in the R. M. Court. From this description it would appear that I had been guilty of gross disrespect to Mr. Guinness, and that I had not the manliness to apologise to him. I trust you will afford me a little space, that I may give you the facts as they actually occurred, and that I may point out the serious errors contained in the paragraph alluded to. Mr. Ireland, when the case of Weeks and Dixon v. Harris and Ireland w r as called on, rose to object to the appearance of Mr. O’Reilly as counsel for the plaintiffs, on the ground that Mr. O’Reilly had acquired his knowledge of the facts of the case from friendly conversations with both defendants. I whispered to Mr. Ireland the following words : —“ And also while he was in partnership with you.” This Mr. Ireland had previously mentioned to me, and as he appeared to me to have omitted this ‘ point’ in his address, I did what I had a perfect right to do, remind him of it. It is a matter of constant occurrence for one solicitor to make suggestions and offer advice to another while in court. At the time when I made this suggestion to Mr. Ireland, Mr. Guinness had not commenced to speak. Immediately I had whispered the above words, Mr. O’Reilly turned round to me and began speaking. Mr. Guinness then commenced speaking, and hearing someone else talking, most unjustly accused me as the culprit. I accordingly rose in my place, and informed Mr. Guinness of his mistake. Mr. Guinness, in a loud and excited manner, ejaculated “ What are you doing now, Sir?” I replied that I was clearing myself from an unjust and unfounded charge which he had made against me. I assured him that when he commenced to speak and while he ■was speaking I had not opened ray mouth. I

Mr. Guinness, seeing he was in the wrong, said, still somewhat excitedly, “I beg your pardon, Sir, and I think you might do the same towards me, 1 ' or words to that effect. As I had done nothing for which I had to beg his pardon, I declined to do so.

These, Sir, are the facts of the case as ;hey actually occurred. —I am, &c. Gerald D. Branson.

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A SCENE IN COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 86, 13 April 1880

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