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LADY FIGHTS AND WINS HER OWN CASE.

TWO DAYS' BATTLE IN COURT WITH FAMOUS LAWYER. As a result of tihe eloquence* and akiU wdth whk* she had conducted her case ' against her former solicitor, the Hon. 1 Charles Russell, Miss Emily Mary Howe ' succeeded in gaining a verdict awarding her £25 damages. During Miss Howe's two days' # strug|g;l© «n court she delivered a two hours' open ing sjpeec"h, cros&jeianr.ned fche dofcndaait, addressed the jury, had as 'legal opponent such, a prominent! lawyer as Sir Edward Cairspn, and certainly carnot bo said to have wasted Ui& time of tho court. The lady's oasp was tJia* in January, 1900, sh& instructed Mr Russell to take legal proceedings against the estate of Mr George Edward Lake, solicitor (reported to haw* died in November, 1899, and aiso thft value of a bond given to her by the deceased securing tc her £200 a year. The dady also complains that proceedings f<T the. recovery of th,& shares were not taken, as shie directed, against Lake and Lake, which firm became bankrupt in 1900. Another complaint was that she directed the defendant to prove' a codicil of ih© will of Mr Gs»rge Erdward Lake, under which she benefited. S3i3 said iihe defendant cdviaed her to suppress the codicil, and guaranteed tli&t in considerstson of Tiier doing so she should rooeiv* £2000 to £5000. The defendant denied all the allegations. Asked about iher relations with the late Mr George Lake, who was a ma«rnedi man, she said that she had lived with him for twelveiveairs, practically as ihis wife, and that hy had given her sums of money that amounted €0 about £2000 a yea*. It was when Mr Ruseell had giveru evidienee — to the effect that he had acted in Miss Howe's besb interests — and heir turn to cross-examine him came that the fair plaintiff's legal skill had its best chance of diteplay. Replying to eevecral of Mies Howe's questions, Mir Russell said emphatically, "I thought it would- have been cruelty for tih© codicil of- the will to be disclosed/." You never thought what it would, have been to roe?— Yes, I thought of all I could for you. I said .that I had not the least doubt, whatever that it was your diuty a& a self-respecting woman, to spare the motheor and children and save them from any 'humiliating position you could. That - was your duty. This you were very reluctant about, so, thinking you would like some other advice, I took up the Law List and turning to- the K.C.s asked whether there was any of the names that appealed to you. I said, "Choose one and we will wa2k .round and see him." You looked over tlhe list and said, "Here's Mir Charles Gill. I know his name." I said, "Yon could not have a hotter man.' We told Ma: Gill about it, and he said 1 , "I have not the least hesitation in saying Mr RusaelFs advice is right." Mr Lush, K.C., then rose to address tho jury. The lady aJeo rose with /the idea of making a speech. 1 His Lordship (smiling) : You ihave the righitj to ' the last word, Miss Howe. (Laughter.) |V Miss Howe : I do think .that is unkind. ■ . Mr Lush then addressed the jury on behalf of the defendant. Mies Howe followed with a y short speech. The jury, after . an hour's (retirement, gave a verdict for the plaintiff for £25. LADIES AS ADVOCATES. Miss Howe now takes a place among the small band! 'of lady litigants in the High Court, ihieaded by Mrs Georgina Weldon, who have made themselves somewhat famous as pioneers in the work of preparing for the advent of ladies to the Bar — a movement which was earnestly supported in 1903 by Miss Bertha Cave. Miss Gave'e contention with the Benches of Gray's Inn to be admitted as a student for the Bar went to the House of Lorde before her exclusion was finally decided. Two yeans previously, in Scotland, Miss Margaret Howie Strong Hall was admitted to the Incorporated Society of Law Agent's. In Ireland the application of an Ulster lady to.be admitted to the profession was rejected. Miss Letitia Alice Walkington studded law at Trinity College, Dublin, and! was a distinguished graduate of Dublin University; , Mrs Weldon, tthe most distinguished of ail .our lady litigants, conducted faer own case in 1865 against General Sir Henry de Bathe for five days, opposed By Mr Charles Russell, Q.C. (affteorwoirdfl Lord Chief Justice), and others, and won a verdict wdth £1000 damages. Shie also won in the same year a £10,000 verdict against) Gounod, £he composer; for libel. Against one doctor sKe scored £1000, and against another £500.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/HNS19070907.2.5

Bibliographic details

LADY FIGHTS AND WINS HER OWN CASE., Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LIII, Issue 9436, 7 September 1907

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784

LADY FIGHTS AND WINS HER OWN CASE. Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LIII, Issue 9436, 7 September 1907

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