| Article written about Judge Saint-Pierre,
in the possession of Suzanne Montel and transcribed by Jacques Beaulieu,
both great-grand-children of same.
FEBRUARY 19, 1915
RAPS FAIR CRITICS
More Than Ever Convinced on Women's Unfitness to Practice Law, He Says
AFTER READING TIRADES
Critics Could Not Have Given Better Demonstration of Their Inability to
Seize Point in a Case
Judge Saint-Pierre is not worrying over the outpourings of certain
members of the angelic sex anent his recent decision in the Langstaff case;
in fact, he is chuckling over what he describes as the strenuous efforts of
his fair critics to show just how little they really know about the case itself.
"Your Lordship seems to be very popular with the ladies these days", remarked a
newspaper acquaintance on coming across Judge Saint-Pierre, homeward bound,
"Oh, yes; very," replied the noted jurist, his face suffused in an all-embracing smile.
"It would seem that my fair admirers - of the negative variety - are legion."
"And what of the bouquets - literary and negative - which are being hurled at
Your Lordship's direction by the fair ones?"
"Well, I will tell you. If at any time I entertained doubt as to the intellectual
unfitness of women to take up the practice of law, the perusal of the ebullient
utterances of those critics whose outpourings have come to my notice has forever
dispelled these doubts. Of course, professional etiquette precludes my discussing
one of my own judgments, but I may state that I have been much amused in reading
the quasi-ex-cathedra pronouncements of the embryo jurists of the feminine persuasion;
if the aforesaid jurists had started out with the set purpose of demonstrating just
how nicely, how graciously and how innocently they could display their inability to
seize the main point in a case, they could not have succeeded better. If the utterances
to which they have been reported as having given vent were to be collected and published
in the form of a symposium, the resultant volume would undoubtedly be a "best-seller" -
as a joke book.
"You know there was a time, under the old Roman law, when women were admitted to the
practice of law. History shows that some of the feminine practitioners
creditably, notably Amasie and Hortensie. However, with the coming into effect of the
Theodosian Code, in the fifth century, this prerogative was abolished, simply because
it had been found that women had shown themselves unfit to indulge in this phase of human
endeavor. The authors say that they were found to be imprudent and too talkative.
Qui potest capere capiat."
His Lordship's reference to the failure of his critics properly to understand the case
is explained by the judgment itself, wherein it was clearly stated
that Mrs. Langstaff's action
had been directed against the wrong party or parties; so that,
no matter how good the basis
of suit might have been, she could not have succeeded. In
the second place, certain of the
critics seemed to be under the impression that His Lordship was the maker of the law
excluding women from the practice of the profession; whereas, as His Lordship clearly
stated in the judgment, he had but to apply the law as it existed.