Cammy: Hell yeah. As an attorney, coffee (or tea) with Sir William Blackstone is a check-the-box event. Like coffee with Washington–you just kind of have to do it. First, who doesn’t want to be seen with a portly dude in kick-ass ol’ skool legal robes AND the curly pompous wig? But, honestly, I’d love to pick this guy’s brain. His influence on the common law legal system is legend. His famous work Commentaries on the Laws of England was the first book which finally brought some semblance of organization and structure to learning law in England. What had been a scattered and convoluted mess, he put into a framework, dividing laws in to subject areas such as Rights of Things, Rights of Persons, Private Wrongs and Public Wrongs. His method of parsing the law to teach it carries on today not just in how it’s taught but how it’s carried out and interpreted in courtrooms. It’s all but completely impossible to get a JD even today without reading at least some excerpt from what we refer to as Blackstone’s Commentaries. He is a common thread about which lawyers have inside jokes (“Back when Blackstone was Dean….”). So, if I can get him and his curly-wigged self to give me a little of his time, I’d like to know how he made his mind up to divide the subject matter. Would he do it differently if he had it to do again–especially knowing how heavily it would ring down through the years? As a monarchist, what the hell must he think of the fact that his Commentaries were a basis for a legal system in the the colonies that gave the monarchy the middle finger? And, if he’s willing, we’ll raise a glass of something more than coffee to his ol’ stompin grounds in the no-longer-in-existence Court of Common Pleas.
Kristy: Okay, I’ll admit my first reaction was, “Who?” and my knowledge of Court of Common Pleas is limited to a half hour program that the Virginia Renaissance Faire does every day. I’m guessing in the real Court of Common Pleas you probably couldn’t sue a tree for reckless endangerment and loss of revenue. But… he shares my birthday. But I have no reason not to have coffee with him. Other than a fear of getting in the way of his conversation with Cammy. So I figure I’ll sit down with them to coffee, but arrange a few strategic phone calls in case I need to make an exit.
Cammy: Maybe not suing trees. Most of my recollections from the random Court of Common Please cases that I got in law school (because, yes, you read some of the really old shit) involve cows. Honestly, if they weren’t fighting over them as property, they were showing up in torts cases for tearing something up or running down peasant children or something….