172 quotes about Law and Lawyers
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Written laws are like spider's webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and the poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.
  View quote | Anacharsis quotes

Law is a bottomless pit.
  View quote | Arbuthnot, John quotes

No civilization would ever have been possible without a framework of stability, to provide the wherein for the flux of change. Foremost among the stabilizing factors, more enduring than customs, manners and traditions, are the legal systems that regulate our life in the world and our daily affairs with each other.
  View quote | Arendt, Hannah quotes

The law is reason, free from passion.
  View quote | Aristotle quotes

I have enforced the law against killing certain animals and many others, but the greatest progress of righteousness among men comes from the exhortation in favor of non-injury to life and abstention from killing living beings.
  View quote | Asoka quotes

Laws are not invented. They grow out of circumstances.
  View quote | Azarias quotes

Judges ought to be more leaned than witty, more reverent than plausible, and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue.
  View quote | Bacon, Francis quotes

Our law very often reminds one of those outskirts of cities where you cannot for a long time tell how the streets come to wind about in so capricious and serpent-like a manner. At last it strikes you that they grew up, house by house, on the devious tracks of the old green lanes; and if you follow on to the existing fields, you may often find the change half complete.
  View quote | Bagehot, Walter quotes

Laws are not masters, but servants, and he rules them, who obeys them.
  View quote | Becker, Ward quotes

Laws and institutions, like clocks, must occasionally be cleaned, wound up, and set to true time.
  View quote | Beecher, Henry Ward quotes

Every law is an infraction of liberty.
  View quote | Bentham, Jeremy quotes

Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.
  View quote | Bentham, Jeremy quotes

The law is light.
  View quote | Bible quotes

Where there is no law there is no transgression.
  View quote | Bible quotes

Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made.
  View quote | Bismarck, Otto Von quotes

The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.
  View quote | Brecht, Bertolt quotes

A lawyer starts life giving $500 worth of law for $5 and ends giving $5 worth for $500.
  View quote | Brewster, Benjamin quotes

A lawyer is a gentlemen that rescues your estate from your enemies and then keeps it to himself.
  View quote | Brougham, Lord Henry P. quotes

People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have must to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.
  View quote | Burke, Edmund quotes

Bad laws are the worst form of tyranny.
  View quote | Burke, Edmund quotes

In effect, to follow, not to force the public inclination; to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community, is the true end of legislature.
  View quote | Burke, Edmund quotes

Laws, like houses, lean on one another.
  View quote | Burke, Edmund quotes

There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity -- the law of nature and of nations.
  View quote | Burke, Edmund quotes

A lawyers dream of heaven; every man reclaimed his property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.
  View quote | Butler, Samuel quotes

In law, nothing is certain but the expense.
  View quote | Butler, Samuel quotes

As soon as you begin to say We have always done things this way -- perhaps that might be a better way, conscious law-making is beginning. As soon as you begin to say We do things this way -- they do things that way -- what is to be done about it? men are beginning to feel towards justice, that resides between the endless jar of right and wrong.
  View quote | Cam, Helen M. quotes

Even an attorney of moderate talent can postpone doomsday year after year, for the system of appeals that pervades American jurisprudence amounts to a legalistic wheel of fortune, a game of chance, somewhat fixed in the favor of the criminal, that the participants play interminably.
  View quote | Capote, Truman quotes

When the severity of the law is to be softened, let pity, not bribes, be the motive.
  View quote | Cervantes, Miguel De quotes

Some things are easier to legalize than to legitimate.
  View quote | Chamfort, Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De quotes

The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be.
  View quote | Chandler, Raymond quotes

The kind of lawyer you hope the other fellow has.
  View quote | Chandler, Raymond quotes

The magistrates are the ministers for the laws, the judges their interpreters, the rest of us are servants of the law, that we all may be free.
  View quote | Cicero, Marcus T. quotes

The good of the people is the greatest law.
  View quote | Cicero, Marcus T. quotes

Law and equity are two things which God has joined, but which man has put asunder.
  View quote | Colton, Charles Caleb quotes

I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis on the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
  View quote | Coolidge, Calvin quotes

The law is simply expediency wearing a long white dress.
  View quote | Crisp, Quentin quotes

The trouble with law is lawyers.
  View quote | Darrow, Clarence quotes

If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.
  View quote | Dickens, Charles quotes

Keep out of Chancery. It's being ground to bits in a slow mill; it's being roasted at a slow fire; it's being stung to death by single bees; it's being drowned by drops; it's going mad by grains.
  View quote | Dickens, Charles quotes

The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counter authority to the law.
  View quote | Diderot, Denis quotes

I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.
  View quote | Dinkins, David quotes

When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.
  View quote | Disraeli, Benjamin quotes

We may not all break the Ten Commandments, but we are certainly all capable of it. Within us lurks the breaker of all laws, ready to spring out at the first real opportunity.
  View quote | Duncan, Isadora quotes

The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.
  View quote | Eisenhower, Dwight D. quotes

When one wanted one's interests looking after whatever the cost, it was not so well for a lawyer to be over honest, else he might not be up to other people's tricks.
  View quote | Eliot, George quotes

Good men must not obey the laws too well.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

The laws of each are convertible into the laws of any other.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

The wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency, and qualifies all his qualifications, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my own constitution; the only wrong what is against it.
  View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes

Some laws of state aimed at curbing crime are even more criminal.
  View quote | Engels, Friedrich quotes

Here lies one believe it if you can, who thought an attorney, was a honest man.
  View quote | Epitaph quotes

Amongst the learned the lawyers claim first place, the most self-satisfied class of people, as they roll their rock of Sisyphus and string together six hundred laws in the same breath, no matter whether relevant or not, piling up opinion on opinion and gloss on gloss to make their profession seem the most difficult of all. Anything which causes trouble has special merit in their eyes.
  View quote | Erasmus, Desiderius quotes

Where the law ends tyranny begins.
  View quote | Fielding, Henry quotes

God works wonders now and then; Behold a lawyer, an honest man.
  View quote | Franklin, Benjamin quotes

Laws too gentle, are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed.
  View quote | Franklin, Benjamin quotes

A successful lawsuit is the one worn by a policeman.
  View quote | Frost, Robert quotes

The jury consist of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
  View quote | Frost, Robert quotes

Our human laws are more or less imperfect copies of the external laws as we see them.
  View quote | Froude, James A. quotes

An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.
  View quote | Gandhi, Mahatma quotes

A fox may steal your hens, Sir, a whore your health and pence, Sir, your daughter rob your chest, Sir, your wife may steal your rest, Sir, a thief your goods and plate. But this is all but picking, with rest, pence, chest and chicken; it ever was decreed, Sir, if lawyer's hand is fee d, Sir, he steals your whole estate.
  View quote | Gay, John quotes

The laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular.
  View quote | Gibbon, Edward quotes

Good laws make it easier to do right and harder to do wrong.
  View quote | Gladstone, William E. quotes

We eagerly get hold of a law that serves as a weapon to our passions.
  View quote | Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von quotes

No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time.
  View quote | Goldman, Emma quotes

The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
  View quote | Goldsmith, Oliver quotes

Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law.
  View quote | Goldsmith, Oliver quotes

In a democracy -- even if it is a so-called democracy like our white-élitist one -- the greatest veneration one can show the rule of law is to keep a watch on it, and to reserve the right to judge unjust laws and the subversion of the function of the law by the power of the state. That vigilance is the most important proof of respect for the law.
  View quote | Gordimer, Nadine quotes

I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their strict execution.
  View quote | Grant, Ulysses S. quotes

Christianity is part of the Common Law of England.
  View quote | Hale, Matthew quotes

If the laws could speak for themselves, they would complain of the lawyers.
  View quote | Halifax, Edward F. quotes

The law is only one of several imperfect and more or less external ways of defending what is better in life against what is worse. By itself, the law can never create anything better. Establishing respect for the law does not automatically ensure a better life for that, after all, is a job for people and not for laws and institutions.
  View quote | Havel, Vaclav quotes

Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.
  View quote | Holmes Jr., Oliver Wendell quotes

This is a court of law young man, not a court of justice.
  View quote | Holmes, Oliver Wendell quotes

The United States is the greatest law factory the world has ever known.
  View quote | Hughes, Charles Evans quotes

We should have learnt by now that laws and court decisions can only point the way. They can establish criteria of right and wrong. And they can provide a basis for rooting out the evils of bigotry and racism. But they cannot wipe away centuries of oppression and injustice -- however much we might desire it.
  View quote | Humphrey, Hubert H. quotes

Young lawyers attend the courts, not because they have business there, but because they have no business.
  View quote | Irving, Washington quotes

Rulers were made to be broken.
  View quote | Isenberg, Michael quotes

Certainly one of the highest duties of the citizen is a scrupulous obedience to the laws of the nation. But it is not the highest duty.
  View quote | Jefferson, Thomas quotes

It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour.
  View quote | Jefferson, Thomas quotes

Laws teach us to know when we commit injury and when we suffer it.
  View quote | Johnson quotes

Lawyers know life practically. A bookish man should always have them to converse with.
  View quote | Johnson, Samuel quotes

I would be loath to speak ill of any person who I do not know deserves it, but I am afraid he is an attorney.
  View quote | Johnson, Samuel quotes

Anybody who thinks talk is cheap should get some legal advice.
  View quote | Jones, Franklin P. quotes

The only road to the highest stations in this country is that of the law.
  View quote | Jones, Sir William quotes

I think we may class the lawyer in the natural history of monsters.
  View quote | Keats, John quotes

Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes.
  View quote | Kennedy, Robert F. quotes

Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.
  View quote | King Jr. Martin Luther quotes

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.
  View quote | King Jr. Martin Luther quotes

Avoid lawsuits beyond all things; they pervert your conscience, impair your health, and dissipate your property.
  View quote | La Bruyere, Jean De quotes

The court is like a palace of marble; it's composed of people very hard and very polished.
  View quote | La Bruyere, Jean De quotes

Laws are felt only when the individual comes into conflict with them.
  View quote | Lafollette, Suzanne quotes

Lawyers I suppose were children once.
  View quote | Lamb, Charles quotes

He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.
  View quote | Lamb, Charles quotes

It is unfair to believe everything we hear about lawyers, some of it might not be true.
  View quote | Lieberman, Gerald F. quotes

A jury too often has at least one member more ready to hang the panel than to hang the traitor.
  View quote | Lincoln, Abraham quotes

Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it be written in primers, spelling books, and in almanacs. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in the courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation.
  View quote | Lincoln, Abraham quotes

A country survives its legislation. That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical. For it means that public policy can enlarge its scope and increase its audacity, can try big experiments without trembling too much over the result. This nation could enter upon the most radical experiments and could afford to fail in them.
  View quote | Lippmann, Walter quotes

Laws are the sovereigns of sovereigns.
  View quote | Louis XIV quotes

The law is a sort of hocus-pocus science, that smiles in yer face while it picks yer pocket: and the glorious uncertainty of it is of more use to the professors than the justice of it.
  View quote | Macklin, Charles quotes

The business of the law is to make sense of the confusion of what we call human life -- to reduce it to order but at the same time to give it possibility, scope, even dignity.
  View quote | Macleish, Archibald quotes

Laws and customs may be creative of vice; and should be therefore perpetually under process of observation and correction: but laws and customs cannot be creative of virtue: they may encourage and help to preserve it; but they cannot originate it.
  View quote | Martineau, Harriet quotes

The only laws of matter are those that our minds must fabricate and the only laws of mind are fabricated for it by matter.
  View quote | Maxwell, James Clerk quotes

Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice.
  View quote | Mcilvanney, William quotes

Lawyers are like rhinoceroses: thick skinned, short-sighted, and always ready to charge.
  View quote | Mellor, David quotes

A judge is a law student who grades his own papers.
  View quote | Mencken, H. L. quotes

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
  View quote | Mencken, H. L. quotes

All that makes existence valuable to any one depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people.
  View quote | Mill, John Stuart quotes

It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.
  View quote | Mille, Cecil B. De quotes

Ignorance of the law excuses no man from practicing it.
  View quote | Mizner, Addison quotes

It would be better to have no laws at all, than to have too many.
  View quote | Montaigne, Michel Eyquem De quotes

Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.
  View quote | Montesquieu, Charles De quotes

There is no nation so powerful, as the one that obeys its laws not from principals of fear or reason, but from passion.
  View quote | Montesquieu, Charles De quotes

The spirit of moderation should also be the spirit of the lawgiver.
  View quote | Montesquieu, Charles De quotes

The severity of the laws prevents their execution.
  View quote | Montesquieu, Charles De quotes

I would uphold the law if for no other reason but to protect myself.
  View quote | Moore, Thomas quotes

Lawyers -- a profession it is to disguise matters.
  View quote | More, Thomas quotes

In cross examination, as in fishing, nothing is more ungainly than a fisherman pulled into the water by his catch.
  View quote | Nizer, Louis quotes

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed.
  View quote | Ostman, Virginia quotes

Petty laws breed great crimes.
  View quote | Ouida quotes

Courts of law, and all the paraphernalia and folly of law cannot be found in a rational state of society.
  View quote | Owen, Robert quotes

Law, without force, is impotent.
  View quote | Pascal, Blaise quotes

Law school taught me one thing; how to take two situations that are exactly the same and show how they are different.
  View quote | Pomerantz, Hart quotes

Curse on all laws, but those that love has made.
  View quote | Pope, Alexander quotes

The law helps those who watch, not those who sleep.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

The more laws the less justice.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

Where the law is uncertain there is no law.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

Lawyers and woodpeckers have long bills.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

Lawyers and painters can soon make what's black, white.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

Fools and obstinate men make lawyers rich.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

Possession is nine tenths of the law.
  View quote | Proverb quotes

A good lawyer is a bad neighbor.
  View quote | Proverb, French quotes

He who goes to law for a sheep loses his cow.
  View quote | Proverb, Spanish quotes

A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.
  View quote | Puzo, Mario quotes

Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty.
  View quote | Robert, Henry M. quotes

It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.
  View quote | Roosevelt, Theodore quotes

Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.
  View quote | Sade, Marquis De quotes

Those laws, being forged for universal application, are in perpetual conflict with personal interest, just as personal interest is always in contradiction with the general interest. Good for society, our laws are very bad for the individuals whereof it is composed; for, if they one time protect the individual, they hinder, trouble, fetter him for three quarters of his life.
  View quote | Sade, Marquis De quotes

The law often permits what honor prohibits.
  View quote | Saurin, Bernard Joseph quotes

Lawyers enjoy a little mystery, you know. Why, if everybody came forward and told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth straight out, we should all retire to the workhouse.
  View quote | Sayers, Dorothy L. quotes

Law cannot persuade when it cannot punish.
  View quote | Saying quotes

A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect.
  View quote | Scott, Sir Walter quotes

The first thing we do, lets kill the lawyers. [Henry Iv]
  View quote | Shakespeare, William quotes

Whenever you wish to do anything against the law, Cicely, always consult a good solicitor first.
  View quote | Shaw, George Bernard quotes

I have spent all my life under a Communist regime, and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either.
  View quote | Solzhenitsyn, Alexander quotes

A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
  View quote | Spencer, Herbert quotes

Under any conditions, anywhere, whatever you are doing, there is some ordinance under which you can be booked.
  View quote | Sprecht, Robert D. quotes

Our demands are simple, normal, and therefore they are difficult to satisfy. All we ask is that an actor on the stage live in accordance with natural laws
  View quote | Stanislavisky, Konstantin quotes

To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.
  View quote | Stanton, Elizabeth Cady quotes

The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime.
  View quote | Stirner, Max quotes

All breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away. This is the pure unchangeable law.
  View quote | Sutrakritanga quotes

I said there was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. To this society all the rest of the people are as slaves.
  View quote | Swift, Jonathan quotes

The judge is found guilty when a criminal is acquitted.
  View quote | Syrus, Publilius quotes

In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.
  View quote | Tacitus, Publius Cornelius quotes

The more corrupt the state, the more laws.
  View quote | Tacitus, Publius Cornelius quotes

Fish die when they are out of water, and people die without law and order.
  View quote | Talmud, The quotes

Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
  View quote | Thompson, Hunter S. quotes

It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for law, so much as a respect for right.
  View quote | Thoreau, Henry David quotes

Whatever the human law may be, neither an individual nor a nation can commit the least act of injustice against the obscurest individual without having to pay the penalty for it.
  View quote | Thoreau, Henry David quotes

The lawyer's truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency.
  View quote | Thoreau, Henry David quotes

I say, break the law.
  View quote | Thoreau, Henry David quotes

Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.
  View quote | Tocqueville, Alexis De quotes

The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage. That is a commonplace truth, but one to which my studies are always bringing me back. It is the central point in my conception. I see it at the end of all my reflections.
  View quote | Tocqueville, Alexis De quotes

The due process of law as we use it, I believe, rests squarely on the liberal idea of conflict and resolution.
  View quote | Trapp, June L. quotes

We enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and then a few that punish them
  View quote | Tucker, Benjamin Ricketson quotes

To succeed in the other trades, capacity must be shown; in the law, concealment of it will do.
  View quote | Twain, Mark quotes

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.
  View quote | Twain, Mark quotes

I was never ruined but twice; once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.
  View quote | Voltaire quotes

The laws and the stage, both are a form of exhibitionism.
  View quote | Welles, Orson quotes

Somebody figured it out -- we have 35 million laws trying to enforce Ten Commandments.
  View quote | Wilson, Earl quotes

I want to live perfectly above the law, and make it my servant instead of my master.
  View quote | Young, Brigham quotes

An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for years or months. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.
  View quote | Younger, Evelle quotes