It’s Halloween again which means time for another visit with this pair of beauties, the forensic utterers, the gorgeous sisters, twins, the demonic, not to be messed with, criminal defence lawyers, Cordelia and Ophelia Chapelier, Barristers at Law of the Law firm, Chapelier and Chapelier
Cordelia and Ophelia are a pair of Aussie criminal defence lawyers, women of the old fighting class, women who believe in the presumption of innocence, in liberty, in the right to a fair & speedy trial, the right not to be tried unfairly & the right to a lawyer.
In the USA an attorney is denoted by the term Esquire e.g. it would be Cordelia Chapelier, Esq. or Ophelia Chapelier, Esq.
Here it is simply Cordelia Chapelier, Barrister & Solicitor or Barrister at Law.
Of course they aren’t really beauties at all, are they. Quite the opposite. They are down-right ugly witchmongers, lawyer hags.
But it’s Halloween & they are correctly attired & dressed ready for court, ready to display their wit & wizardry, their macabre sense of humour, their cunning, witchcraft & maleficum.
They take along their pointy black hats for when the thunderstorms they may summon, later, roll in.
That is why, In addition to the mandatory criminal law tomes, they sometimes bring their cherished grimoires & spell books to assist them in calling for those Halloween thunder storms later in the day when Court has finished 🙂
They leave the black cats & toads at home mainly because securing their attendance requires too much red tape to get the special exemption from the South Australian Courts Administration Authority.
A few spiders get in . . .
And so it is at this time of the year, often after sundown, that the Chapelier sisters are called to task regarding legal work, giving advice & providing representation.
If you are in trouble, real trouble that is, double, double toil and trouble, fire burn & cauldron bubble trouble, you need these brilliant witchy lawyas to toil away for you, to vigorously fight the good fight, to combat the agony & uncertainty, the deprivation of liberty if that be the case.
Nothing stands in their way in discovering the truth.
Not the police, the prosecutors, witnesses, private investigators et al or those who believe people in trouble with the law are guilty til proven innocent or those who believe we should do away with trials, all trials, let alone fair trials, or those who believe depriving a person of their liberty, for any or no reason, is OK.
Human rights, human dignity, the rule of law & civil liberties are quintessential & unassailable elements in the legal tool box of the Chapelier sisters.
The sisters are the true spirit of liberty. As the great judge Learned Hand once observed,
“the spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not too sure that it is right.”
Of course while Cordelia and Ophelia are zealous lawyers, they perform their duties within the rules of court, within the bounds of law and ethics.
While the Chapelier sisters routinely deal with & represent those caught up in the maw of the criminal justice system, no matter how controversial and/or despised, they don’t, for one moment, share the political or moral perspective of their clients. In fact they must
subordinate all other interests – ideological, career, personal – to the legitimate interest of the client ♦
The lawyer is
the surgeon in the operating room whose only goal is to save the patient, whether that patient is a good person or a bad person, a saint or a criminal ♦
They deal with blood & wine & death & murder & conspiracy & graft & immorality & all the rest. They are specialists in the demonic, in sin & evil & hell.
The de-consecrated & sinful ‘world’ is their oyster.
They represent mass murderers, cold hard killers, crime bosses, molesters, abusers, wife beaters, arsonists, the scurrilous, those lacking in moral scruples & those full of vengeance & who want revenge.
They represent common criminals, the fraudsters, tricksters, thieves & pick pockets.
They represent the poor and downtrodden.
They represent witches & warlocks too.
And they also represent people, essentially good people, everyday law abiding citizens, who make silly or stupid mistakes or who have had a bad run, taken some hard knocks.
And they love a good line up, a police identification parade especially after dark
Their law practice routinely brings them into contact with people, with creatures of the day & night, dead or alive, with the ordinary & not so ordinary, the bizarre & not so bizarre, all of it routine.
There are dead bodies, cemeteries & graveyards & morgues & funeral homes & hearses & autopsies & blood & entrails . . . all a great source of income at this time of the year when their vibe is hyper-active.
They screech, scream, they argue, demand & shout, even sue. They cast spells, hexes, they fight, brawl & take on the bad guys, the cops & all who stand in their way without fear.
Their hex arguments are well known, well respected in the courts, second to none!
They don’t mess around with your liberty, your freedom, your rights, including your right to keep quiet & shut up when it is OK not to answer questions.
Your right to a real & not a sham trial, to a fair & speedy trial, is paramount.
While in Australia your ‘right not be tried unfairly‘ is generally the preferred language it essentially means your ‘right to a fair trial‘ as is the law, your right, in the USA.
It is, in fact, a Constitutional right in the USA encompassed in their Bill of Rights. Not so in Australia.
Thus the Chapelier sisters are always hyper vigilant when it comes to police action & the Courts’ approach to same.
They work all hours of the day & night. especially night, at this time of the year, for deserving & needy customers much of it pro bono. Yep, for free.
They attend for you anytime, anywhere at home, at the police station, the cemetery, the morgue, the church . . . They accept payment in cash or kind.
They are honest lawyers sacrificing a lot so as not to charge you outrageous fees like some other lawyers charge, for time that has nothing to with the work done.
“At this time of the year, Halloween, its usually after dark when we do our consorting with the devil, the so-called bad guys, our clients, those in need, in trouble, while also looking for witch hunters & witch prickers“ Cordelia & Ophelia cackle.
“By witch hunters & witch prickers we mean guys like the police, the prosecutors, the puritans, the angry mobs who don’t always want to accord our clients a fair go, the same legality & due process they would want if they were in trouble. Some want to lock our clients up & throw away the key. If we find any of these witch hunters & witch prickers, we will indeed utter curses against them” they chortle.
And the Chapelier girls love a good red nip now and again, a blood red crimson sticky wine, mellowed & syrupy . . .
On a serious note regarding the lady’s Halloween outfits, the court dress: Transforming the 2 mannequins into witches didn’t take long at all using our normal court attire of the black robe, the white ‘powdered’ wig, the white jabot etc for the basis of the costume.
What does that say?
Why wouldn’t the barrister’s basic appearance & clothing, the sweeping black batwinged robes, the eccentric 18th century horsehair wig, be most suitable for a Halloween costume? All that’s missing is the broomstick & the adornments I have added. The face masks sure helped to set the scene.
♦ How Can You Represent Those People? Ed by Abbe Smith & Monroe Freedman Ch 5