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On Blackstone 6: Perjury, the FBI, & Obstruction of Justice

In Volume 4 of his Commentaries on the Laws of England Blackstone offers an instructive definition of perjury. He defines it narrowly as a false statement of material fact, made in court in front of a judge. He doesn’t count lying in a sworn affidavit, outside the presence of a judge and court, to be criminal perjury. For Blackstone, the

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On Blackstone 5: London Calling

I’m just back from client meetings in London. While there I spoke with a Queens Counsel (only 10% of Barristers are “QC”) who shared my mutual love of legal history. I was asking him if there was a bookstore in town where I could get decent copies of the great 17th century English jurist Sir Edward Coke’s (pronounced “cook”) influential

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On Blackstone 3

If you want a rough picture of my legal philosophy, to the extent I can be said to have one, it’s a mix of admiration for Blackstone while simultaneously agreeing with Jeremy Bentham’s scorching critique of Blackstone as everything that’s wrong with the “Man.” That’s because I’m a believer in perspectivism – the art of switching paradigms and viewpoints in

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On Blackstone 2

I’ve taken a quick detour into a concise new biography by Richard Brookhiser of Chief Justice John Marshall, of Marbury v. Madison, judicial review fame. It’s a gossipy page turner. For instance, John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson, second cousins, hated each other, and you have to view Marbury from one perspective with that in mind. Because Marbury is a brilliant

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On Blackstone 1

I’m reading William Blackstone’s seminal Commentaries on the Laws of England for the first time. It’s something I wish I’d done earlier, although I don’t know if I’d have had the experience to appreciate it if I had. This is the first of what probably will be random, sporadic posts on Blackstone as I slowly make my way through his

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