Article Title

On Hearsay


I need to place the remarks that follow in context. And that means I need to acknowledge a number of heresies: I don’t like legal jargon; I don’t like the complexity of legal jargon; I don’t like the legal profession’s indifference to brevity; I don’t like the tendency of lawyers and judges always to be looking to the past for answers to novel questions; and I don’t consider law to be a science or remotely like a science. I want law to be simple and commonsensical and forward-looking. I take my judicial credo from a poem by the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats: “And I grew weary of the sun / Until my thoughts cleared up again, / Remembering that the best I have done / Was done to make it plain.” Or, in the words of another though lesser known poet, Ezra Pound, “MAKE IT NEW!”

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