Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 14 23:07:22 UTC 2013

I am not sure I understand what you are saying. The term "right of
audience" is key to the distinction between barristers and solicitors in
the UK.

The important question to me is why the NYS AG's office used the phrase.
Were they using a phrase that they knew would be meaningful to a British

Or did in fact the AG's office write the letter -- was it forged?


On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> (Yes this is on topic for the American Dialect Society ... eventually.)
> An American woman admitted to the bar at Middle Temple Hall, known
> for the first performance of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and the
> Inn of Court of William Blackstone, and thereafter employed by a
> British law form, has come under suspicion by the Bar Standards Board
> of England and Wales.  As part of her effort to further document her
> qualifications, she submitted a letter confirming her status in the
> Bar of the State of New York from the office of then-Attorney General
> Eliot Spitzer.  The letter from Spitzer's office includes the phrase
> "she has regularly and continuously exercised rights of audience in
> the courts of the State of New York."
> Although she first came to the attention of her law firm when a clerk
> noticed that she appeared to be much older than the age stated in her
> employment application, someone who "thinks like Sherlock Holmes"
> might have noticed the Britishism "audience."  Although I do not know
> the formal legal terminology, I suppose in this context an American
> would have used "appearance".  I suppose subservient English lawyers
> were permitted to have an audience and be listened to, while brash
> American lawyers assert a right to appear and be heard.
> For the reference to Holmes, see "The Adventure of the Three
> Garridebs," viz. "plow" and "artesian well."  For "How to Think Like
> Sherlock Holmes," see the book by Maria Konnikova (2013).
> Joel
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