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Re: Philadelphia Lawyer

Posted by ESC on March 27, 2008 at 21:36:

In Reply to: Philadelphia Lawyer posted by Jean Cameron on March 27, 2008 at 12:03:

: What is the origin of the saying regarding a Philadelphia Lawyer? What makes a Philadelphia lawyer different from the others?

"...Philadelphia lawyer , referring to one who is a master at discussing and using the fine points or technicalities of law. Some say the term is merely from the prominence of Philadelphia lawyers in early America, but the first 'Philadelphia lawyer' to be honored with this title was probably the distinguised colonial lawyer Andrew Hamilton, who, in 1735, successfully defended German-born printer and editor John Peter Zenger..." "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982). Page 24.

As all journalism students are taught (at least in my day) that the Zenger trial was a major freedom of the press case:

John Peter Zenger
From: World Encyclopedia | Date: 2005
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Zenger, John Peter (1697-1746) US printer and journalist, b. Germany. Editor of the New York Weekly Journal , he attacked Governor William Cosby and was jailed for libel in 1734. He was later tried by a jury and acquitted. His case established truth as a defence for libel and made Zenger a symbol of the freedom of the press. He was public printer of New York and New Jersey .