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The search for legal truth

The search for legal truth

by JAMES A. MARPLES
 
Our judicial system is a hallmark of America being unique. Our fine balance of executive, legislative and judicial is the three-legged stool upon which justice rests.

Defense attorneys and prosecuting lawyers have always clashed in search of “truth.” It is a judge’s job to weigh evidence and maintain order.  A jury can work in tandem with a judge to find the whole truth.

Years ago, attorneys and judges seemed more reputable. Today, it seems like the cases involving high-profile characters are a mess of entanglements. I so much long for a return to the ideals of lawyers long ago. Many were like William Lemon Chitty of Bethesda, Maryland. He was a dedicated married man with a wife and son. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge.  Interestingly, a son of Gen. Albert Pike, Yves Pike, was his sponsor when he joined the fraternity.  Yves Pike had an older brother Luther Hamilton Pike who was also a lawyer, but he died in 1895.

After marriage, Mr. Chitty lived in Atchison, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; and Alhambra, California. He was a lawyer for 60 years, 20 of which were as a U.S. assistant attorney in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Chitty’s search for “legal truth” spanned decades. We can only hope that more younger lawyers will choose to emulate his life and career.

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