The Law Suit

Satire can be very biting. It can also get its message across in a truly subtle way. So, today I thought I’d digress from things rippery and, instead, bring you one of my favourite cartoons of all time.

Entitled “The Law Suit”, the cartoon was the work of  J. Bright and it dates from the late 1700’s.


It features a Judge, a Lawyer, a Plaintiff, a Defendant and a Cow.

The cow has the word “Litigation” written on its side.  The Plaintiff and Defendant are fighting over it, with the former tugging on the cow’s horns and the latter tugging on its tail. The grinning judge presides over the battle, whilst the lawyer sits on a stool, milking it!

The cartoon gets its satirical message across in another way.


Take a closer look at the four subjects.

Notice that the plaintiff and defendant are very, very thin, whilst the judge and the lawyer are very, very fat. Without the need to resort to words, the cartoon gets across the simple message of which two parties will benefit the most when a suit goes to court. Truly wonderful!

An image of the Law Suit showing tow farmers fighting over a cow that is being milked by a lawyer.
The Law Suit

Incidentally, if you would like to own a copy of this cartoon, or would like to give it as a gift to a lawyer relative or friend, it is stocked by the wonderful legal book shop Wildy and Sons.