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VOL. 76 PART 1 JANUARY 2018
cally award the accolade when impressed by particular turns of events in
court proceedings.5 Mason’s flair (and its unusual nature) is well known to
judges and other adjudicators, who have referred over the years in the
course of their decisions to the rarity of “a Perry Mason style moment where
a witness confesses to a lie on the witness stand”6 and the fact that “no court
expects a Perry Mason moment”.7
For those readers who have never witnessed a Perry Mason moment or
would enjoy reliving one, the original television series still appears in syndication,
including regularly on MeTV (for Shaw customers in Vancouver,
1. This piece is based on a variety of sources including
Kenneth Lenoir, “The Case of the Esteemed Lawyer”
(2013) Texas Bar Journal 523; Brian Kelleher &
Diana Merrill, “The Perry Mason TV Show Book”
(1987), online: <www.perrymasontvshowbook.
com>; Michael Asimow, “When Harry Met Perry
and Larry: Criminal Defense Lawyers on Television”
(2012) 1 Berkeley J Ent & Sports L 77; David Ray
Papke, “Lawyer Fiction in the Saturday Evening Post:
Ephraim Tutt, Perry Mason, and Middle-Class Expectations”,
Marquette University Faculty of Law, Faculty
Publications Paper 183 (2001), online: <scholarship.
Burr”, Wikipedia, online: <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Raymond_Burr> accessed 26 January 2014; and
Lowell D. Snorf, “Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) and
Traffic Court” (1995) 34 Judges J 26.
2. See e.g. “The Most Inspirational Lawyer Ever?”, The
Super Lawyers Blog (2 September 2009), online:
3. “Sotomayor: ‘Perry Mason’ Influenced Her to
Become Prosecutor”, CNN Politics (15 July 2009),
enced-her-to-become-a-prosecutor/>; Robin Abcar
ian, “Sotomayor Hearings: The ‘Perry Mason’ Influence”,
Los Angeles Times (15 July 2009), online:
4. See “Perry Mason Moment”, Wikipedia, online:
accessed 30 December 2014 (“In court proceedings
in the United States, a Perry Mason moment is
said to have occurred whenever information is unexpectedly
(to most present), and often dramatically,
introduced into the record that changes the perception
of the proceedings greatly and often influences
the outcome. Often it takes the form of a witness’s
answer to a question, but it can sometimes come in
the form of new evidence”).
5. Martha Neil, “Rare ‘Perry Mason’ Moment in Court
Wins Dismissal for Defendant, Desk Duty for 5 Police
Officers”, ABA Journal (15 April 2014), online:
defendant_desk_duty_for/>; Scott McCabe, “Crime
History: A Perry Mason Moment in Prince George’s
County”, Washington Examiner (5 January 2012),
article/154770>; Dee McAree, “Perry
Mason Moment and a $39 Million Verdict”, The
National Law Journal (7 July 2003) accessed on
LexisNexis 31 December 2014.
6. Construction General Labourers Rock and Tunnel
Workers, Local 1208 v WRH Construction Inc
(Hydro-Guard), 2012 NLLRB 9 at para 1.
7. R v DC, 2007 ONCJ 89 at para 90.