Louis Nizer

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Louis Nizer (6 February 1902 – 10 November 1994) British-born U.S. lawyer; Author of My Life in Court, Thinking On Your Feet, Reflections Without Mirrors


  • A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.
    • Between You and Me, Beechurst Press, 1948.
  • Once early in the morning, at two or three in the morning, when the master was asleep, the books in the library began to quarrel with each other as to which was the king of the library. The dictionary contended quite angrily that he was the master of the library because without words there would be no communication at all. The book of science argued stridently that he was the master of the library for without science there would have been no printing press or any of the other wonders of the world. The book of poetry claimed that he was the king, the master of the library, because he gave surcease and calm to his master when he was troubled. The books of philosophy, the economic books, all put in their claims, and the clamor was great and the noise at its height when a small low voice was heard from an old brown book lying in the center of the table and the voice said "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want". And all of the noise and the clamor in the library ceased, and there was a hush in the library, for all of the books knew who the real master of the library was.
    • "Ministers of Justice", Address delivered at the Eighty-Second Annual Convention of the Tennessee Bar Association at Gatlinburg, June 5, 1963; published in 31 Tennessee Law Review 1 (Fall 1963), p. 19.
  • When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing to himself.
    • My Life in Court (1961), p. 115.
  • There is an aphorism about a farmer who before sunrise on a cold and misty morning, saw a huge beast on a distant hill. He seized his rifle and walked cautiously toward the ogre to head off an attack on his family. When he got nearer, he was relieved to find that the beast was only a small bear. He approached more confidently and when he was within a few hundred yards the distorting haze had lifted sufficiently so that he could recognize the figure as only that of a man. Lowering his rifle, he walked toward the stranger and discovered he was his brother.
    • My Life in Court (1961), p. 443.
  • A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults.
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