Following my earlier post on Justice Harlan appearing before Learned Hand, Roy Englert writes in to point out an interesting story about another appeal with Harlan in front of Judge Hand. It is recounted in Martin Mayer’s biography of Emory Buckner, at page 239:
On appeal in [a particularly complicated case], Harlan wrote a brief 150 pages long [for Buckner, the lead partner of the firm]. When it came to the argument, Judge Learned Hand glowered at Buckner and said, “Is this your brief?”
“Yes, Your Honor,” Buckner said.
“Well, I’m not going to read it. It’s too long.”
Buckner said, “Well, it will be your loss, Your Honor. It’s a very good brief. My assistant wrote it and I put my name on it. ”
In response, the future Justice remembered, Hand threw the document over the bench and onto counsel table with a loud thud of protest. “You can imagine,” Harlan recalled, “how I felt. Then, after the case had been decided, Hand called me in and said, ‘Just wanted to say it was a very good brief.'”