Vanderbilt Law Review


Thomas R. Allen

First Page



That the "power and majesty" of the law, personified by the court and its decrees, could not be lightly brushed aside even by a prince was a settled fact by the time of Shakespeare; it remains so today. But the proceedings by which such an offense may be punished is another matter. At the present time a large number of contempts are disposed of by summary proceedings. It was not always so, and recently a number of highly respected judges and writers have begun to argue that the practice should be discontinued. This revival of interest is the raison d'etre of this note; it is devoted to considering the history, contemporary status, advantages and disadvantages of summary proceedings in direct contempt cases.