SHAKESPEARE LAW LIBRARY
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Midsummer Night’s Dream
Egeus makes complaint to Theseus, in Act I, Sc. 1, against his daughter Hermia, because, while he wishes her to marry Demetrius, she prefers Lysander; and he seeks to enforce the law of Athens, that a daughter, who refuses to marry according to her father’s directions, may be put to death by him:
Commenting on this last line, Steevens observes, "Shakespeare is grievously suspected of having been placed, while a boy, in an attorney’s office. The line before us has an undoubted smack of legal commonplace: Poetry disclaims it."
The precise formula—"In such case made and provided"—would not have stood in the verse. There is certainly no nearer approach in heroic measure to the technical language of an indictment; and there seems no motive for the addition made to the preceding line, except to show a familiarity with legal phraseology, which Shakespeare, whether he ever were an attorney’s clerk or not, is constantly fond of displaying. 
The Merchant of Venice
In Act I, Sc. 3, and Act II, Sc. 8, Antonio’s bond to Shylock is prepared and talked about according to all the forms observed in an English attorney’s office. The distinction between a "single bill" and a "bond with a condition" is clearly referred to; and punctual payment is expressed in the technical phrase—"Let good Antonio keep his day."
It appears by Act III, Sc. 3, between Shylock, Salarino, Antonio, and a Jailer, that the action on the bond had been commenced, and Antonio had been arrested on mesne process. The trial was to come on before the Doge; and the question was, whether Shylock was entitled to judgment specifically for his pound of flesh, or must be contented with pecuniary damages. 
Shylock threatens the Jailer with an action for "escape" for allowing Antonio to come for a short time beyond the walls of the prison:
Antonio is made to confess that Shylock is entitled to the pound of flesh, according to the plain meaning of the bond and condition, and the rigid strictness of the common law of England:
I am sure the Duke
Antonio. The Duke cannot deny the course of law.
All this has a strong odour of Westminster Hall.
The trial comes on in Act IV, Sc. 1, and it is duly conducted according to the strict forms of legal procedure. Portia, the PODESTA or judge called in to act under the authority of the Doge,  first inquires if there be any plea of non est factum.
She asks Antonio, "Do you confess the bond?" and when he answers, "I do," the judge proceeds to consider how the damages are to be assessed. The plaintiff claims the penalty of the bond, according to the words of the condition; and Bassanio, who acts as counsel for the defendant, attempting on equitable grounds to have him excused by paying twice the sum of money lent, or "ten times o’er," judgment is given:
must not be. There is no power in Venice
However, oyer of the bond being demanded, the judge found that it gave "no jot of blood;" and the result was that Shylock, to save his own life, was obliged to consent to  make over all his goods to his daughter Jessica and her Christian husband Lorenzo, and himself to submit to Christian baptism.
Shakespeare concludes this scene with an ebullition which might be expected from an English lawyer, by making Gratiano exclaim:
In christening thou shalt have two godfathers:
Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more,
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font—
meaning a jury of twelve men, to find him guilty of the capital offence of an attempt to murder;—whereupon he must have been hanged.
I may further observe that this play, in the last scene of the last act, contains another palpable allusion to English legal procedure. In the court of Queen’s Bench, when a complaint is made against a person for a "contempt," the practice is that before sentence is finally pronounced, he is sent into the Crown Office, and being there "charged upon interrogatories,"  he is made to swear that he will "answer all things faithfully." Accordingly, in the moonlight scene in the garden at Belmont, after a partial explanation between Bassanio, Gratiano, Portia, and Nerissa, about their rings, some farther inquiry being deemed necessary, Portia says:
Gratiano assents, observing:
The Taming of the Shrew
In the "Induction" Shakespeare betrays an intimate knowledge of the matters which may be prosecuted as offences before the Court Leet, the lowest court of criminal judicature  in England. He puts this speech into the mouth of a servant, who is trying to persuade Sly that he is a great lord, and that he had been in a dream for fifteen years, during which time he thought he was a frequenter of alehouses:
Now, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., there was a very wholesome law, that, for the protection of the public against "false measures," ale should be sold only in sealed vessels of the standard capacity; and the violation of the law was to be presented at the "Court Leet," or "View of Frankpledge," held in every hundred, manor, or lordship, before the steward of the leet.
Malone, in reference to this passage, cites the well-known treatise of Kitchen on Courts, and also copies a passage from a work with which I am not acquainted—Characterismi, or Lenton’s Leasures, 12mo. 1631—which  runs thus: "He [an informer] transforms himselfe into several shapes, to avoid suspicion of inneholders, and inwardly joyes at the sight of a blacke pot or jugge, knowing that their sale by sealed quarts spoyles his market."
In Act I, Sc. 2, the proposal of Tranio that the rival lovers of Bianca, while they eagerly in her presence should press their suit, yet, when she is absent, should converse freely as friends, is illustrated in a manner to induce a belief that the author of Tranio’s speech had been accustomed to see the contending counsel, when the trial is over, or suspended—on very familiar and friendly terms with each other:
This clearly alludes not to the parties litigating, who, if they were to eat and drink  together, would generally be disposed to poison each other but to the counsel on opposite sides, with whom, notwithstanding the fiercest contests in court, when they meet in private immediately after, it is "All hail, fellow, and well met."
In the first encounter of wits between Katherine and Petruchio, Shakespeare shows that he was acquainted with the law for regulating "trials by battle" between champions, one of which had been fought in Tothill Fields before the judges of the Court of Common Pleas in the reign of Elizabeth.
Kath. What is your crest? a coxcomb?
Pet. A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen.
Kath. No cock of mine: you crow too like a craven. (Act II, Sc. 1.)
This all lawyers know to be the word spoken by a champion who acknowledged that he was beaten, and declared that he would fight no more: whereupon judgment was immediately given against the side which he  supported, and he bore the infamous name of Craven for the rest of his days.
We have like evidence in Hamlet (Act IV, Sc. 4) of Shakespeare’s acquaintance with the legal meaning of this word, where the hero says—
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