Fictional Attorney of the Month: Judge Thatcher

Mark Twain's most memorable characters in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are usually the children. But Judge Thatcher, Becky's father, serves as an important part of Huck's life.

Early in Huck Finn, Huck decides to hand his fortune over to Judge Thatcher to keep it away from his father. At first the judge is confused, but finally concludes that Huck should hand it over "for a consideration"--one dollar. When Huck's father arrives, "His lawyer said he reckoned he would win his lawsuit and get the money, if they ever got started on the trial; but then there was ways to put it off a long time, and Judge Thatcher knowed how to do it."

It may be that Judge Thatcher isn't a very good lawyer--a contract exchanging $6000 for $1 probably wouldn't last, and his best litigation tactic seems to be delay. But his responsibility for and affection toward Huck make him this month's Fictional Attorney of the Month.