In the Media

Classic legal personifications: meet these historic, helpful characters

PUBLISHED October 31, 2013

1. John Doe ? in medieval Britain, in some cases, a plaintiff had to enlist men known as ?pledges? in order to sue, but this gave way in the 16th century to the use of fictitious characters. John Doe (from a French name, D?Eu) is the most famous. He has the superpower of ubiquity. Seldom used in Britain now, he uses his power to materialise as a litigant in various states whenever there is reason to afford anonymity. In the famous US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade in 1973, Jane Roe, John Doe?s legal cousin, was an anonymous plaintiff later