Wikipedia has an article about the dispute over WT presidency in 1917. No reference to JWs in the title. I read the article, obviously. Something is wrong in these accounts. A legal opinion is an opinion, not an order. Clients who receive opinion letters might have greater leeway in their actions b/c it shows they acted on legal advice in good faith. Law firms take great care producing such opinions. Fundamentally, lawyers in our common system (English) are advocates and not neutral finders of fact and law. You represent your client, not some disembodied Truth.
Several law firm's opinions are mentioned in the article. The ousted directors had a duty to go to court to restrain Rutherford. Hiring lawyers ad infinitum makes no sense. Only a judge can issue a valid ruling and order that must be enforced. Any by-law that precluded them from doing so is prob. null and void. It was their responsibililty as directors to do this, not hire an endless string of law firms.
The article also mentions a change in the by-laws by a convention and Board. Nominations were closed. If you are blocked, you get an order. Acquiescene and crying about it don't matter much. Also, unless the charter or by-laws dictated convention vote, it is bizarre. Corporations are not democracies. Did every person present, including women, have a secret ballot? Or was this applause? If the other side seized the podium, they would have been applauded, too.
I read about this ancient history for some personal reason. Fundamentally, I don't understand the opposition. Not acting conformed Rutherford. I heard that the early Bible students were better educated than JWs. What would a JW sympathizer write about these actions?