Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Any good legal reading?

Anyone reading anything interesting? Just started a book ca youngbuck03/27/18
Legal/Crime Fiction is usually fun. I don't normally rea isthisit03/27/18
A Civil Action is a classic, of course. I myself consider to trickydick03/27/18
"I myself consider toxic tort cases a disgrace, an insult to midlaw03/28/18
We are surrounded by carcinogens and all manner of toxic sub trickydick03/28/18
I didn't care for the movie with John Travolta. Doesn't he trijocker03/28/18
The film is terrible. It eliminates most of the fascinating trickydick03/28/18
I read the book in law school. Schlictmann was the antagonis jorgedeclaro03/28/18
I think the book leaves a lot of moral ambiguity about the d trickydick03/28/18
Read: “The man to see” - biography of Edward Bennett Wil notiers03/28/18
Uncommon Law by AP Herbert is quite funny. I'd also recom limeysolicitor03/28/18
The Scalia biography by Ed Whelen is good. The Origins of massivemissive03/28/18
For fiction, A Place for the Mighty is a decent book about c jorgedeclaro03/28/18
Check out nominations for the ABA Harper Lee Prize in Legal blawprof03/28/18
I just read the Rooster bar and enjoyed it There have been trijocker03/28/18
Credited. A Civil Action. I have the book on my nightstand. ambulancechaser201303/28/18
If we are on a Grisham roll then read the Litigators. It sum ambulancechaser201303/28/18
I just picked up the Whistler but it wasn't that good. Some trijocker03/28/18
I am writing a nonfiction book in the genre of legal history blawprof03/28/18
A History of American Law by Lawrence Friedman imoothereforeim03/30/18
New biography of Chief Justice John Marshall: https://smile kaneloa03/30/18
I came across a series by Brian Haig (son of Alexander Haig) newjag1704/03/18

youngbuck (Mar 27, 2018 - 4:18 pm)

Anyone reading anything interesting? Just started a book called "An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln." Pretty good read giving a lot of information about the legal profession way back when.

Eager to hear if anyone else has any recommendations

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isthisit (Mar 27, 2018 - 9:25 pm)

Legal/Crime Fiction is usually fun.

I don't normally read legal articles or books with the exception of Kurzban and other Immigration related materials.

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trickydick (Mar 27, 2018 - 9:33 pm)

A Civil Action is a classic, of course. I myself consider toxic tort cases a disgrace, an insult to reason and science, but damn it if that book doesn't illustrate to an entire lost generation of law school graduates the sort of high stakes, edge of your seat litigation they will NEVER get to do.

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midlaw (Mar 28, 2018 - 7:29 am)

"I myself consider toxic tort cases a disgrace, an insult to reason and science"

Why? If you aren't going to regulate on the front end, then you need to have toxic tort litigation on the back end.

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trickydick (Mar 28, 2018 - 1:39 pm)

We are surrounded by carcinogens and all manner of toxic substances on a daily basis. To establish that one particular substance in an environment caused a particular illness to befall an individual victim in a community where the overwhelming majority of people are healthy is a tall order, and I have not been swayed by the evidence presented in the most notorious toxic tort cases.

There's no doubt that the defendant in Schlictmann's case was dumping toxins into the environment. It's a big leap to go from that fact to a finding that his clients' kids all developed leukemia as a result of that act.

Consider that the percentage of leukemia cases in that community was not higher than average and the fact that dozens if not hundreds of household substances are known to or suspected of contributing to the development of leukemia.

Toxic tort cases of this kind are basically res ipsa loquitur arguments on a macroscopic scale, a ridiculous proposition.

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trijocker (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:17 pm)

I didn't care for the movie with John Travolta.
Doesn't he end up broke in a dumpy motel room after the firm goes bankrupt?

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trickydick (Mar 28, 2018 - 1:45 pm)

The film is terrible. It eliminates most of the fascinating legal maneuvering and supplants it with maudlin scenes depicting the ambulance chaser Schlictmann as a modern day crusader out to save the world. Yes, in the closing scene he files for bankruptcy and the take away in the film is that he is a noble soul because he sacrificed all his worldly goods to serve a higher moral purpose.

In the book, Schlictmann settles the case for several million dollars but his attorney's fees are eaten up by debts accrued in the course of litigation. The book doesn't idealize Schlictmann. Rather, it portrays him as a king of torts who won millions in other cases through shrewdness and sometimes sheer dumb luck but got over confident in this case. At the end of the day, he could not establish causation and prove liability and he should have known that much earlier in the case. Instead, he got greedy and he was arrogant.

The book makes for the perfect cautionary tale for your would be rain maker. The film is insipid trash.

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jorgedeclaro (Mar 28, 2018 - 9:15 pm)

I read the book in law school. Schlictmann was the antagonist in my opinion. He couldn’t prove causation and he prejudiced the hell out of his clients with his antics.

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trickydick (Mar 28, 2018 - 9:27 pm)

I think the book leaves a lot of moral ambiguity about the different parties, but Hollywood was way off the mark in its portrayal of the case.

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notiers (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:15 am)

Read: “The man to see” - biography of Edward Bennett Williams. Great book.

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limeysolicitor (Mar 28, 2018 - 8:12 am)

Uncommon Law by AP Herbert is quite funny.

I'd also recommend volumes 1 to 4 of the '100 Years War' by Jonathan Sumption. Strictly speaking the books aren't about the law but the author is a Justice of the Supreme Court.

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massivemissive (Mar 28, 2018 - 8:16 am)

The Scalia biography by Ed Whelen is good.

The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial by Whitman was interesting albeit it is an academic read.

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jorgedeclaro (Mar 28, 2018 - 10:17 am)

For fiction, A Place for the Mighty is a decent book about civil rights attorneys learning to recognize race baiting hucksters and how these people are hurting clients and the progress of the cause itself for personal gain and fame.

For nonfiction, Wild Bill: the Life and Legend of William O Douglas is a great read for anyone, regardless of our views on him. It's refreshing to see an author who is legitimately fond of the subject but willing to confront the fact that he was a self-obsessed sleeze ball.

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blawprof (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:07 pm)

Check out nominations for the ABA Harper Lee Prize in Legal Fiction. The ABA Silver Gavel Award books are also well written.

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trijocker (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:18 pm)

I just read the Rooster bar and enjoyed it
There have been Grishams I liked better but people talked about it on JDU so I was curious.
It was more an expose of law school loans than a thriller, and not very realistic unless you like the idea of escaping to Ghana to hide out.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:23 pm)

Credited. A Civil Action. I have the book on my nightstand. I first read it in 2010. I have the movie. I can quote from it. (Not that it means much).

Go read the book: “The Price of Justice: A True Story of Greed and Corruption.” It’s about the 2004 West Virginia State Supreme Court race and how incumbent liberal Democrat Warren McGraw lost re-election to a corporate financed Republican, first being severely weakened in the May 2004 primary by a pro-business Democrat. It is the basis of John Grisham’s book the Appeal.

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ambulancechaser2013 (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:28 pm)

If we are on a Grisham roll then read the Litigators. It sums up fender bender law and personal injury practice. The “partners” make $70k each a year after 20 years of “practice.” Maybe an exaggeration but not much.

If you want BS go salivate over the first 100 pages of The King of Torts. You’ll think you’ll make millions in class actions.

If you want to see how a shady but effective mill operator works read the part about J Lyman Stone in the Rainmaker or watch the 10 minutes that his character is in the movie.

They need a make a book about ID.

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trijocker (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:53 pm)

I just picked up the Whistler but it wasn't that good.
Sometimes I think Grisham just cranks them out to meet a contract or hit his numbers.

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blawprof (Mar 28, 2018 - 12:43 pm)

I am writing a nonfiction book in the genre of legal history about a toxic case that lasted more than 30 years. I don't have a publishing contract yet but my proposal and first few chapters are under peer review by a large university press. I have been conducting interviews with some of the lawyers that worked on the case but some are dead now. My first book did all right ($35k in royalties so far).

Mel Weiss who was the inspiration for The King of Torts recently died. Apparently, he was a real SOB.

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imoothereforeim (Mar 30, 2018 - 6:49 pm)

A History of American Law by Lawrence Friedman

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kaneloa (Mar 30, 2018 - 8:04 pm)

New biography of Chief Justice John Marshall:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1594488231/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_29?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

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newjag17 (Apr 3, 2018 - 11:43 am)

I came across a series by Brian Haig (son of Alexander Haig). The main character is a JAG atty named Sean Drummond. Its based in military law and def takes liberty w elements of the life of a typical JAG however entertaining. I listen to the audiobooks which do a gd job.

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