All posts filed under: Legal Fictions

Marshall

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Heroes / Legal Fictions

Michael Asimow  of  Stanford Law School shares with  us his review of the new film Marshall: This enjoyable and inspiring movie is a worthy contribution to the courtroom movie genre.  You’re going to love it. The movie memorializes the great Thurgood Marshall (who later won Brown v. Bd. of Education and sat on the Supreme Court). The film brings to life a forgotten rape case in Connecticut that Marshall tried early in his career when he was the […]

True Grit

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions

If you had to choose a law partner from the characters in Better Call Saul, who would you choose? I’d pick Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn).  When you consider the alternatives it’s really an easy decision,  When he’s not busy playing sycophant,  Howard (Patrick Fabian) is a tyrant.   Chuck (Michael McKean) is paranoid, arrogant, and more than a little weird.  And then there’s charming Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), the one  with a moral screw missing. But […]

A Golden Oldie

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Book/film List / Heroes / Legal Fictions

The first season of Amazon’s Goliath grabs you from start to finish. Billy Bob Thorton is dynamite as Billy McBride, a failed lawyer trying to bring down a vicious corporation; and perennial Emmy winner David E. Kelly has lost none of his ability to write sizzling dialogue. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/goliath/ Still I can’t deny that Thornton’s character bears a strong resemblance to Paul Newman in The Verdict, a down-and- out lawyer with alcohol and marital problems. And […]

The Art of Herding Coyotes

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions

It’s hard for lawyers not to be envious of scientists, fellow professionals who seem to continually come up with discoveries that improve the human condition while law muddles through from one crisis to the next. Dan Flores’ book Coyote America may help us to better understand why law seems so fallible. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/coyote-america-dan-flores-history-science/ The book is about coyotes, not law, but its discussion of “Old Man Coyote”, the mythical beast that is featured in thousands of […]

The Makings of a Great Lawyer

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions

What separates a “great” lawyer from a merely good one? Graham Moore’s new novel The Last Days of Night gives us what I think is a persuasive answer to that fascinating question. The Last Days of Night tells the story of Paul Cravath, a 26 year old recent law graduate, who in 1888 suddenly becomes lead defense counsel for the industrialist George Westinghouse in one of the most famous patent cases of all time. Thomas […]

My Favorite Villain

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions

Better Call Saul’s Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) has a lot of qualities I admire. Jimmy is smart, funny, and irreverent, both a friend to the underdog, and a plague on the pompous. What’s not to like? Still I’m starting to have my doubts about Jimmy. Somehow I feel that he is headed for a bad end. Actually, it’s more than a feeling. Since, like many of us, I have watched Breaking Bad, I know that […]

Getting to “Hopefully”

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions / Repairing the System

Reading the slick new law novel The Neon Lawyer (http://www.amazon.com/Neon-Lawyer-Victor-Methos-ebook/dp/B00K7MCE3C) persuades me that that recent law school grads might well think that law is the most embarrassing profession. Consider, first, the reaction of peers. Imagine a newly minted lawyer meeting someone he or she hopes might become a friend. In the flow of conversation, the lawyer mentions his or her profession. The interlocutor responds with a small enigmatic smile and the comment. “How interesting!” Think […]

The Judge Speaks Her Mind

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions / Repairing the System

The most interesting, yet distressing, person I have encountered this year is Judge Celia Day. Judge Day is a federal district court judge in Manhattan and one of the characters in Lawrence Joseph’s small classic Lawyerland, a “non-fiction novel” of interviews with lawyers in New York City. The book is fiction in that the names of the characters and the settings of the interviews are fictional in order to provide the interviewees “cover” to be […]

“Is Vengeance going to bring back your son to you? Or my boy to me”?

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Legal Fictions / Repairing the System

My father’s father owned a small clothing store in the Chicago Loop. One day someone tried to rob him; he resisted, and was shot dead. I remember once asking my father whatever happened to the man who killed his father. He replied that he had been spent several years in prison and then had been paroled, I asked how he felt about this. “He paid his debt to society.” This father-son conversation from many years […]