Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trial Lawyers Have To Love A Book That Opens As Follows ...

"Those of you fortunate enough to have witnessed the fine acting of Paul Muni in Counsellor-at-Law will remember the last scene. One misfortune after another has befallen the lawyer -- hero of the piece. His wife has left him, and he feels himself a hopeless man. Planning self-destruction, in his despair he climbs out onto the window ledge preparatory to a fatal leap. But as he is about to jump, the telephone begins to ring. The ringing interrupts his suicidal purpose. He decides to answer it. And as he answers it, he undergoes a sudden change; his back stiffens, his eyes flash, his voice loses its dull tone. The son of a great industrialist has just been arrested, charged with murder! Disconsolate and without hope a moment back, the lawyer suddenly has become like a spirited fire horse eager to throw his whole weight into the collar. His troubles are forgotten, a new case has arrived!

"In the great law offices, with their innumerable partners, countless law clerks, and unfailing corporate retainers, a new case, I imagine excites no such emotion. But for the lawyer who devotes himself to advocacy and nothing else, a new and interesting case is always an event. Perhaps it may arrive in the turmoil of other preparations or it may be during the trial of some other case or, as is sometimes the case with even the most successful advocates, it may punctuate a long drought. For while there is nothing comparable in interest, so there is nothing similar to the uncertainties of a trial counsel practice."

Name the book. Better yet, read the book.