Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Old Reliable Author Turns Out an Uncharacteristically Comical Read

The Litigators
Review by Kathleen

John Grisham almost always writes about the legal profession and The Litigators is no exception, but it is a hilarious, often light hearted read with some serious moments thrown in for good measure. 

It is the story of Oscar Finley and Wally Figg, two ambulance chasers on the wrong side of the tracks in Chicago where they serve as the sole attorneys at Finley and Figg.  Finley and Figg have their squabbling down to an art, like a boring middle aged couple who have been together far too long.  Oscar has little energy and is a pragmatic skeptic and Senior Partner.  Wally, his Junior Partner, is a dreamer and an alcoholic, always thinking the firm is going to find the right case and hit the big time.  Wally sneaks behind Oscar’s back and advertises for divorces and DUI cases on VFW bingo cards and anywhere else he can think off.  Oscar is mortified by such behavior, thinking it beneath even Findley and Figg which is housed between a lawn mower repair shop and a Vietnamese massage parlor, though they tell new clients they are an exclusive “boutique” law firm.  The partners own their building which comes with a live in dog and a sassy over qualified African American secretary named Rochelle. 

Attorney David Zinc specializes in foreign bonds and works non-stop in one of the largest corporate law offices in the city.  One day he decides the money isn’t worth it and leaves the rat race, to give his wife the baby that she wants and learn the inside of a courtroom.  The day Zinc ends up at the doorstop of Findley and Fig is a side splitting episode, a really comedy of errors that David decides to make work.  Findley and Fig is about to change and they just don’t realize it because Zinc is a man of real integrity who got into the profession out of a real desire to help people.  His adjustment into life with the odd couple of Oscar and Wally makes for an interesting read.  Wally takes David under his wing to try and teach him how to become a street lawyer, always hustling for a new case.  On his own , however, David Zinc finds a heartbreaking case about an Asian boy who lives in a vegetative state after keeping  a Halloween toy called “nasty teeth” in his mouth long enough to ingest a toxic amount of lead based paint.

The story involves major class action litigation about a drug called krayoxx.  Wally decides he’s hit the big time and can sue that the drug causes heart attacks and strokes.  He sends out letters to everyone on the firm’s mailing list for the last 20 years and calls on many former clients unannounced, bribing them to talk to their friends and neighbors to help him find wrongful death lawsuits against the drug manufacturer.  Wally, who has never litigated a criminal or civil trial, is the first in the nation to sue the drug manufacturer of krayoxx, giving Findley and Figg some nationwide notoriety.  The 3 attorneys and Rochelle begin to dream million dollar dreams as does Wally’s latest bimbo of a girlfriend.

The Litagators is a great, uplifting read, sure to improve your mood.  The audio book narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris is exceptional! Request it here. 

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