Monday, September 29, 2014

Three of My Favorite Legal Thrillers

In no particular order ...

Presumed Innocent. Harrison Ford is cast against type as the lead that becomes really a supporting player. The backstabbing politics of a District Attorney's office and the professional, undying enmity between prosecutors and defense attorneys are incredibly well done here. Great book by Scott Turow turned into a good movie with a killer twist ending.

To Speak for the Dead. This novel by Paul Levine is a page-turner that also paints a quasi-realistic picture of what it is to practice both civil and criminal law. The first in a series, this one introduces readers to Levine's best-known protagonist, Jake Lassiter, and also Levine's witty, punchy sense of humor.

The Verdict. David Mamet wrote the script, Paul Newman plays one of his most complex roles to date, and James friggen Mason absolutely steals the show as the stone cold killer in the courtroom, the ultimate lawyer for hire who will do anything to win. Some well-done sequences outside the courtroom and behind closed doors that show what practicing law is all about. This film introduced mainstream audiences to the idea that you can't "unring the bell," i.e. once the jury hears something they can't forget it.

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