About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Diversity of Fictional Lawyers

Over the past couple of months I have read 7 legal mysteries or thrillers in succession. I described this spring as my legal mystery reading season. While I carried out my commitment Mother Nature has not been compliant. We had snow a few days ago and no green grass has yet appeared. For this post I want to outline the diverse lawyers who have been the lead characters in those 7 books.

In Defending Jacob by William Landay there are a trio of lawyers. Andy Barber, 1st Assistant District Attorney, a skilled, even fierce prosecutor, is forced into a new role as the father of the accused.

Defence counsel, Jonathan Klein, is a low key well prepared advocate for Jacob.

2nd Assistant District Attorney, Neal Logiudice, has ambitions that lead him to make the case personal.

In Kill All the Lawyers by William Deverell there are a group of wild Vancouver lawyers.

Briam Pomeroy is a flamboyant defence counsel and aspiring mystery writer.

John Brovak, an even more flamboyant defence counsel, snaps in a long drug trial and reveals his "goddamn end" to a judge asking to see the end of him.

Augustina Sage is involved in civil actions, often for the downtrodden, as in a case for abused boarding school students.

Wentworth Chance is an earnest articling student trying to fathom how law is practised.

David Sloane, in The Jury Master by Robert Dugoni, is a former marine with an obscure past who is mesmerizing in closing addresses in civil jury trials. In the book he is an action hero who happens to be a lawyer.

Michael Seeley, in A Patent Lie by Paul Goldstein, is a high stakes patent litigator who had retreated to Buffalo from New York City to deal with his personal demon of alcoholism. He is a skilled lawyer in intellectual rights law.

In Trial & Error by Paul Levine I read again of Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. The Florida lawyers are living together when they end up opposing each other in a murder trial. Steve is eccentric and wildly unprepared relying on his quick mental reflexes to save him in court. Victoria is careful and methodical and excessively prepared.

Paul Giannis, in Identical by Scott Turow, is mayor and a successful practising lawyer. The book is more about him as the plaintiff in a defamation action then concerning his legal practice.

Godfrey Higgs, in Who Killed Sir Harry by Eric Minns, was a real life lawyer, barely fictionalized (not even the name was changed), who represented Sir Alfred de Marigny in the Bahamas against the charge of murdering Sir Harry Oakes. Godfrey is presented a real life dream for a defence lawyer. He is able to prove a Crown fingerprint expert has provided false evidence. It is rare to be able to show an expert is wrong let alone establishing the expert was either incompetent or more likely dishonest.

My next post will provide some analysis of this group of lawyers.


  1. I always like it when you give us your insights on lawyers and legal thrillers. I have enjoyed the Scott Turow's I've read, and the one where the opposing lawyers live together sounds good. I suppose there's no ethical reason why a close relationship between opposing lawyers would affect the case?

    1. Moira: Thanks for the kind words. In a funny scene Steve convinces a judge they can go against each other in court while living together because of a football coaching analogy - brothers and father / son - compete vigourously against each other. While accepted by the trial judge the reasoning is flawed as the example does not involve spouses. In real life I expect it would be considered a conflict of interests and not allowed.

  2. Bill - To me it's fascinating to see how sometimes vastly different kinds of lawyers go about their work. One thing I like about this diversity is that you get to see the lawyers as individual people, as more than just what they do in the courtroom. I look forward to your analysis of these people.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Lawyers work best when they follow their own style rather than try to be someone.

  3. Bill, I assume the diversity of lawyers and their different personalities, both as competitive lawyers and as fallible individuals, must influence the way they deal with their clients and fight their cases, ultimately having an impact on the outcome. This post makes me want to read a legal mystery right away.

    1. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. My next post actually goes into personalities being reflected in the courtroom.

  4. I do enjoy your posts about lawyers in fiction. When I finally do get around to reading more legal fiction, you have given me some good ones to try.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the kind words. There is a lot of good legal mystery fiction to read.