A number of years ago I was inspired to write a book of short stories dealing with the legal system. It would depict events in the lives of judges, lawyers and convicts: the people most effected by that system.
In fashioning the book, I drew from authors who impressed me. The Russian Ivan Turgenev had written A Sportsman’s Sketchbook, in which a hunter tells stories of the people he has met in his sporting travels. I especially drew from William Faulkner, who created a fictional Mississippi county through his novels and short stories. So I created A Lawyer’s Casebook, in which I depicted the criminal and sometimes civil cases of a mythical city in upstate New York called Crotona.
About ten years ago, I made a brief attempt to have the book published. I could not have picked a worse time. The book publishing industry was then having a major meltdown. Publishers had not sufficiently prepared for the coming of electronic publishing.
But soon after I started, I became quite sick. I put the book aside.
It was not until about three years ago that I took this project out again. In the meantime I had learned a bit about prose fiction writing through workshops and tutorials. So I was able to make a leap from playwriting to fiction. I began to tweak the stories. Much excess prose was eliminated. Some of the stories were extensively rewritten.
After considerable polishing, I have put A Lawyer’s Casebook up for sale on Amazon Kindle. Having blogged for a number of years, I am happy to write in the modern electronic era.
I should add that I am a lawyer, and that I was born into a family of lawyers. But I am happy to add that the book is fictional. The Italian playwright Ugo Betti, who worked as a judge, was asked about the effect of his legal work on his plays. His answer was that the law influenced his work everywhere and nowhere in particular.
So is it with A Lawyer’s Casebook. Specs of reality cluster to make fictional edifices. Each work is ultimately transformed into an imaginative creation.
Some of the stories in my book are heartbreaking. Some are humorous. One or two are uplifting. But the fictional framework has given me the freedom to present our wayward legal system with an essential truthfulness that eludes most journalism.
With that said I can only add, good reader, that you should get my book and read it. I hope you will like it. And, please, when you’ve finished it, please get as many people as possible to buy it.
Note: The book is available in Amazon Kindle format. You can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/y2p49cxt