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Courting Justice: From NY Yankees v. Major League Baseball to Bush v. Gore, 1997-2000 Hardcover – October 13, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

David Boies's memoir should be a bestseller for two simple reasons. First, his spectacular legal career, representing clients as diverse as Al Gore, George Steinbrenner, the U.S. Justice Department, and Calvin Klein, provides ample material for a compelling exploration of the practice of law in its most high-profile glory. And secondly, the book seems bound to sell well simply because most enterprises Boies gets himself involved with, from lawsuits to Las Vegas gambling, tend to pay off big. In Courting Justice, Boies traces the intricacies of numerous cases, such as Bush v. Gore in the hotly contested 2000 Florida recount, Steinbrenner's action against Major League Baseball, and the U.S. Government's antitrust litigation against Microsoft. At the same time he sheds light on the legal profession itself, exploring the politics of the profession and the power plays endemic to it. As though presenting his cases to a jury, Boies lays out the framework and issues of each case in a patient, step-by-step manner that illuminates the nature of the litigation and Boies's strategy while also supporting the narrative arc of the story he's trying to tell. As with many top lawyers, there is more than a dollop of ego and pride in Boies's accounts. Throughout Courting Justice Boies portrays himself as the voice of reason, possessed of a shrewd sagacity that his rivals and peers can only admire with slack-jawed amazement. Then again, when you look at the numerous legal triumphs and precedent-setting cases he was involved in, especially during the late 1990s, his arrogance is perhaps well earned. Regardless, it lends confidence to his outstanding ability to turn a phrase and tell a story, which, combined with the numerous stories he has to tell, makes David Boies's latest effort a success once again. --John Moe

From Publishers Weekly

In this crisp, energetic memoir, the ubiquitous, high-profile Boies reconstructs his role in some of the iconic legal battles of recent years. The narrative begins in 1997, with the titular Yankees suit. An antitrust expert, Boies protected a $95-million licensing deal with Adidas from a revenue-sharing plan instituted by the baseball league. Then, with a lawyer's knack for presenting complex subjects clearly, Boies effectively untangles the legal and technical issues involved in the Microsoft antitrust case. Hired to represent the Justice Department, he renders in gloating detail Bill Gates's disastrous and inexplicable stonewalling deposition. A ruling in 2000 declared Microsoft a monopolist, but Boies was dissatisfied with the settlement later negotiated by the Justice Department. In the 2000 post-election litigation, in which he represented Al Gore, Boies presents himself as constrained by co-lawyers and political considerations that forced him to drop a promising effort to challenge absentee ballots. Carefully but candidly, Boies expresses disappointment with what he considers an unprincipled Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore. Boies, a recreational gambler and a natural-born strategist, rarely has to account for a loss. He tries to remain modest, but he obviously enjoys recollecting his bold gambits and wilting opponents. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; First Edition edition (October 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786868384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868384
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jim Baker on October 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Most lawyers dream of leading that high-profile case that will bring them the riches and recognition they've worked so hard for--for super-lawyer David Boies, it's just another day at the office. Courting Justice reels readers into the life and view of America's top litigator, through a gripping account of the cases that have brought him fame, fortune and frustration after leaving the top law firm in the country in 1997 to start his own law firm. Boies' legal insights and strategies frame the issues presented in these cases in ways that make sense to both experts and laymen, and allow readers to undertand the powerful interests and high-stakes behind the seminal cases of our day.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By John Dennis on October 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I found Courting Justice to be as much of a page turner as any John Grisham book I 've ever read. Boies' knowledge of the law coupled with his exciting storytelling make this book a must-read for everyone.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on November 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Often you hear encomiums on a book to the effect that 'I wanted it not to end.' I have often thought such words were overdrawn, since I usually want to finish what I am reading so as to read something else. But NOT this book. I found the book page after page compelling reading, and could not help but be fascinated by the accounts of the high stakes litigation in which Boies was continually engaged. Even a case like the Microsoft anti-trust case, dealing with high tech issues not easy to comprehend, is very well-told and enlightening. This great book concludes with 120 pages on the behind the scene and on the scene account of Bush v. Gore, and tells that complex story clearly and with devastating clarity as to what happened. How Boies could so ably handle such momentous cases in as short a time as he sets out--1997 to 2000--is hard to believe but we know he did. Nor is the usual fault of lawyer books--puffing themselves--evident in this well-written volume. He lets his results do the illuminating of his ability. As the author says, each of the cases he discusses could be the subject of a book in itself and in a way one wishes that each were. This is a marvelous book, which was a sheer joy to read and savor.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. McCawley on November 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I found this book entertaining, informative and insightful. Not only does David Boies have a wonderful story to tell but he is an engaging writer. It reminded me of why I went to law school in the first place and is heads and tails above the standard drivel produced my media-hyped super-lawyers. My guess is that we may see more books from Mr. Boies, both in the fiction and non-fiction areas. I also bought several books to give to friends and clients as holiday presents.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bart Motes VINE VOICE on April 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a first year law student at Florida State University who has long admired Mr. Boies. Courting Justice was an enjoyable and edifying read. I read part of it before my oral arguments and followed Mr. Boies' advice on making a case. Don't know what grade I got yet, but it certainly was good advice. The cases in here are interesting and Mr. Boies takes you through his thought process in how to tackle a deposition, cross-examination, negotiations, deciding whether or not to take on a case, and so on.

It's interesting to read about his move from being ambivalent about education to taking it deadly seriously. The greatest thing that this book taught me was that as good as you might be, there is no excuse for not making a maximum effort and providing not just good or acceptable work, but truly excellent work. That's Boies' mantra and I am trying to take it to heart.

The chapter on Bush v. Gore was heartbreaking. I sometimes question whether Mr. Boies was the right person to argue before the Supreme Court simply because if anyone could sway them it would be Lawrence Tribe. But listening to the oral arguments at Oyez, Oyez, it seems clear that no one could swing those Justices. However, credit must be given to Ted Olsen. He argued well on behalf of Mr. Bush. The same can't be said of the incompetent and transparently biased attorney for Katherine Harris. Of course, Mr. Boies knows how to get along with his adversaries, dining with the Bush lawyers at Andrews in Tallahassee. He has a good natured approach to opponents. It's touching to see him take note of Bill Gates' lack of civility in his deposition.

David Boies has distilled some great moments from a wonderful career into this book. I hope his career continues to flourish and he enjoys his life to the fullest.
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Format: Hardcover
This excellent memoir is best read alongside Karen Donovon's profile of Boies, v. Goliath. I’ve been interested in Boies for a while, after seeing Charlie Rose interview him about the Prop 8 litigation last year and, more recently, after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent (as usual) profile of him in his last book on underdogs. Boies’s career is remarkable—he was already a go-to Wall Street litigator before the DoJ hired him to prosecute the Microsoft antitrust litigation, leading Al Gore’s legal campaign in Florida and eventually to the Supreme Court, and now heading the Prop 8 fight. What makes these two books stand out is not just their subject, it’s that they manage to cover that subject from two perspectives that are independently fantastic. Donovon is a legal reporter who was assigned to cover the Microsoft trial, got to know Boies and pitched the book idea to him. He agreed, and she followed him for the “miracle year” following that, through Bush v. Gore. In the middle of that year, Boies was approached by a book publisher to write a memoir. In Courting Justice, we get a first hand view of Boies and how he thinks. Standing alone, the memoir manages to avoid the self-masturbatory tone that ruins too many other autobiographies. Then, in v. Goliath, Donovon paints an honest picture of Boies with a little distance. Donovon is clearly taken in by his charm, but is also not shy to point out criticisms of his work. If you’re in law, and especially litigation, the books are littered with industry history and practice points. But even if you’re not, the books are accessible, well edited, and interesting. It’s rare to have two first-hand accounts written so well about such a deserving career. I highly recommend them in tandem.
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