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How to Get Sued: An Instructional Guide Hardcover – June 3, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427797714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427797711
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,794,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Craig Williams (Newport Beach, CA) is the founding member of WLF/The Williams Lindberg Law Firm, PC. His practice focuses on complex business litigation, with emphasis on environmental, real estate, land use, and technology matters. Mr. Williams is creator of the popular blog “May It Please the Court” (www.mayitpleasethecourt.com), which gets more than 13,000 hits daily and is a three-time award winner from the Los Angeles Press Club. His views also are featured on Legal Talk Network (www.legaltalknetwork.com), where he is a co-host on “Lawyer2Lawyer.” Mr. Williams is a frequent speaker and lecturer, and has taught at the University of California at Irvine, Stanford Law School, the University of Iowa College of Law, and Chapman University School of Law. He also has spoken for and been a panelist for numerous Continuing Legal Education programs through such organizations as the New York State Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, the Celtic Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association, and the National Association of Legal Assistants, among others. Mr. Williams earned his JD, with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law.

More About the Author

You can review the my formal bio and learn more about my writing at http://www.jcraigwilliams.com.

That bio is admittedly boring unless you want to know my qualifications. Here's the real skinny. Why do I write? First, I love to write, and have been writing practically every day for nearly 25 years. In the beginning, according to those who apparently knew, I used to be a terrible writer, even though part of my undergraduate degree was in journalism (the others were radio, TV and film, a.k.a. 'Communication Arts').

My first job, writing a newspaper, speeches and press releases in Richmond, Virginia for an AT&T subsidiary was consequently difficult. My boss, a white-haired woman in her 60's, terrorized me as a writer, constantly correcting my grammar and story construction. I took more writing classes. I learned to write better, but apparently never good enough to satisfy my boss. Looking back on it, I'm not sure I ever could have.

When I went to law school in Iowa, they taught legal writing. It was a completely different style. Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion. Rote, but then again not. Thankfully, the Iowa Writer's Workshop allowed law students to expand their skills and practice fictional writing. I learned a lot from that program.

Indeed, some would say fictional writing is not far off from legal writing.

Perhaps you could have predicted that my writing experience at my first legal job in California would be surprisingly similar to the experience I had with my newspaper writing. I couldn't have guessed that my former boss had a twin in the legal industry. Once again my writing was deemed insufficient. I took more writing classes. And more and more. Somewhere along the line, I think I finally got it. Now that you're reading my book, How to Get Sued, you're the true judge of whether I've finally got it.

My first post on my blog (http://www.mayitpleasethecourt.com), How To Get Sued, ultimately became the title of my book, which also got its push from an email from Kelli Christensen, my editor at Kaplan Publishing. With her guidance, the book was written and will hopefully soon be in your hands. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, especially the quotes that lead into each of the vignettes.

Quotes had always fascinated me. As a kid, I pulled the Reader's Digest from the mailbox and read each of the quips and quotes at the end of the article before I would even look at the stories themselves. Adding a Quote of the Day seemed a perfect fit for the book, and gave me the opportunity to extend the daily post into a witty saying that hopefully expands the way you think about each vignette I wrote.

When I'm not writing, blogging or practicing law, I surf the internet and play with computer toys, gizmos and gadgets and listen to music. To gain some perspective on life, get out of the office and away from a computer, I snow ski in the winter, scuba dive year round, surf really poorly and love to ride my Harley. Plus, an occasional cigar goes up in smoke as a glass of scotch goes down. Oh yeah, I exercise and watch what I eat, too.

I also try to keep track of my three grown children. One graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law with his wife and now practices law in Phoenix, the second is married and now working in his field with a Masters in History from UC Riverside. The third (my baby girl - OK- not so much anymore, but that's my nickname for her) is working on her Masters in Environmental Science at Humboldt State University. They make Dad proud.

Before she died just recently, my Mom in Cape Cod got phone call from me where we reminisced about summers on the Cape when my father's old secretary threw her cottage keys at him to get him out of the pulpit for a week, but mostly out of her hair. You want to know where the attitude in my blog comes from? My Mom would tell you it's my Dad, and his pointed sermons. I may have listened more closely than I thought.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Nye on March 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that I looked forward to reading just because I'm a big fan of Craig Williams and his blog, May It Please The Court. The book promotes itself on the front cover by declaring that it is the "lighter side of how 'real life' becomes 'real litigation'".

Unfortunately, I didn't find the book all that enjoyable to read. Why? I guess the simple reason is that Williams tries to show the lighter side of a variety of cases but - at least for me - he often narrowly misses the mark.

First, let me acknowledge that performing comedy is hard (I know - I do stand up comedy locally). But writing comedy, or at least writing with a light comedic touch, is even more difficult. As I was reading this book, my overwhelming impression was that Williams was trying just a bit too hard to come across as humorous.

The entire book is basically a summary of hundreds of cases - some of them quite odd cases - and what can happen to get folks in trouble with the law. After briefly describing the facts, Williams then gives you his impression of the case and how it might serve as a lesson.

Take the following example from his chapter on Committing a Crime:

Pass the Garden Hose, Pleas.
"Mom, there's Fred taking a shower outside again."
That's pretty much the money quote for this case.
Again, right out of the article first posted at [...]
"According to police, 49-year-old Fred Michaux of Vineland, New Jersey, was seen by a mother and her two young daughters as he showered himself with a garden hose on his front lawn at around 4 o'clock in the afternoon."
There are outside showers, and there are outside showers. Apparently Fred has a penchant for three things: no clothes, outside, and a garden hose.
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