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To Honor and Obey Hardcover – March, 1992

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 381 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (March 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688098541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688098544
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One fall dawn in 1988, wealthy Upper East Side Manhattanite Louann Fratt, mother of three, went to the apartment of her estranged husband, Charles, to whom she had been married for 30 years, and fatally stabbed him. After reporting her crime to the police, she retained as counsel scruffy-looking Michael Dowd, a downtown lawyer in every sense, famed for his pro bono defenses of battered women. The curious thing about this re-creation of a case of no particular true-crime excitement is that we learn more about Dowd than about the Fratts. Taylor ( Trail of the Fox ) only superficially probes the wife's life as depersonalized handmaiden to a demanding husband who discarded her in middle age for another woman. At trial, pleading self-defense against her husband's attempted rape, Louann Fratt was found not guilty. So intense is the book's concentration on Dowd, however, that we're told not only his every utterance but virtually his every thought about this case and his others as well. The book proves to be less a defense of the suspect than of her attorney, who, we learn in an epilogue, in 1990 was suspended from practice for five years for paying bribes to a politician, an injustice, argues Taylor, since Dowd was the whistle-blower. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In the early hours of November 22, 1988, New York socialite Louann Fratt walked three blocks to the Park Avenue apartment of her estranged husband, millionaire C.K. Poe Fratt. There, she put a kitchen knife through his heart. Why? The district attorney says she killed in premeditated anger; defense attorney Michael Dowd argues that she was defending herself against attempted rape. Thus begins this engrossing study of women who are driven to murder by the men who physically and psychologically abuse them; it's also a fascinating profile of a lawyer who defends these women. The book revolves around Dowd (once the subject of a 60 Minutes profile), who has spent much of his career developing "Battered Woman Syndrome" as a legal defense. Using the Fratt case as a foundation, attorney Taylor ( Trail of the Fox, LJ 2/1/81) has crafted a spellbinding true tale of our legal system.
- Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, Ind.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Expert California DUI Attorney Lawrence Taylor has defended DUI cases with his firm, The Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor, exclusively since 1979. During this time, he has authored more than 30 articles and 12 critically acclaimed books, including the standard text on DUI/DWI litigation, Drunk Driving Defense (7th edition), and California Drunk Driving Defense. In addition to those legal articles and books, he has edited and written dozens of subsequent book editions and annual supplements (and continues to do so as updates are needed for his previously published works). For all his scholarly writing and diligence as a DUI attorney, he has been given the nickname "Dean of DUI Attorneys" by his peers. Mr. Taylor has been, and continues to be, a popular lecturer for more than 200 lawyer seminars in 38 states, including ones sponsored by the American Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and numerous state bar associations including the California State Bar.

Lawrence Taylor is one of only five DUI attorneys in California who is Board-certified as a DUI Defense Specialist. As one of the original 10 founders of the National College for DUI Defense, he has served on the Board of Regents and was elected Dean from 1995-1996. Earlier in his career, Mr. Taylor received the "Professor of the Year" award at Gonzaga University School of Law, was invited to be a visiting professor at Pepperdine University Law School, and was also appointed Fulbright Professor of Law at Osaka University in Japan.

In July 2002, Mr. Taylor was presented with the National College's "Richard Erwin Lifetime Achievement Award" at Harvard Law School. Mr. Taylor has been peer rated "A-V" ("very high to preeminent") in the Martindale-Hubbell International Directory of Lawyers annually since 1995; listed in the prestigious Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers every year since 1998; voted among "Southern California Super Lawyers" in Los Angeles magazine from surveys of over 65,000 Southern California attorneys annually since 2004; and has received the highest possible rating by AVVO (10: "Superb") every year since 2005.

Currently, Mr. Taylor is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, California State Bar, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, and National College for DUI Defense. He also maintains a personal DUI blog where he provides commentary on the defects, fallacies, and Constitutional damages of "the war on drunk driving."

For more information about Mr. Taylor and his California-based DUI law firm, please visit his website at You will also be able to find numerous educational DUI resources there as well, including DUI videos, articles, lectures, questions and answers, and anything else you could want to know about DUI legal issues and The Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bogaty on March 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1988 in New York City, a wealthy woman, Louann Fratt who was separated from her husband, C. K. Poe Fratt, a politically powerful business executive, called the police saying, "I've stabbed my husband. I believe he's dead." She then contacted defense attorney Michael Dowd, known in New City as a "women's lawyer" who specialized in domestic abuse cases.
The book, TO HONOR AND OBEY by Lawrence Taylor is not true crime so much as it is a study of Dowd, his emotions, his conversion to his legal specialty, and his courtroom tactics, particularly when it came to juries. And while the framework of the story is Fratt's murder, a case that derives its interest mainly from the social standing of the participants, you will learn little about Louann's background - though the portrayal of her as a typical 1950s rich man's wife, not allowed to use the car without her husband's permission, basically existing as an appendage to her husband and his career, is compelling - and virtually nothing about C. K. Poes's. Dowd seems like he may have been a complex and interesting man, but in this regard, the book is more a long and surfacey magazine article than a biography, and as such it is ultimately unsatisfying on both fronts.

Taylor is not an untalented writer, and while the book focuses mainly on Dowd's technique and the trial, it isn't boring and Taylor is not churning out trash nor does he quote trial transcripts verbatim, a practice honored by marginally lazy purveyors of true crime, and the book contains little filler. But at the same time, Taylor dramatizes to the point of irritation.
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