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The Lawyer Who Blew up His Desk: And Other Tales of Legal Madness Paperback – March 1, 1998

3.9 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Matthews, a former criminal trial attorney, affirms popular legal criticism in this collection of short essays. But the system of adversarial jurisprudence is the culprit, and lawyers (at least many of them) are its victims. Matthews doesn't try to excuse or justify lawyers' behavior; he does try to pierce the veil that shields the public from the common humanity of lawyers. A series of incidents illustrate how lawyers struggle to deal with their humanity, for example, sneaking food to a jailed client who is subject to deportation. It is an act of affirmation to counteract numerous instances of inhumanity and legal capriciousness, such as a judge proposing to determine the fate of a client by the flip of a coin. Matthews conveys a dual perspective, empathizing with the complicated human condition but being perceived nonetheless as "the lawyer." For social critics this book confirms the vices of the adversarial system. For all professionals of the baby boom generation, the book reviews the period from the high idealism of the 1960s to a period of declining social consciousness. Vernon Ford


...a wonderfully funny and furious memoir... -- The San Francisco Chronicle, Kathleen Kahn

Product details

  • Publisher : Ten Speed Press; First Edition (March 1, 1998)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0898159741
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0898159745
  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2009