My Life in Court - Louis Nizer

My Life in Court

By Louis Nizer

  • Release Date: 2015-11-25
  • Genre: Law


“The layman’s impression of a trial frequently comes from stage, motion picture, and television sources, which, while invariably exciting, are a pale simulation of a real trial. My quarrel with these presentations is not that they are technically incorrect, but that they are substantially inadequate. They lack emotional authenticity. They tend to become stereotyped. Their falsity largely defeats their authors’ purpose because the excitement, surprise, and meaningfulness of a real court contest are incomparable and elude imagination. In fictional court scenes one sharp contradiction often breaks the witness, who then hysterically screams a confession. In real life the witness’s fortitude in the face of exposure is as remarkable as a human body’s resistance to incredible torment. The need to survive creates desperation, and desperation makes possible survival. This circle of determination is not easily broken, and in the succeeding pages one will find dozens of entrapments and startling contradictions, leaving the witness no retreat and compelling him to admit his error. Yet he continues to fight back and clutch for the remote chance that the tide will turn and he will not go under. Sometimes, it does, and the bizarre developments that bring it about are also beyond inventiveness. This gruesome struggle exceeds the artificial concept of authors of what constitutes court drama in the same way that true human experience in any sphere exceeds the patterned concept of some fiction.” 

This gripping legal classic is organized as follows: 

Prologue: Opening the Green Doors 
1. Reputation: The Libel Case of Quentin Reynolds vs. Westbrook Pegler 
2. Divorce: The “War of the Roses” and Others 
3. Talent: The Case of the Plagiarized Song “Rum and Coca-Cola” 
4. Honor: Issue of Nazism in America 
5. Life and Limb: Two Cases of Negligence 
6. Proxy Battle: The Struggle Over Loew’s