Monday, June 24, 2013

The King of Torts: 4 Stars

The King of Torts 

The King of Torts by John Grisham

Everyone has a price. Clay Carter learns that really quick in Johns Grisham's novel, The King of Torts. After attending law school with the goal of joining his father's law firm, Carter is quickly left scrambling when his father's firm goes under just as he graduates. Having missed out on interviews with law firms, Carter is forced to become a public defender. He loves his long time girlfriend, but her parents are unhappy with his salary and continually work to get their daughter to dump him. This eventually works. Left alone, poor and miserable, Carter begins work on his new murder case. And then everything changes. 

Tequilla Watson was in drug rehab. He was let out for two hours on good behavior. He went and found a gun and shot and killed a man. When questioned by Carter, Watson, who had no history of violence, had no explanation for his actions other than he "felt" like he needed to kill someone. Frustrated, Carter begins looking for something, anything, to help him defend the kid. Then he meets a man who know EXACTLY what happened and why. All Carter has to do, is sell his soul and he'll be made a millionaire instantly with his own law firm. 

Carter sells his soul.  His dreams come true, except he doesn't have the girl. Within a month, Carter has entered the game of mass torts. He has the terrible commercials on late at night.  "Have you or one of your loved ones taken X prescription drug and now are experiencing Y symptoms?  Call us today and we'll get you a settlement."

Within 17 months, Carter owns a few homes, a Porsche, and a luxury jet.  But just as quickly as his life turned into gold, it's about to fall apart.

Once again, I loved this John Grisham novel. You will definitely see my bias for Grisham show throughout this blog. I reluctantly read one of his books in college. I had a few hours to kill, stuck at school, and this book was left on a table. It was my freshman year and I had not yet discovered that taking a nap anywhere in school is completely acceptable and normal. So I grabbed the book and started reading. I fell in love with Grisham's novels then and there, and to date have only disliked one.

This book was no exception. While keeping me enthralled in a story of the rise and fall of one lawyer, I also felt incredibly educated. At the beginning of the book, I didn't even know what a tort was, much less a mass tort. By the end of the novel, I felt like I understood the complexity of mass litigation.

As usual, I highly recommend this Grisham novel.

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