David Zinc is a Harvard Law grad who has a nervous breakdown on his way to work. And you wouldn’t blame him for feeling a little claustrophobic in his downtown Chicago law firm, a place where he makes big bucks but is so busy he can’t spend the money.
He ends up at a bar, and then at a dump of a law firm called Finley & Figg. Because David was drunk from his nervous breakdown and consequent time at the bar, he sees opportunity at this law firm, even if they do advertise on bingo chips.
The lawyers at Finley & Figg spend their time “hustling injury cases, a daily grind that required little skill or creativity and would never be considered cool or sexy. Profits were as elusive as status. The firm was small because it couldn’t afford to grow. It was selective only because no one wanted to work there, including the two men who owned it. . . . With a Vietnamese massage parlor to its left and a lawn mower repair shop to its right, it was clear at a casual glance that Finley & Figg was not prospering.”
David’s impressions are right. The secretary, Rochelle, is resentful, lazy, and perhaps the most competent employee at the firm. The senior partner, Oscar, is married to a horrible woman he dreams of divorcing. And the junior partner, Wally, is an alcoholic who literally runs out the door when he hears an ambulance – something that happens with great regularity because the firm is conveniently situated near a dangerous intersection.
You know those terrible lawyers that advertise on billboards or TV? That’s not Finley & Figg. They can’t even afford a billboard, and David is so invigorated by the idea of freedom that he accepts a job there. (The fact that they offered this drunk Harvard Law grad a job says a great deal about the firm’s standards.)
Suddenly, however, the firm jumps into a class-action suit against “Big Pharma” – the makers of a drug called Krayoxx, which fights cholesterol and has been causing heart attacks and strokes.
Or has it?
The Litigators is a delightful read, especially if you – or someone you love – is one. I picked it up because I’m married to a man named David who is also a Harvard Law grad. Though he’s not an ambulance chaser, the book did a great job of showing how the law can be used for ill or good.
Plus, it’s a page turner!
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Why not read it in preparation for the debut of The Firm on NBC. The new television show will begin on Sunday, January 8 at 9 PM / 8 PM Central on NBC and is based on Grisham’s #1 Best Selling book.