An appealingly feisty memoir from a high-profile defense lawyer, veteran of over 2,000 trials. The media savvy that's...

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GET ME ELLIS RUBIN!"" The Life, Times and Cases of a Legal Maverick

An appealingly feisty memoir from a high-profile defense lawyer, veteran of over 2,000 trials. The media savvy that's powered Florida barrister Rubin onto 60 Minutes, Nightline, and Oprah courses through this entertaining legal autobiography--a congenial mix of sensational case studies, sentimental memories, and calls for legal reform. The sentiment comes first, with a quick glance back at Rubin's childhood, blessed by the best-friendship of future Twilight Zone-r Rod Serling and cursed by a rampant stammer that proved uncontrollable until rookie attorney Rubin argued: his first courtroom case (""It's a sign!"" Serling told Rubin. ""You were destined to speak for the innocent and oppressed""). Well, not only the downtrodden--among the defenses Rubin (aided by coauthor Matera, Are You Lonesome Tonight?) details is one on behalf of a billionaire sheik, but most of the cases highlighted here are tinged with moral crusade-defending a sexually abused daughter who killed her monstrous dad, and a put-upon ghetto storekeeper who killed a burglar with a booby trap; on a lighter note, jousting against local blackouts of pro football games; and, in Rubin's most famous case, defending--unsuccessfully--a teen-age murderer on grounds that he killed under the influence of ""tetevision intoxication."" Rubin straps on the shining armor a bit too tightly in three chapters devoted to his jailing for refusing to defend a perjuring client, but lances some worthy targets in his final chapter--a provocative platform for legal reform, including a call for jury decisions to be by 3/4 vote, and for allowing jurors to question witnesses. Pleasantly tart and steadily engrossing, with only a modicum of self-promotion: a wise addition to anyone's popular-law shelf.

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 1989

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1989