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Eight famous lawyers present their most memorable cases in this generally fascinating volume, and they do it in a style that reaches its apogee in the bizarre-baroque third-person self-revelations of Melvin Belli. Each of these famous trial lawyers approaches his famous case as if he were an object of jurisprudential importance to be embossed and embellished by an objective reporter for a major splash in Look magazine. Belli, who was hired by parents of children who were victims of defective polio vaccine to sue the manufacture, comes on with the hilarious grandiosity of P.T. Barnum. He mentions his impressive legal work for Jack Ruby and Errol Flynn and a dozen others, describes his impressive legal work fabulous wardrobe, his office, his earnings, page after page of this before getting down to the case. And he is genuinely impressive, a Machiavelli in motley, jingling jesterhat. By far the most distinguished legal titan here is Justice Michael A. Musmanno, who as a witness for the prosecution at the Eichmann trial in Israel, delivers stunning criticism of the trial's detractors. Many thousands of people, particularly in the States, thought the trail illegal. After this summation, Eichmann hasn't a support left. (Musmanno, of course, has the benefit of writing this post-Arendt.) Other famous cases include suits against the owners of the Andrea Doria; a suit wherein Dizzy Gillespie alleges that he lost his B-flat above high C after being hit by a car while bicycling; the Caryl Chessman defence; a negligence suit against United Airlines; and two more. Highly readable.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1966
Publisher: McKay & Lawyers' Coop. Pub. Co.