ELLEN'S CASE by Lois Metzger


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At 16, Ellen is a veteran of tending her preschool-age brother, Barry, who has cerebral palsy. When her mother decides to go to court to determine whether or not his condition is the result of a botched delivery, Ellen resists; she is not sure that a prolonged legal proceeding is in anyone's best interest. One meeting with handsome, talented, and middle-aged attorney Jack Frazier changes her mind; she falls in love with him, and it isn't long before she sees the trial as a way to bring the two of them together. The trial is detailed and more than a little off-putting: The doctor seems neither bright nor concerned and the defense attorney is a posturing fool. Disrupting the narrative is the continual explanation of legal terms (sustained, overruled, etc.) that any reader with a television will know. Predictably, Frazier's brilliant courtroom technique overwhelms the defense and Barry wins a settlement for $11 million. Just as predictably, Ellen discovers that Frazier is happily married. This sequel to Barry's Sister (1992) is riddled with good intentions blown off course by cautionary elements.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
Page count: 189pp
Publisher: Atheneum