“The Litigators” by John Grisham

We’ll Fight For YOU!

Book Blurb:  The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him.

With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.

A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom!

It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is.

The Litigators
is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics, and suspense that have made John Grisham America’s favorite storyteller.

Finley & Figg:  We’ll Fight For You

The Litigators excerpt

Bio:  Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, John Grisham was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby–writing his first novel. Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.That might have put an end to Grishams hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, and The Appeal) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.

My Review:

Finley and Figg is a two-man law firm that usually makes its money by ambulance chasing, car accidents, hospital visits, quickie divorces, and DUIs.  Trying to gain notoriety and millions of dollars, they chase after a large class action tort claim against a cholesterol drug, Krayoxx, that allegedly causes deadly side effects.  Allegedly, as in ‘innocent until proved guilty.’

To add to the humorous, bickering couple of Finley & Figg and their office assistant, Rochelle, a young 32-year-old lawyer, David Zinc, burns out in his high-paying law firm position and literally tumbles into their office drunk after drinking all day at a local bar. He bumblingly enters into their frays.

The Litigators by John Grisham is about the legal wranglings, manipulations, stipulations, and courtroom shenanigans of lawyers which sound so absurd that one can hardly believe they happen today, yet they actually do.  The little three-man office against the giant pharmaceutical company, Varrick Labs, and their hoards of attorneys–all from David Zinc’s former office.

This seemed to be one of the most trivial, slow moving books I think I’ve ever read before some real action began.  Kind of like the everyday grind in a law office at times.  I had to force myself to keep reading, but I’ve experienced John Grisham’s writings before, and I knew the action would materialize. And did it ever pay off!  The slower pace and what seemed like boring details were necessary to build up to the climax.  I’m just used to high-rev action from page one.  It was worth the time to read!

Grisham has you rooting for the little guy, though all the while everything seems hopeless.  The plot builds, while you hold your breath as to the outcome.  He reels you in page by page and you know you’re hooked, because you can’t put the book down!

I don’t appreciate the cursing, which Grisham has been adding to his novels as of late, but the additional side plots added some intrigue to the main story line.

I borrowed this book from my local library.  These are my honest opinions.


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