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The Litigators (Anglais) Broché – 19 juillet 2012


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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

CHAPTER 1
 
The law firm of Finley & Figg referred to itself as a “boutique firm.” This misnomer was inserted as often as possible into routine conver­sations, and it even appeared in print in some of the various schemes hatched by the partners to solicit business. When used properly, it implied that Finley & Figg was something above your average two-bit operation. Boutique, as in small, gifted, and expert in one specialized area. Boutique, as in pretty cool and chic, right down to the French-­ness of the word itself. Boutique, as in thoroughly happy to be small, selective, and prosperous.
 
Except for its size, it was none of these things. Finley & Figg’s scam was 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. Even its location suggested a monotonous life out in the bush leagues. 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. There was another boutique firm directly across the street—hated rivals—and more lawyers around the corner. In fact, the neighborhood was teeming with lawyers, some working alone, others in small firms, others still in versions of their own little boutiques.
 
F&F’s address was on Preston Avenue, a busy street filled with old bungalows now converted and used for all manner of commercial activity. There was retail (liquor, cleaners, massages) and professional (legal, dental, lawn mower repair) and culinary (enchiladas, baklava, and pizza to go). Oscar Finley had won the building in a lawsuit twenty years earlier. What the address lacked in prestige it sort of made up for in location. Two doors away was the intersection of Preston, Beech, and Thirty- eighth, a chaotic convergence of asphalt and traffic that guaranteed at least one good car wreck a week, and often more. F&F’s annual overhead was covered by collisions that happened less than one hundred yards away. Other law firms, boutique and otherwise, were often prowling the area in hopes of finding an available, cheap bunga­low from which their hungry lawyers could hear the actual squeal of tires and crunching of metal.
 
With only two attorneys/partners, it was of course mandatory that one be declared the senior and the other the junior. The senior partner was Oscar Finley, age sixty-two, a thirty-year survivor of the bare- knuckle brand of law found on the tough streets of southwest Chicago. Oscar had once been a beat cop but got himself terminated for crack­ing skulls. He almost went to jail but instead had an awakening and went to college, then law school. When no firms would hire him, he hung out his own little shingle and started suing anyone who came near. Thirty-two years later, he found it hard to believe that for thirty- two years he’d wasted his career suing for past-due accounts receivable, fender benders, slip-and-falls, and quickie divorces. He was still mar­ried to his first wife, a terrifying woman he wanted to sue every day for his own divorce. But he couldn’t afford it. After thirty-two years of lawyering, Oscar Finley couldn’t afford much of anything.
 
His junior partner—and Oscar was prone to say things like, “I’ll get my junior partner to handle it,” when trying to impress judges and other lawyers and especially prospective clients—was Wally Figg, age forty-five. Wally fancied himself a hardball litigator, and his blustery ads promised all kinds of aggressive behavior. “We Fight for Your Rights!” and “Insurance Companies Fear Us!” and “We Mean Business!” Such ads could be seen on park benches, city transit buses, cabs, high school football programs, even telephone poles, though this violated several ordinances. The ads were not seen in two crucial markets—television and billboards. Wally and Oscar were still fighting over these. Oscar refused to spend the money—both types were horribly expensive—and Wally was still scheming. His dream was to see his smiling face and slick head on television saying dreadful things about insurance compa­nies while promising huge settlements to injured folks wise enough to call his toll-free number.
 
But Oscar wouldn’t even pay for a billboard. Wally had one picked out. Six blocks from the office, at the corner of Beech and Thirty- second, high above the swarming traffic, on top of a four-story tene­ment house, there was the most perfect billboard in all of metropolitan Chicago. Currently hawking cheap lingerie (with a comely ad, Wally had to admit), the billboard had his name and face written all over it. But Oscar still refused.
 
Wally’s law degree came from the prestigious University of Chi­cago School of Law. Oscar picked his up at a now-defunct place that once offered courses at night. Both took the bar exam three times. Wally had four divorces under his belt; Oscar could only dream. Wally wanted the big case, the big score with millions of dollars in fees. Oscar wanted only two things—divorce and retirement.
 
How the two men came to be partners in a converted house on Preston Avenue was another story. How they survived without chok­ing each other was a daily mystery.
 
Their referee was Rochelle Gibson, a robust black woman with attitude and savvy earned on the streets from which she came. Ms. Gibson handled the front—the phone, the reception, the prospective clients arriving with hope and the disgruntled ones leaving in anger, the occasional typing (though her bosses had learned if they needed something typed, it was far simpler to do it themselves), the firm dog, and, most important, the constant bickering between Oscar and Wally.
 
Years earlier, Ms. Gibson had been injured in a car wreck that was not her fault. She then compounded her troubles by hiring the law firm of Finley & Figg, though not by choice. Twenty- four hours after the crash, bombed on Percocet and laden with splints and plaster casts, Ms. Gibson had awakened to the grinning, fleshy face of Attorney Wallis Figg hovering over her hospital bed. He was wearing a set of aquamarine scrubs, had a stethoscope around his neck, and was doing a good job of impersonating a physician. Wally tricked her into signing a contract for legal representation, promised her the moon, sneaked out of the room as quietly as he’d sneaked in, then proceeded to butcher her case. She netted $40,000, which her husband drank and gambled away in a matter of weeks, which led to a divorce action filed by Oscar Finley. He also handled her bankruptcy. Ms. Gibson was not impressed with either lawyer and threatened to sue both for malpractice. This got their attention—they had been hit with similar lawsuits—and they worked hard to placate her. As her troubles multiplied, she became a fixture at the office, and with time the three became comfortable with one another.
 
Finley & Figg was a tough place for secretaries. The pay was low, the clients were generally unpleasant, the other lawyers on the phone were rude, the hours were long, but the worst part was dealing with the two partners. Oscar and Wally had tried the mature route, but the older gals couldn’t handle the pressure. They had tried youth but got themselves sued for sexual harassment when Wally couldn’t keep his paws off a busty young thing. (They settled out of court for $50,000 and got their names in the newspaper.) Rochelle Gibson happened to be at the office one morning when the then-current secretary quit and stormed out. With the phone ringing and partners yelling, Ms. Gibson moved over to the front desk and calmed things down. Then she made a pot of coffee. She was back the next day, and the next. Eight years later, she was still running the place.
 
Her two sons were in prison. Wally had been their lawyer, though in all fairness no one could have saved them. As teenagers, both boys kept Wally busy with their string of arrests on various drug charges. Their dealing got more involved, and Wally warned them repeatedly they were headed for prison, or death. He said the same to Ms. Gibson, who had little control over the boys and often prayed for prison. When their crack ring got busted, they were sent away for ten years. Wally got it reduced from twenty and received no gratitude from the boys. Ms. Gibson offered a tearful thanks. Through all their troubles, Wally never charged her a fee for his representation.
 
Over the years, there had been many tears in Ms. Gibson’s life, and they had often been shed in Wally’s office with the door locked. He gave advice and tried to help when possible, but his greatest role was that of a listener.
    
Excerpted from The Litigators by John Grisham. Copyright © 2011 by Belfry Holdings, Inc.
Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in
writing from the publisher. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition CD .

Revue de presse

Praise for John Grisham:

'The best thriller writer alive'

(Ken Follett, Evening Standard)

His stories are ferociously plot driven: they will keep you awake all night (Independent on Sunday)

Grisham is a superb, instinctive storyteller (The Times)

Few writers have so much to say, the skills to make reading what they say an irresistible pleasure - and the clout to say it to an audience of millions (Independent)

Enthralling characters and mesmeric plot (Time Out)

As exciting as a car chase with a load of dynamite thrown in (Daily Mail)

Grisham reigns supreme (Sunday Express)

No one does it better than Grisham (Daily Telegraph)

Grisham knows what he's doing. The book is crisply written (with some agreeably sly one-liners) and the narrative canters along. (Andrew Taylor, The Spectator)

...entirely gripping... (The Evening Standard)

Grisham in reliable form. (The Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin)

'The Litigators is Grisham at his very best, fast-paced, funny and packed with living and breathing characters that you'd love to share an after-court beer with. Set aside a weekend for this one, because you won't want to put it down'. (Irish Examiner)

This is the master of the legal thriller at his best. You won't want to put it down! (Press Association)

After a slow build setting the scene, the case turns pear-shaped; and by the time we get to court, there's a compelling argument for readers to demolish this classic page-turner in one epic sitting. (Townsville Bulletin)

The Litigators reminds fans of this genre just what a creative genius Grisham is. A very entertaining read. (Launceston Examiner)

Grisham is back on top form with this courtroom thriller.... Unusually for Grisham he is injecting quite a lot of humour into this book which I found worked really well... 'The Litigators' is a courtroom battle that will keep you turning the pages until the end, wanting to see the big guns fail, but you will have to wait until the last few pages until you find out who wins. A welcome return to form for Grisham. (Crimesquad.com)

Grisham hasn't lost his deft touch. What a rollicking ride it turns out to be. (The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald Sun)

A tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics and suspense that have made John Grisham America's favourite storyteller. (Gympie Times)


Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 448 pages
  • Editeur : Hodder Paperbacks (19 juillet 2012)
  • Langue : Inconnu
  • ISBN-10: 1444729721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444729726
  • Dimensions du produit: 14,2 x 3 x 20,2 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.8 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (8 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 591.885 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Né en 1955, John Grisham a commencé sa carrière comme avocat dans une petite ville du Mississippi. Avec La Firme, parue en 1991, il a rencontré son premier grand succès de romancier. Depuis, il a vendu plus de soixante millions d'exemplaires dans le monde au travers de nombreux romans dont L'Affaire Pélican, Le Maître du jeu, L'Associé, La Loi du plus faible, Le Testament, L'Héritage, Le Dernier Juré, Le Clandestin, L'Accusé, Le Contrat, La Revanche, L'Infiltré et, plus récemment, Chroniques de Ford County, tous publiés chez Robert Laffont.

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3.8 étoiles sur 5

Commentaires client les plus utiles

3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Amazon Customer sur 2 novembre 2012
Format: Relié
Highly entertaining thriller about the bizarre world of the practice of law in the US. This book is situated in Chicago, home to 20.000 lawyers. In the US, many lawyers specialize in small, but potentially lucrative niche fields. Grisham, whose pleasure in writing this book shines from every page, offers a tentative ranking of this caste measured by income and status. The high flyers, literally because they own jet aircraft, are lawyers who sue big corporations for harmful and deadly products. The lowest type of lawyers sue fellows for malpractice.
Grisham describes a fight between the absolute top of US legal practitioners and a rock bottom caste of barely surviving lawyers. David (31) has worked 100 hours per week for five years for a major firm employing 600 lawyers for USD 300.000 a year. He writes thick contracts in its international finance division in a windowless office on the 93rd floor. He hates his job and his colleagues. One morning he snaps, takes the elevator back to ground level and spends the day celebrating in a bar. Later that day he presents himself, inebriated, to the partners of Finley & Figg, who hire him on probation.
Partners Oscar (62) and Wally (46) have personal and professional problems. Their firm belongs to the category of `ambulance chasers'. It has to drum up business every day for low fees. Both partners daydream about a big kill, a case that will solve their problems. When David joins them, Wally is busy suing the third largest US pharmaceutical company about an anti-cholesterol drug that has allegedly killed people, and Wally is unstoppable... Can David's career switch have a happy end?
Bitter-sweet tale full of plot changes and a nice cast of characters. Reviewers in the US judged it Grisham's best in ten years. Recommended as a great work of entertainment.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Chandon sur 3 septembre 2012
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Praise for Grisham, The Litigators is absolutely superb. Few writes have the power to tell a story as Grisham. The book is so well written, it will keep you awake. The characters are enjoyable; you literally fall in love with them, I truly like them all Rachelle, David, Oscar and Wally. My only regret is that since this book is a stand-alone I won't meet them again.
Our hero is David Zinc, thirty years something with a great background and wonderful career prospective ahead. Through David Zinc, we will discover a law firm, Finley & Figg, an ambulance-chasing law firm in Chicago - precisely "a boutique firm "as both partners refer to themselves. The "boutique " has two partners, Wally Figg a junior partner who dreams of big cases even though no one in the firm has the skills to handle such cases, Oscar Finley, the senior partner who has non ambition about the firm and would like to divorce his wife and take his retirement ,Rochelle a bitter secretary and AC the dog. The two partners are not good lawyers, their law ethic is dubious, the prices are always higher and law cases are often made complicated to increase their fees even though they fail to win even the basic law case.
David our burn out hero ends up there, partnering with both associates. The story is based upon a lawsuit against a giant pharmaceutical company. David has to learn fast as He will understands he has joined a law firm where the lawyers lack solid knowledge of law.
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Par M. J. Lacomme sur 25 août 2014
Format: Poche
Le livre est écrit sur le mode humoristique. J'ai apprécié quelques bons moments, mais sans être jamais captivé par le récit. Les personnages sont parfois proches de la caricature. On est loin du niveau de A Time to Kill, The Confession, Sycamore Row, ou encore Ford County Stories, ces livres de Grisham que j'ai beaucoup aimés.
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Format: Poche Achat vérifié
J'ai terminé la moitié du livre et je ne suis pas aussi pris qu'avec d'autres romans de Grisham comme p.ex. le Testament. Mais je le lirai sans doute jusqu'au bout.
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