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I was never ruined but twice—once when I lost a law suit, once when I won one. –Voltaire
No one wants to be sued, and for good reason. Not only are lawsuits notoriously risky, time-consuming, and enormously stressful to the litigants, they can also be incredibly expensive, even for the one who is ultimately “successful”—as Voltaire unhappily discovered.
Author and lawyer J. Craig Williams takes a fanciful look at our litigious society under the counterintuitive premise of constructing a primer on the best methods to get sued. Indeed, according to Williams, there are ten sure-fire ways to find oneself hailed into court, from owning a home to falling in love, and he offers illustrative summaries of civil and criminal cases from around the country. Most of these he casts in a funny light, though no doubt the litigants didn’t think their situations were all that amusing.
For example, imagine the poor plight of the school teacher and Girl Scout leader who paid a $50 fine when her scouts forgot to put away some marshmallows at a national park; a year later, on her return from a vacation in Mexico, she was arrested and jailed by customs agents who didn’t realize she had paid the fine and figured this “marshmallow miscreant” was some sort of threat to homeland security. Or wonder at the audacity of the jail inmates who used a Bible to prop open an unlocked door to the jail house—not to escape, but to make a beer run.
The author is not only a practicing lawyer, he is also a skillful writer who teaches creative writing and hosts the popular Weblog, May It Please The Court, which receives over 15,000 hits daily. He has a whimsical style which is perfect for the light tone of this book. For instance, when talking about a California city’s weird ordinance protecting butterflies, he aptly summarizes the lengthy law as follows: “Think about it. You have to ask the chief of police to move a butterfly…Only in California.”
How To Get Sued will appeal to legal professionals, Judge Judy fans, or ordinary readers who like a good laugh. (June)
Review by: Alan J. Couture
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"Williams has a very relaxed and natural style. His readers will think they are sitting down and having a conversation with him".
- Donna Bader, appellate attorney and playwright
"J. Craig Williams delivers an essential and
hilarious compendium of human foibles and un-civil litigation. 'How
To Get Sued©' is an indispensable tour of life and law. It's a roadmap
of the justice system, highlighting all the potholes, dangerous
curves and washed out bridges therein."
- From best-selling criminal justice writer Paul
of "Solomon vs. Lord"
"A wonderful book that often has the reader laughing out loud. J. Craig Williams has collected amazing cases and stories of real-life legal events and presented them in a very readable and enjoyable manner. Lawyers and non-lawyers alike will enormously enjoy this book. At the very least, it is must-read for those considering law school or about to join the legal profession."
- Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Irvine, Donald Bren School of Law and noted constitutional scholar
Here's a book we'll buy and read.
And not just because of the compelling title. It's by Newport Beach trial lawyer and writer J. Craig Williams of May It Please The Court. It covers, in an irreverent way, how "real life" becomes "real litigation." Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski has written the book's foreword. How
To Get Sued©: An Instructional Guide is already hitting best seller lists--and it's not even out yet.
- J. Daniel Hull, author, What About Clients?
TGIF for How
To Get Sued©
To Get Sued©: An Instructional Guide," my fellow Law.com network blogger J. Craig Williams gives a witty and accessible take on the world of litigation in the American court system. Aimed at the attorney or intelligent casual reader seeking light diversion, this irreverent how-to uses sharp wit to look at some of the more bizarre twists the legal system and rail against our litigious society. According to the forward by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Kozinski, "Just as it's hard to avert your eyes from a train wreck, it's very difficult to put down a book that repeatedly illustrates not only how easily one can be swept into the sausage factory, but how hilariously difficult and Byzantine things can become once there."
- William F. ("Bill") Heinze, author, I/P Updates
J. Craig Williams, the author of one of my favorite blogs, May It Please the Court, has written a new book (coming out in June) that is certain to get a lot of attention. Its title? How
To Get Sued©. Click the link and go to the website to read the prologue and a sample chapter.
If the foreword--by Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski--is any measure of the book, we are in for some entertaining reading, if not an interesting mixture of metaphors and vocabulary-building:
There's a certain schadenfreude aspect to reading the cases J. Craig Williams has collected. But it's not just the misfortune of others that is chronicled here, but also their very human weaknesses and foibles--and their hysterical efforts to overcome them once they get trapped inside the litigation machine. Just as it’s hard to avert your eyes from a train wreck, it’s very difficult to put down a book that repeatedly illustrates not only how easily one can be swept into the sausage factory, but how hilariously difficult and Byzantine things can become once there.
A gold star to anyone who knows what schadenfreude means (without having to look it up).
- Colleen M. Barger, Associate Professor of Legal Writing at University of Arkansas, Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law and contributing author, Legal Writing Prof Blog