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Book Highlight 10: Death of a Prince

I can't remember when I first thought of attending law school and practicing law. What I remember is thinking it could be fun practicing law with my father. Maybe the idea first came to me when I was nineteen. I was waiting in court to testify in a robbery trial, and my father entered the courtroom on another case. I remember sitting through docket call in that court. As the judge went down the list, he called several cases on which my father was the attorney and fussed at the defendants, because my father wasn't there. When Dad did appear, the judge chewed him out in open court. I was both embarrassed (and glad hardly anyone knew who I was) and amused. Many years later, when I was about to begin law school, my father became a judge. We never had the opportunity to practice law together, although for several years I shared office space with my father's former law partners, which gave me an inkling of what it might have been like.

Much later, when I was on the bench myself, I witnessed a well-known, and very rich, trial attorney behaving boorishly during a trial in the courtroom across the hall from mine. On one occasion, he pulled an associate down the hall by the ear. Or it could have been the young man's nose, I can't remember which. As well, I heard from various attorneys that the boorish attorney apparently didn't think the rules applied to him. That court's judge didn't enforce the rules, either. The attorney went so far as to provide food and drink to the jury. He made large contributions to various political figures around town. He was given his own parking place outside the courthouse. He didn't practice my kind of law, so I didn't have to deal with him personally, but I found all of the above offensive, way over the top.

My mind being what it is, I began to wonder what it would take, to what extreme he would have to go that would be so bad as to cause someone to kill him. So that was where the germ of the idea came from. Put that together with my wanting to practice law with my father and, I thought, why not have the alleged murderer's defense lawyer practice law with her mother, instead

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