Arab Today, arab today nasty and fun
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Nasty and fun

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Nasty and fun

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There is a well-worn theme in legal fiction: small-time good-guy lawyer takes down huge and evil corporation, despite the apparently insurmountable odds stacked against him. John Grisham is no stranger to it, but while his new novel, The Litigators, contains all the ingredients for a classic David versus Goliath story, this is no standard Erin Brockovich-style affair. Even so, our hero is a David. David Zinc, 31, a corporate lawyer who has spent most of the past five years slaving at \"something to do with bonds\" for Rogan Rothberg, a Chicago firm which is \"fifth place in hours billed per lawyer ... first place when counting [expletive] per square foot\". He decides enough is enough one morning, dives back into the elevator on the 93rd floor where he works and gets happily, gloriously drunk for the rest of the day. Somehow he ends up at the shoddy, ethically dubious two-man law firm Finley & Figg. Described, hopefully, by its two partners as \"boutique\", Finley & Figg really specialises in hustling injury cases — ambulance chasing. \"What I need is a good car wreck,\" grumbles Oscar Finley. Even the firm\'s dog is named AC. Desperate for a change, David, a Harvard law graduate, decides to join the \"bush leagues\" and persuades them to hire him. He quickly becomes embroiled in Wally Figg\'s rapidly cooked-up scheme to get rich fast by joining a mass tort lawsuit against giant pharmaceutical company Varrick Labs over its cholesterol drug Krayoxx, which has apparently been causing heart attacks and strokes. So far, so true to form, but Wally and Oscar are a long way from good little lawyers ploughing their righteous furrow. They are lots nastier, and tons more fun — Wally is an alcoholic who carries a gun, sleeps with an attractive client who can\'t afford to pay him and papers bingo halls with adverts for his firm (\"We Fight for Your Rights!\", \"Insurance Companies Fear Us!\"). Oscar is a former beat cop who sues \"anyone who came near\" and who is desperate to divorce his awful wife but can\'t afford it. Wally convinces Oscar and the bewildered David to file a $100 million lawsuit against Varrick, hoping they can ride the coattails of the mass tort action. But Varrick believes in Krayoxx, has the experts to prove it, and the tiny, shabby, inexperienced firm from Chicago finds itself on trial in a federal court for the first time ever. With, as Oscar puts it, \"a case that no lawyer in his right mind would try before a jury, a case with no liability, no experts, no decent facts [and] a client who is crazy half the time and stoned the other half\". Grisham, author of 23 novels, has recently widened his playing field with a move into children\'s fiction. In The Litigators he shows he is equally at home with humour: despite an extra strand to the story which sees David crusading on behalf of a five-year-old Burmese boy in a lead-poisoning-induced coma, there is a thick vein of sly, black humour running through the heart of this novel, thanks in large part to the magnificently unsavoury, wonderfully charismatic Finley and Figg. This is Grisham in Chicago, out of his southern comfort zone and revealing a hitherto-unsuspected wicked sense of humour. The Litigators is all the better for it. The LitigatorsBy John GrishamDoubleday, 400 pages, $28.95

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