Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Law and Disorder and Book Giveaway



"The closest any of those lawyers came to

'passing the bar' was to walk by a saloon."

                                            -Courting Trouble from Four Weddings and a Kiss


In my novella Courting Trouble (part of the Four Weddings and a Kiss collection)  my heroine Grace Davenport is in big trouble.—the kind of trouble no sane man would want to mess with.   Not even Wild West attorney Brock Daniels.  Not only is his beautiful  new client charged with killing her husband, her two previous husbands died under dire circumstances.  

 

Things sure don't look good for Grace and when I sat down to write her story I had no idea how my hero would defend her. It was time to hit the research books.

 

 My research for this story turned up many surprises. Namely, the number of lawyers required for frontier justice. Whenever a large mining boom began lawsuits were filed in incredible numbers. "Go west young man" went double for lawyers.

“We didn’t need laws until the lawyers got here.” -disgruntled citizen

The wilder the town, the more lawyers (and doctors) it required. Not everyone welcomed the onslaught of lawyers, of course, but most accepted them as the cost of doing business.

 

Tombstone became a favorite gathering place for lawyers many of whom became rich and ran for office.  Residents dubbed the street occupied by lawyer offices Rotten Row.

 

A court could be held indoors or out.  In one  murder trial the jury sat on the coffin containing the corpse of the victim.  Most trials allowed for regular recesses for "liquid refreshment."  One well-known lawyer was routinely locked up in a hotel room prior to trial to assure he would be sober enough to defend his clients.

 

Three for the price of one

One of the strangest trials I ran across took place in California in 1845.  During the trial of Joseph Wilson, William Ide served as judge, prosecutor and defense attorney. As the district attorney, he questioned his witness and was careful to object to his own questions when needed.  He then moved to the bench to rule on the objection.

 Women didn't have the right to vote, but that didn't keep them from making their presence known in court. Margaret Cody of Denver owned a notions shop with her husband but spent most of her time suing and being sued.  I found a dozen lawsuits she was involved in and that was just during Colorado's Territorial years. When Colorado became a state, she happily continued to enjoy litigation far into old age.

It seems like everyone in the Wild West practiced law in one way or the other, which led a  character in my story to lament,  "Unless you know the trial of having a wife, you know nothing about law and order.”

 

I'm giving away a copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss (written by Robin Lee Hatcher, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy and me).   For a chance to win this Romantic Times Top Pick, name your favorite TV,  movie or literary lawyer.


Book can be ordered from your favorite bookstore or on line.
Also the four of us are giving away a mini iPad. To enter click the picture below:


 
Click here for a chance to win a mini iPad

27 comments:

  1. I grew up watching Matlock at my grandma's house and always loved it! I didn't even know about The Andy Griffith Show until later, and I'm always surprised by how young he looks since I knew him first as an older man :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!
    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. I loved Matlock! It was one of favorite shows.

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  2. Thank you for the opportunity to win!
    capileggi316 at Gmail dot com

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  3. Hi Margaret! I think my fave lawyers on tv are: Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) & Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams) from Suits. Not because I like lawyers or am okay with some of the schemes they pull off, but because I have a tiny super-fan crush on both of them! I like also loved Susan Sarandon (The Client), Sandra Bullock & Matthew McConaughey (A Time to Kill), Matt Damon (The Rainmaker), and Brad Pitt (Sleepers). Thanks for the cance to win Four Weddings!
    kam110476 at gmail dot com

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    1. Kam, I haven't had a chance to watch Suits, but I agree with all the other lawyers you mentioned. I'm also a big fan of The Good Wife.

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  4. I grew up watching Matlock. I still watch the reruns.
    Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

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    1. Another Matlock fan! Maybe we should start a club.

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  5. I enjoyed watching Boston Legal and was sad when it got cancelled.

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    1. oops my email is griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    2. Angela, oh, yes. That was one great show. Every time we mess up, we still blame Mad Cow disease..

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  6. There have been so many great lawyers......Perry Mason was pretty hard to beat! Thank you for the giveaway!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Melanie, Perry Mason was hard to beat--no question.

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  7. My favorite would have to be Perry Mason. Thank you!
    grammador at gmail dot com

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  8. I'm not a big lawyer fan, but my husband loves to watch those old Perry Mason shows. He thinks Perry was the greatest lawyer on TV.

    Donna
    derobin7 at gmail dot com

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  9. I've always liked Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Thanks!

    Linda Hutchins
    lindajhutchins@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Linda, I almost forgot about him. Thank you for reminding me.

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  10. I like the quote “We didn’t need laws until the lawyers got here.”
    Terri
    tlw131 at gmail dot com

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    1. That quote made me laugh. Actually, I think there's some truth behind that.

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  11. I liked the movie Legally Blonde, even though she wasn't really a lawyer, yet.

    Ginger
    ginger dot solomon at gmail dot com

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    1. Ginger, that was a real cute movie. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. I enjoyed this great post and had to laugh at the quote, “We didn’t need laws until the lawyers got here.” I enjoyed a legal drama several years ago with Dylan McDermott, Camryn Manheim, Michael Badalucco, and many more. It was called The Practice and followed the cases of a Boston law firm. Thank you for sharing this wonderful giveaway!!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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  13. Britney, I remember The Practice. Boston Legal was a spin-off.

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  14. Oh my Margaret. This was a fun post. Big laugh at that one Judge-Proscecutor-Defense Lawyer. What a show that must have been. :) And, quite a name "Rotten Row" for the street where the Lawyer offices were on. Think lots of people still have that opinion of most lawyers. And the many lawsuits sounds like today in our society. Sure would love to be your winner. Thanks for a chance. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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  15. Maxie again. Forgot to answer your question. My favorite lawyer is Matlock on TV. Second choice is Perry Mason on TV. I love that I can again watch my old shows I loved when younger. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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  16. I've always enjoyed Matlock but recently really liked watching some JAG - great lawyer shows are so much fun. thanks for the chance to win! truckredford(at)Gmail dot com

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