Legal Thriller Books By John Grisham

“Objection, Your Honor!” has become a resounding cry from televisions and movies around the world. Interestingly, these three words were only heard exclusively inside a courtroom during trials…that is, until a new genre of fiction was born and a new breed of writers emerged to establish one of the most popular types of fiction in books, movies, and television.

Legal Thriller and Courtroom Drama
One of the most recent additions to the genre of mystery novels is the legal thriller. By its name, a legal thriller occurs within the context of the legal system, wherein a lawyer is, most of the time, a protagonist who seeks justice and claims it from the hands of an enemy which may or may not be legal authorities or people who try to exert influence over the law. It is a thriller in the sense that dangers lurk around every page and the protagonists face threats to their profession and, at times, their lives.

The legal thriller formula of literature has been adapted by television. This gave birth to courtroom drama, a more specific form of legal thriller wherein the suspense and the battle between right and wrong occurs within the courtroom; the endless interrogation and confrontation of the two opposing camps of the defendant and the plaintiff is the central action of the stories.

Legal thrillers have grown in popularity in the past few decades, thanks to writers who tirelessly share their expertise in law and skills in writing to produce some of the best heart-stopping novels in modern literature. One of these writers is John Grisham.

Writer in focus: John Grisham
With 27 books (and counting) to his name, author John Grisham earns the distinction of being one of the most prominent legal thriller writers in the US and the world. John Grishams’s books never fail to make it to lists of top legal thrillers. He also features into most, if not all, lists of top writers in the said genre.

Of his books, 9 were adapted into movies and 3 into television series, where high-profile Hollywood actors like Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Sandra Bullock and others played the various, complex roles that populate his fast-paced stories. Readers all over have commented that his books were better than their movie adaptations. If you’re not yet acquainted with John Grisham books works, now is the best time to check out his books, especially the ones with adaptations, before you even attempt to watch the films themselves. This will allow you to appreciate the power of the narrative that the writer wrote and wove.|

John Grisham Books
Most of Grisham’s books enter the bestseller lists both locally and internationally. If you have never read his works, now would be the best time to consider looking for John Grisham books. The give you a taste of this author’s writing skills, here’s a synopsis of his 2010 book, The Confession:

The Confession (2010) is about Travis Boyette, a man who committed a horrible crime and watched quietly as an innocent man was convicted in his place. Now, almost a decade after, Travis was confronted by the past; he believes that a confession can set things right, but time is already running out for him and the innocent man wrongfully sentenced for a murder not of his doing.

If you wish to learn more about the genre of legal thrillers, we recommend you read John Grisham books to appreciate his gripping page-turners.

Are Canadian Courts Adapting With New Technologies?

The cornerstone of any free society is a thriving court system which takes the approach to justice very seriously. For a court system to truly serve its constituents it has to keep up with the technology and the Canadian legal system is no exception.

Fortunately, the modern technological advances that have been woven into the Canadian courts have proven to not only be cost effective but also to serve the greater good.

I see you!

There is a practical aspect of adapting technology to court use and that has to do with geography. Beyond our vibrant urban cities, Canada is a vast land of abundant resources and environments. The current population stands at 30 million + but we are scattered all across the Canadian landscape. As such, it’s not uncommon for a judge to be issuing rulings 1,500 miles from the main courthouse. This is where video conferencing has made a huge difference in terms of expediting court cases.

With video conferencing, a judge can review, cross examine and make a ruling on an applicant who might be several miles away. By adapting video conferencing there is also a great reduction in the need for prisoner escort costs. In some cases, a video conference is a benefit when a hardened criminal can remain incarcerated without the chance of getting contraband passed to them outside the confines of the jail. This is definitely a case where swift justice can prevail.

Shuffling papers…

Another positive use of technology is with case management, especially the large amounts of paperwork to manage. New software and systems have been created that allow documents to be created, edited and stored virtually on secure servers. It allows court clerks instant access to case files and removes redundant data entry.

As with the video conferencing, upgrading to a case-management system for certain court documents is a cost saver not only on paper but also physical storage space. The caution is to insure that these documents are secure. Safeguards need to be put into place to make sure only designated court personnel would have access to these types of records. By the same token, these files have to be properly updated to insure that an innocent party has their record expunged.

Efficiency is the key

During the actual trial, technology can play a role when it comes to evidence presentation. A power point presentation is easy to compile and understand. It’s also helpful when it comes to reviewing that evidence if it is kept on a single file as opposed to scattered over dozens of charts and placards. Many courts have upgraded old transcript recording to new digital recording methods. Once again technology proves to streamline a process while reducing costs.

Clearly, the Canadian courts are putting technology to work. The question then becomes how dominant will that technology become and will there be safeguards to protect privacy? Ironically, the answer to that will be decided by the courts.

Is the Legal “Gene Pool” Too Contaminated?

I was watching repeats of a humorous gameshow called QI on the UK TV channel “Dave” the other day and Stephen Fry, the compare, asked the panelists a question:

“What did the Dik-Dik do that the Dodo didn’t?”

There were the usual humorous replies and verbal dancing round the handbags until the true answer came out; which was that the Dodo lived on an Island and had no predators, so when man arrived it had no fear of man and was therefore wiped out by hunters. Whereas the Dik-Dik, a small antelope the size of a small dog, lived in Africa and had predators all around it.

In fact everything from large birds to jackals and reptiles wanted to eat it and it was afraid of almost everything and so it learned to develop strategies for living and (unlike the Dodo) was still with us.

So the Dik-Dik hid from man and the Dodo didn’t…and the one with no predators ended up extinct.

The chat continued and it was mentioned that the fish in large tropical fish tanks are kept fit and healthy by the inclusion of a predator in the tank. The idea being that the large majority of fish in the tank have no desire to be eaten, so they keep a suitable distance from the predator fish; when the predator goes left, they go right and so on and the exercise does them all good.

The subject then moved on to Darwin and evolution and the fact that Darwin never said “Survival of the fittest” what he said was “It’s not the fittest or the most intelligent that survive but those most adaptable to change.”

So far so good, but what does this have to do with lawyers and the law?

Well, the next day I was reading (flicking through) a couple of law journals and towards the back they always have a page devoted to staff movements; you know the sort of thing, “Bloggs and Co are delighted to announce their new employment law partner Mr Smith, who has joined them from Briggs and Co” There were about 10 of these announcements in one journal and 14 in the other one, all saying the same thing.

What struck me was that the lawyers of one medium sized firm left and moved to the other medium sized firm; usually in the same city.

In the 24 examples that I read, 90% of them had simply traded employment in one medium firm for another.

I looked back at some old journals and saw the same thing with the same statistics.

What that tells me is that the thinking, processes and culture of one medium sized firm almost identically resembles the other; the only difference is the personalities of the partners.

On that very subject, I saw an article about lawyer personalities and what makes an ideal lawyer, but then I remembered something else that I’d read about a sense of self-importance; which is a subconscious element in most lawyers.

It went a bit like this: to become a lawyer, one must go through life as an achiever, otherwise you’d never make the cut.

As a student at school you must get decent grades. Your self-importance “thermometer” rises. This sets you apart from the others and you earn a place at Law college. To graduate you will have passed a number of exams and seen a number of your peers drop out for various reasons. Another rise of the mercury.

You are accepted for a Diploma or LPC place. Up another notch.

Some peers drop out and you pass. Up again.

You win a traineeship with a law firm. Click.

You finish the traineeship and become a qualified lawyer. Click.

After a few years of pay rises and titles, you are selected as partner material. Getting hotter.

After a few years as partner, dispensing advice to clients who come to you and pay you an hourly rate that is a weeks wage or more to many, your sense of self-importance is right up there.

Now tie that in with the Dodo, Darwin theory, the movement of partners between firms.

Lawyers have had no predators in the past. They are intelligent but not adaptable. They move from one firm to another that is almost exactly the same as the firm they just left and they have a sense of self-importance that means they do not and will not listen to advice.

In a Zoo, the gene pool needs some outside help otherwise the animals in-breed and that causes physical and mental deformities.

The changes that the UK Legal Service Act and Alternative Business Structure brings might just be the DNA that the legal sector needs to survive by giving it a much-needed injection of “business DNA” so that lawyers can start dealing with their customers in a more acceptable manner.