×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Lawyer: A Life Of Cases, Counsel, And Controversy
     

Lawyer: A Life Of Cases, Counsel, And Controversy

by Arthur L. Liman, Peter Israel
 
During nearly half a century of practicing law, Arthur L. Liman represented the very best ideals of his profession. He was renowned both for his brilliance as a corporate lawyer and for his commitment to public service and pro bono work. Vanity Fair called him a "big trouble" lawyer--i.e., the lawyer you call when you're in it. In this candid memoir,

Overview

During nearly half a century of practicing law, Arthur L. Liman represented the very best ideals of his profession. He was renowned both for his brilliance as a corporate lawyer and for his commitment to public service and pro bono work. Vanity Fair called him a "big trouble" lawyer--i.e., the lawyer you call when you're in it. In this candid memoir, written in the months before his death, Liman discusses his life in the law from the moment Roy Cohn's performance at the McCarthy hearings inspired him to become a lawyer (in order to stand against lawyers like Cohn) to his influential investigation of the Attica prison uprising, through his role as chief counsel in the Iran-Contra hearings, with looks at many fascinating cases, clients, and controversies along the way. Full of lively portraits of the moguls, financiers, politicians and criminals with whom Liman worked, and grounded in his insightful, provocative opinions on the practice of law and on today's legal issues, Lawyer is an absorbing read.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
While the anecdotes are told crisply and with occasional verve, their cumulative effect is to convince one. ..that there is no such thing as an interesting securities fraud.
NY Times Book Review
While the anecdotes are told crisply and with occasional verve, their cumulative effect is to convince one. ..that there is no such thing as an interesting securities fraud.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
High-powered trial lawyer Liman became a face known to millions when, as chief counsel to the Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair, he grilled Oliver North and John Poindexter in televised hearings. In this earnest, energetic autobiography, Liman, who died last year at 65, portrays a Reagan White House out of control, run by zealous aides. He lambastes the Reagan administration for its disdain for constitutional procedures and its use of covert actions circumventing our system of checks and balances. A lifelong liberal Democrat, Liman voices his opposition to capital punishment because of the discrimination and racism he sees in how the death penalty is applied. His experience as head of an independent investigation into the 1971 Attica prison rebellion, in which 29 inmates and 10 hostages were killed in upstate New York, convinced him that U.S. prisons, dens of institutionalized racism, systematically degrade and brutalize blacks and Hispanics. Liman has had some controversial clients, notably convicted junk-bond trader Michael Milken, whom he lamely defends here as a scapegoat "vilified as the symbol of greedy and uncaring capitalism." This memoir combines genuine courtroom drama and frank insights into trial lawyers' tactics, as Liman replays cases involving such clients as Steve Ross of Time Warner and flamboyant entrepreneur Charles Bluhdorn, who created the Gulf + Western conglomerate. 8-page b&w photo insert. Agent, Wallace Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Dismayed by the distorted and unflattering image of the legal profession perpetuated by the O.J. Simpson cases, in the months prior to his death Liman put together an informative and revealing series of stories recounting his career as a high-profile attorney. As chief counsel to the Senate select committee investigating the Iran-contra affair in 1987, Liman pounded away at Oliver North for assisting in the creation of a covert action force that operated outside the restraints of Congressional oversight. In the public eye, however, North stole the show. Liman's staunch defense of Wall Street demon Michael Milken drew criticism from many who admired his Iran-contra work, but he explains that the rule of law allowed for both. One of a lawyer's greatest challenges in the multimedia age is overcoming the tendency to communicate in sound bites. Liman exhorts both his peers and future practitioners to ponder the admonition of Oliver Wendell Holmes not to allow principles of law to be bent on the altar of feelings and emotion. An excellent book for both practicing attorneys and law students.--Phillip Young Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Lib., New York
Booknews
A posthumously published memoir from the New York lawyer who investigated the Attica prison uprising, served as chief counsel to the Senate in the Iran-Contra hearings, and defended notorious junk bond trader Michael Milken. The author looks back on the mentors who influenced his career, details the highlights of both his private practice and public service, and reflects on his points of pride and regrets. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
A perceptive, witty memoir of the lawyering life, by one of the most prestigious members of the New York bar. The law career of the late Arthur Liman spanned four decades and included some of the most interesting cases of the late 20th century: he became an attorney after observing Senator McCarthy's contempt for legal freedoms in the 1950s, and by the late 1980s his clients included William Paley of CBS and junk-bond guru Michael Milken. The book is spiced with personal anecdotes about some of his dealings with the famous and the infamous. Some, like media mogul Steve Ross (who negotiated the Time-Warner merger), come across as decent, almost humble, folks. Others are not spared Liman's well-developed wrath toward any who would abuse the legal system: the book closes with Liman's notes from the Iran-Contra investigation (of which he was chief legal counsel for the Senate), in which he castigates the circumvention of the Constitution by key White House and CIA officials. In particular, he never believed that Admiral Poindexter authorized all of the illegal activities without President Reagan's knowledge (unfortunately, Liman's private comment during a recess that Poindexter's testimony was 'bullshit' was picked up by a microphone and broadcast on TV). Liman also reflects on the investigators' poor decisions, which unwittingly created a national hero out of Oliver North, who 'symbolized contempt for Congress.' Always, Liman is quick to point out why Iran-Contra differed from Whitewater, Watergate, and other high-profile scandals: the issue at stake was whether the executive branch could ignore Congress by creating an unaccountable, secret organization that would conductcovert foreign policy and decide on matters of national security. Only rarely succumbing to legalese, Liman's book is an important reminder of the foundations of constitutional law and offers a fine example of one attorney's integrity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781891620041
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
09/01/1998
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.74(w) x 9.63(h) x 1.38(d)
Lexile:
1250L (what's this?)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Arthur L. Liman was a graduate of Harvard and of the Yale Law School and was a partner at the esteemed law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City. He died in 1997.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews