The Money Lawyers: The No-Holds-Barred World of Today's Richest and Most Controversial Lawyers

Joseph Goulden, Author . St. Martin's/Talley $27.95 (428p) ISBN 978-0-312-20555-3

It's hard not to feel outraged at the politico-legal complex when reading Goulden's brief profiles of some of the country's highest-paid lawyers. As he tracks the exploits of such superstars as David Boies, who sued Microsoft as a special counsel to the Justice Department and defended Al Gore during the 2000 election, and Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., a Washington "superlobbyist" whose law firm has gotten rich from its involvement in many government deals, including NAFTA and accords that allowed for increased oil drilling. Boggs, he writes, "has come to epitomize the enormous power, the awesome power that money exerts on government." Goulden, a journalist best known for his 1972 bestseller, The Superlawyers, writes well and he's got great access to his subjects. He makes a strong case in pointing out other flaws in the legal system, particularly the proliferation of profitable (for lawyers) class-action lawsuits that he says are clogging the courts. But some have argued just as strongly that these cases protect the individuals against powerful businesses and government. Still, Goulden's portraits of "dollar-drive" lawyers are sharp and highlight the power of money to distort the legal system. Agent, Carl Brandt. (Dec. 27)

Reviewed on: 11/07/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
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