Fallen: Confessions of a Disbarred Lawyer
- A memoir of recklessness and deceit . . .
Did you ever see the Abel Ferrara movie "Bad Lieutenant," with
Harvey Keitel? It's about a NY cop on the edge of annihilating
himself, whose behavior and character have so deteriorated that it
is unclear that redemption is even possible.
One might well call this book, which purports to be an anonymous
memoir, "Bad Attorney." Only it's not fiction, and at the end of the
book no gesture of redemption seems forthcoming.
But it's a mesmerizing read. The author begins his tale by
describing a single lawsuit over a fall from a horse in which he was
never able to bring himself to file the papers necessary to go to
court. He goes on from there to recount in affecting detail his
grossly incompetent law practice, his systematic deceit of clients,
the day-trading habit that he embezzled money from clients in order
to support, and his eventual disbarment.
Woven into this narrative of self-destruction, too, is the author's
infidelity to his wife, the dissolution of two marriages (the second
to a woman twenty years his junior), his brushes with various
characters who wish him harm, and his attempts to make a living
first selling cars and then as a pop-up advertiser and salesman
for "work-at-home" scams. The tone of the narrative is neither
apologetic nor proud; if anything, it tends toward shell-shocked.
Read it as a cautionary tale about procrastination, or as a warning
to take extreme care when picking out your next lawyer.
Now in print. http://www.fallenlawyer.com