“The Color of Law” by Mark Gimenez hearkens to the style of John Grisham. Grisham’s books, for me, have always been an entertaining read, so when “The Color of Law” was recommended to me by a friend, I thought to give it a try, and I was not disappointed.
With respect to these types of stories, they seem to start out with a young lawyer moving up in the world of Law. Some are about those who do their battles on the streets, while others, such as “The Color of Law” fight their battles in the big corporate offices.
Scott Fenney, a poor white boy, made a name for himself at a very prestigious school: he was a star quarterback. Scott earned himself a scholarship to law school and graduated first in his class. Upon graduation, an elite Dallas law firm hired him on, and he worked his way up the ladder, learning all the dirty tricks in the books of law that were not taught at law school. Soon he became a partner in the firm. Life was good: life was more than good.
After delivering a grand speech about the high standards lawyers should hold themselves to, using Atticus Finch from the movie, “To Kill a Mockingbird” as an exemplary example of what a lawyer should be, Scott had no idea how that speech was about to change his life. Sitting at the back of the room was District Court Judge Samuel Buford, who dwelled on the young lawyer’s words, and he smiled. He had found the right person for the job he had in mind.
Fenney had it all: the trophy wife, the beautiful child, a home in the elite part of town, three highly expensive vehicles, corporate clients that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for Scott to get them out of messes – yes, he had it all until the day when Judge Samuel Buford challenged his hand and handed him a case because the judge believed that if Scott believed his own words in his speech, he would be the best man to defend a young black prostitute accused of murdering a Senator’s son.
What happens from that moment on is spectacular – actually, for little people like you and me sitting in our small houses and scraping together enough money to pay our bills and enjoy a bit of our lives, it is unbelievable. Mark Gimenez takes us in the back door of the world of law and politics, giving us a view of the real world – possibly even as he saw it when he himself worked for a major law firm.
I don’t wish to spoil any more of the story for you. I want you to read it for yourself. You will rejoice, I am sure in the decisions that Scott eventually comes to, and I am sure that Atticus Finch would have been proud of Scott Fenney.
“The Colour of Law” – well worth reading. I look forward to adding more books of Gimenez to my shelf.