Thursday, September 12, 2013

a legal fiction

I'm not sure how I completed my legal education without ever reading even one John Grisham novel. I didn't read many novels at all in those 3 years, but this seems like a fairly glaring omission given his popularity.

A legal fiction is a court's assumption that a fact exists (when it does not) which enables the court to apply a legal rule or settle a matter before it. That's not the legal fiction we're talking about today, but it's not so far off.

In The Confession, Grisham tackles the topic of the death penalty (in Texas, where else). I thought that for a clearly fictional work he did a fairly even handed job of bringing out most of the legal and ethical conflicts surrounding the issue on both sides.

I've opined more than once that I'm not a big fiction reader in general, but I enjoyed this book. It still felt like it required some brain power to read, which helped me. I will say that it was difficult for me to take off my lawyer glasses and just enjoy the book for what it was. I may not be practicing law right now but it is still my training and it's hard to suspend reality and grant artistic license. My friend lent me this and one other Grisham book to read during my broken ankle recovery and I'll certainly read that. Not sure I will be hitting the bookstore for his latest, but it captured my attention for a few days which is really all I'm asking for, given my lack of focus at the moment.

Do you ever have trouble reading books or watching tv/film about your field?


  1. my plan is to one day become a teacher, so i love movies about school and teachers :D

    John Grisham was a favorite of mine for quite a while. The very first book of his that I read was Skipping Christmas. Good old times :)

  2. did he have a legal back ground? I never really got on the band wagon, but my mother looooooooved his stuff.

  3. I loved The Confession. First book in a long time that made me cry.

    I can't stand watching movies about old people with Alzheimer's because it's clear that they are made by people who never actually took care of an Alzheimer's patient to the end. They do a lot of research, but if they'd gotten the personal touch, they wouldn't get so many things wrong.

  4. I have trouble watching movies about wedding planners (not too many event planner movies out there). I yell at them a lot.

    I also have a hard time attending weddings and events as a guest. I just want to get up and fix things.


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