24.9.14

Book recommendation: Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher

Letters of Note is a collection of over one hundred of the world's most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name - an online museum of correspondence visited by over 70 million people. From Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives. Including letters from: Zelda Fitzgerald, Iggy Pop, Fidel Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Hicks, Ana├»s Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin, Roald Dahl, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Dorothy Parker, John F. Kennedy, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, Katharine Hepburn, Kurt Vonnegut, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Emily Dickinson and many more. Available from Amazon.

17.9.14

Book recommendation: Power of Attorney by Dexter Dias

With a $15 million super-yacht ablaze on the Thames and a tortured body upon it, young lawyer David Kilkenny, run out of the police force for exposing corruption, has the chance to make his name. Surprisingly, the main opposition comes from his enigmatic client, Sebastian Santos. Mercurial entrepreneur, money launderer or the most softly spoken, coldly cruel murderer to come before the courts? But to take down his client, he must also take down Santos' financier - David's own brother, Francis. Available from Amazon.

10.9.14

Book recommendation: Scalia and Garner's Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner

In their professional lives, courtroom lawyers must do these two things: speak persuasively and write persuasively. In this noteworthy book, two of the most noted legal writers of our day - Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner - systematically present every important idea about judicial persuasion in a fresh, entertaining way. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges is a guide for novice and experienced litigators alike. It covers the essentials of sound legal reasoning, including how to develop the syllogism that underlies any argument. From there the authors explain the art of brief writing, especially what to include and what to omit, so that you can induce the judge to focus closely on your arguments. Finally they show what it takes to succeed in oral argument. Available from Amazon.

3.9.14

Book recommendation: The Stay-Behind Cave by Boris Starling

Lord Of The Flies meets Flowers In The Attic. December 1940. As the German army closes in on Gibraltar, 16-year-old Rassie Elder and five friends stumble across the most secret place on the Rock. They were never supposed to know about this place, let alone find it. And now they're trapped inside, Gibraltar has fallen, and they'll stay alive only as long as they can remain undetected. But danger is not just outside the cave. It's in there with them too. For there is no darkness greater than that of the human heart. And the terror is just beginning.... The greatest World War Two story never told. Until now. Available from Amazon.

27.8.14

Book recommendation: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

One week ago, Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at New York City's largest law firm. Now she is an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. When Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, her future. As she confronts real clients with real problems, she finds herself a world away from her past life of corporate fat cats and fatter bonuses. This is coal country. Meth country. The law is different here. And standing up for the truth means putting your life on the line. Available from Amazon.

20.8.14

Book recommendation: Personal (Jack Reacher 19) by Lee Child

ack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he's a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him. This new heartstopping, nailbiting book in Lee Child's number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris - and then to London. The stakes have never been higher - because this time, it's personal. Available from Amazon.

13.8.14

Book recommendation: 21st Century Solicitor: How to Make a Real Impact as a Junior Commercial Lawyer by Steve Weiner

This might be news: success as a twenty-first century solicitor is not dependent on your technical aptitude alone. Sorry. As well as the basic requirements of understanding and applying the law superbly, you are also now expected to master a whole suite of so-called soft skills -- communicating empathetically, acting commercially, writing carefully, presenting brilliantly, networking sensibly and building relationships enthusiastically. These skills might be called soft by our industry, but the reality is that they are both incredibly hard and vitally important -- especially as a junior commercial lawyer keen to make a likeable, professional, commercial and lasting positive impression on those in control of your embryonic career. Written by a lawyer with unique experience as a commercial practitioner, trainer and law-firm voyeur, this no-nonsense how to guide is an honest, punchy and modern look at all the skills you don t get taught at law school, yet are absolutely critical to achieving success from day one of your life as a twenty-first century solicitor. Available from Amazon.

6.8.14

Book recommendation: Sober as a Judge (Roger Thursby) by Henry Cecil

Roger Thursby, the hero of Brothers in Law and Friends at Court, continues his career as a High Court judge. He presides over a series of unusual cases, including a professional debtor and an action about a consignment of oranges which turned to juice before delivery. There is a delightful succession of eccentric witnesses as the reader views proceedings from the bench. Available from Amazon.

30.7.14

Book recommendation: The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike) by Robert Galbraith


When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . . A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London - from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho - The Cuckoo's Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Available from Amazon.

23.7.14

Book recommendation: The Business of Judging: Selected Essays and Speeches: 1985-1999 by Tom (later Lord) Lord Bingham

This classic account of how the judiciary cannot act neutrally, but must act politically, now in its fifth edition. John Griffith’s controversial book has been fully revised and updated to consider the latest developments in relations between politicians and the judiciary: Michael Howard’s conflict with the judges, miscarriages of justice, the Criminal Justice Act, the increased use of Judicial Review, the effects of anti-trade union legislation of the 1980s, and so on. Available from Amazon.