If you like courtroom drama, these cases read like finely-crafted short stories, each laid out to create tension and capture the reader. This is Mr. Katz's autobiographical anthology of court cases he selected from a legal career that spanned over forty years. He was an assistant district attorney, a public defender, an insurance defense attorney, and a civil plaintive in Louisiana state and federal courts and in state courts in Colorado.
Entwined in these actual jury trials, the author freely describes his personal impressions, comparisons, and criticisms about the advantages and disadvantages of how each legal system worked or failed to deliver "justice" since justice wasn't always the goal. He removes the gloves and exposes the underbelly of systems that were never perfect and move, in his opinion, in the wrong direction from the Supreme Court on down.
The stories provide entertainment to the casual reader and instruction to students of law who aspire to be advocates in the court room. The cases provide examples of how to look at the facts deeply, realistically, and, most importantly, from the points of view of the actors.
This early realization that point of view determines what we know and what we believe was the key to Mr. Katz's successes. Point of view is at the heart of how he examined facts he couldn't change. If the obvious point of view didn't get him where he wanted to go, he found another one that did. He demonstrates that, often, there is a way to look at the "facts" that doesn't require artifice but does provide salvation. This ultimately determines the way a case is presented to the jury and how the jury sees the facts. This insight guided the author, changed or colored the surface stories, exposed underlying truths, and led to unexpected turns that did result in justice.
In one case, the author faced a trial in which his client faced an eyewitness and his own confession. In another, a bouncer claims to have caught a thief running with a stolen purse, and the victims identified Mr. Katz's client as the thief. By placing himself in the role of an eyewitness, and, in the other case, in the role of the bouncer charged with protecting the patrons of the night club where he worked, the author cleared away the obvious and exposed the heart of reality.
In another case, the author was able to thwart a biased federal judge who was determined to defeat Mr. Katz's case. The author, instead, caused the jury to see the case from the point of view of an old woman who seemed to be nothing more than a throw-away, irrelevant witness.
In the final case, "Stalking Justice," the author exposes a system of justice in Boulder, Colorado that, to him, seems broken. He changed the names of the litigants but not the names of the judges or the Deputy DAs as he relates his impressions of what he believes those actors intentionally did and did not do in order to circumvent justice. He tells this story because he believes this particular system must change.
All readers will gain insight into the workings of the court along with the novel approach taken by the author as he describes the cases, the different legal challenges he faced, and the result of the novel approaches he used to advocate for his clients in his long and varied career.