John Grisham - The Street Lawyer

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Lawyer for the Poor

Jul 26, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:John Grisham, great story

Cons:I wanted it to never end!

The Bottom Line: Must read John Grisham story.


Michael Brock is billing the hours, making big bucks, rushing to the top of his law firm Drake and Sweeney and is one step away from partnership. Then one day a homeless man who calls himself "Mister" rides up on the elevator with him and takes nine lawyers hostage. When it is all over with Michael has the man's blood splattered on his face and suddenly his life change. Rediscovering his conscience, Michael leaves the big time to be a public interest lawyer, to serve the poor. A secret of a wrongful eviction makes Michael's former partners his bitter enemies as Michael fights for justice...

Main Characters:

Michael Brock: main character, lawyer on the way to the top of Drake and Sweeney when he is taken hostage

Claire Brock: Michael's estranged neurosurgeon wife

Arthur Jacobs: CEO of Drake and Sweeney

"Mister" DeVon Hardy: black homeless man who holds 9 lawyers hostage

Braden Chance: lawyer who handled the wrongful eviction of
Mister's building

Hector Palma: Chance's paralegal

Mordecai Green: lawyer at nonprofit legal clinic

Sofia Mendoza: social worker at nonprofit legal clinic

Abraham Lebow: single Jewish lawyer at Green's clinic

Lontae Burton: homeless mother who died with her children in her car after being wrongfully evicted

Chapter Summaries:

Chp 1:
Michael Brock, a top lawyer at the Drake and Sweeney giant D.C. law firm rides up on an elevator with a homeless man who takes him and 8 other lawyers hostage.

Chp 2:
The homeless man known only as "Mister" lectures his hostages about being poor and hungry. After ordering dinner "Mister" is shot and blood splatters on Michael.

Chp 3:
Michael returns alone to his apartment in need of comfort and waits for his wife who later returns, somewhat indifferent to everything that happened.

Chp 4:
Michael returns to work the next day to find a building that looked as if notjing happened the previous day. We also learn that "Mister's" name was DeVon Hardy, 45, a Vietnam veteran, left homeless by an eviction by Drake and Sweeney.

Chp 5:

Michael looks for information on "Mister" and wants to know what the company is hiding in the eviction file.

Chp 6:

Michael flys to his parents' house in Memphis and tells his parents about his failing marriage and thoughts of leaving the firm.

Chp 7 and 8:

Michael volunteers at a homeless shelter and meets a young homeless boy and his family.

Chp 9:
Michael returns to work and buys things for the family he met at the shelter.

Chp 10:
Michael is devestated to find out that the family from the homeless shelter were found dead in their car. He plans to give them a proper funeral and goes to the morgue to claim their bodies.

Chp 11:

Michael returns to work and finds the eviction file left anontmously on his desk. He finds that not only DeVon Hardy was one of the evictees, but so was the family who died; Green offers him a job at the legal clinic.

Chp 12:

Michael goes to the homeless family's funeral and then resigns from his job to leave for public interest law.

Chp 13:

Claire decides on divorce.

Chp 14:

Michael steals the eviction file with keys from Chance's paralegal, but gets in a car wreck and is unable to return the file.

Chp 15:

Chance's paralegal meets with Michael and lets him know that he is wired and the firm is investigating the stolen file.

Chp 16:

Michael retrieves the stolen file, copied it, and moved out of his house.

Chp 17:

Drake and Sweeney is going crazy over the stolen file.

Chp 18:

Michael goes with Green to a homeless shelter where they meet 19 clients.

Chp 19:

After working his first day at the legal clinic Michael is awaken by a call from Claire that the police are searching her apartment for the eviction file.

Chp 20:

Michael and Green go to a homeless shelter and interview clients.

Chp 21:

Michael has a meeting with his friend Barry Nuzzo from Drake and Sweeney and demands a week of truce; Michael learns that the paralegal was moved.

Chp 22:

Michael's office is searched for the file.

Chp 23:

Michael and Gree find one of the evictees and plan a lawsuit.

Chp 24:

Michael goes to his first rally.

Chp 25:

Sofia tracks Chance's paralegal in Chicago.

Chp 26:

Michael is arrested for grand larceny and is released on bond.

Chp 27:

Michael drops his client Ruby off at an AA/NA meeting and meets an attractive worker Megan.

Chp 28:

Michael finds Chance's para;egal in Chicago and he gives him a damaging paper misisng from the file.

Chp 29:

Michael and Green file the a wrongful death lawsuit against Drake and Sweeney, River Oaks, and TAG and tip a reporter.

Chp 30:

Michael's brother Warner visits to try to knock some sense into him; an article is published about the pending case.

Chp 31:

Michael sees Megan again; a congressman is shot, homeless are rounded up.

Chp 32:

Michael enters a plea ofnot guilty to grand larceny and has 2 weeks to return the file and be guilty of only a misdeamenor.

Chp 33:

New details emerged about Lontae Burton and her children's father who was killed shortly after a newspaper interview.

Chp 34:

An evictee shows up at the clinic, they depose him.

Chp 35 and 26:

Green meets with defendants for negotiation and will meet before a judge with the defendants.

Chp 37:

A settlement hearing is made, Green demands $5 million for the Burton case and $25,000 for each evictee and a 6 month suspension for Michael. The defense declines.

Chp 38:

The defense settled and the firm gets $500,000.

Chp 39:

Arthur Jacobs visits Michael with a heavy conscience. He volunteers all of his lawyers for homeless work. Hector Palma and Michael would run the effort. Ruby, Megan, and Michael go on a vacation to the shore.

THE END











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